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What Foods Trigger Insulin Production?

Low-carb Theory Regarding Meat/insulin Is Flawed

Low-carb Theory Regarding Meat/insulin Is Flawed

Due to rising obesity and insulin resistance rates, low-carb and Paleo diets have become a popular approach to the growing population of overweight Americans. As stated by Dr. John McDougall, "Advocates of high-protein diets explain the reason people are fat is not because of the fat they eat, but because of hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance. Insulin encourages fat cells to store fat and prevents the release of fat from these cells. Therefore, high levels of insulin, known as hyperinsulinism, would be expected to promote obesity." One high-protein, low-carb website, emphasizes that carbohydrates are the "root of all evil" when it comes to weight loss and health. Consequently, the majority of calories from a low-carb diet come from meat, which contains protein and fat, but no carbs. Although carbs do make our insulin levels go up, Dr. Micheal Greger points out in the video above that scientists have known for over a half century that protein makes it go up as well. An "Insulin Index of Foods" was published in 1997 which listed 38 foods that produced higher insulin levels. This study and subsequent studies showed that any type of meat (beef, chicken, and pork) produced substantial insulin secretion. "In fact meat protein causes as much insulin release as pure sugar." Meat raised insulin levels higher than a large apple, a cup of oatmeal, a cup and a half of white flour pasta. Below we've highlighted a few points from the Insulin Index: "Some of the protein-rich foods (beef, cheese, eggs) had larger insulin responses per gram than did many of the foods consisting predominately of carbohydrate." "Carbohydrate is not the only stimulus for insulin secretion." Protein-rich foods can also stimulate insulin secretion without increasing blood glucose concentrations. "A low-f Continue reading >>

High Insulin Foods

High Insulin Foods

Your body draws energy from food by transforming what you eat into glucose, a kind of sugar. A hormone called insulin then works in your bloodstream to release that glucose to your muscles and organs. Most of the time, this system runs like a fine-tuned machine, but in some people, insulin malfunction may result in an unhealthy build-up of glucose. Knowing which foods to avoid helps you balance your insulin and manage blood glucose to stay healthy. Produced in the pancreas, insulin’s main functions are to facilitate the absorption of glucose into your cells and the storage of excess glucose for future use. If you have prediabetes and diabetes, however, your body either can’t produce enough insulin, or it doesn’t use the hormone properly, resulting in too much circulating glucose in your blood. Monitoring your food choices helps you avoid a rush of glucose your body can’t handle. Foods That Spike Blood Sugar Foods containing carbohydrates affect blood sugar the most. Maintaining healthy blood sugar doesn’t mean cutting out this food group altogether though. Instead, avoid those carb-containing foods that digest quickly, taking your blood glucose levels on a hair-raising ride through peaks and valleys. Among the biggest offenders are: Table sugar Regular sodas and other sweetened beverages Baked goods like cookies, cakes and other sugary desserts Candy Processed foods with high sugar content, like cereal, granola and granola bars Refined grains, like white bread, rice, bagels and pasta Jellies and jams Fruit-flavored yogurt and sweetened milk If you do occasionally use processed foods, check the Nutrition Facts label on the packaging for the grams of sugar in a serving. The higher the sugar content, the faster the food will raise your blood sugar. Better Carbs f Continue reading >>

25 Simple Ways To Improve Insulin Sensitivity & Prevent Diabetes | Poliquin Article

25 Simple Ways To Improve Insulin Sensitivity & Prevent Diabetes | Poliquin Article

25 Simple Ways to Improve Insulin Sensitivity & PREVENT Diabetes We’re going to let you in on a little secret: The FIRST thing you should improve when you want to change your body by losing fat or putting on muscle is to improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is SO important for fat loss because when you are insulin resistant, the body is much more likely to store the food you eat as fat. Insulin resistance also produces inflammation in the body, causing a whole bunch of health problems that any sane person wouldn’t want to deal with. Here are 25 simple actions you can take that improve insulin sensitivity. #1: Do strength training and other anaerobic activities. Exercise is absolutely critical for improving insulin sensitivity because your muscles and cells are desperate for fuel during and after your workout. Training modes that build muscle, such as lifting weights or sprints, are most effective for improving insulin sensitivity because muscle consumes the majority of the energy transported in the blood (as much as 90 percent). For every 10 percent increase in muscle mass, you get an 11 percent reduction in insulin resistance. #2: Endurance exercise works too, but combined training is better. Endurance exercise has a very beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity, but only in trained muscle. So if you’re a runner, you’ll be fairly insulin sensitive in the leg musculature, but less so in the upper body. Therefore, it’s important to do some form of total body exercise and strength training is pretty much a no-brainer as your best option because combined aerobic and resistance programs improve insulin sensitivity more than aerobic training alone. If you’re sedentary and overweight, optimizing carb intake may mean to eat a very low-carb (less than 5 Continue reading >>

14 Ways To Lower Your Insulin Levels

14 Ways To Lower Your Insulin Levels

Insulin is an extremely important hormone that's produced by your pancreas. It has many functions, such as allowing your cells to take in sugar from your blood for energy. However, too much insulin can lead to serious health problems. Having high levels, also known as hyperinsulinemia, has been linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer (1, 2, 3). High blood insulin levels also cause your cells to become resistant to the hormone's effects. When you become insulin resistant, your pancreas produces even more insulin, creating a vicious cycle (4). Here are 14 things you can do to lower your insulin levels. Of the three macronutrients — carbs, protein and fat — carbs raise blood sugar and insulin levels the most. For this and other reasons, low-carb diets can be very effective for losing weight and controlling diabetes. Many studies have confirmed their ability to lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity, compared to other diets (5, 6, 7, 8, 9). People with health conditions characterized by insulin resistance, such as metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may experience a dramatic lowering of insulin with carb restriction. In one study, individuals with metabolic syndrome were randomized to receive either a low-fat or low-carb diet containing 1,500 calories. Insulin levels dropped by an average of 50% in the low-carb group, compared to 19% in the low-fat group (10). In another study, when women with PCOS ate a lower-carb diet containing enough calories to maintain their weight, they experienced greater reductions in insulin levels than when they ate a higher-carb diet (11). Low-carb diets have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin levels in people with obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and PCOS. Apple cider v Continue reading >>

The Effect Of Dietary Fiber And Other Factors On Insulin Response: Role In Obesity.

The Effect Of Dietary Fiber And Other Factors On Insulin Response: Role In Obesity.

Abstract Epidemiologic evidence favors the hypothesis that obesity may result from the fiber-depleted diet of industrialized societies. Since hyperinsulinemia is a universal characteristic and perhaps causal of obesity, the possibility is considered that dietary factors causing excess insulin secretion might lead to obesity. Dietary glucose causes a slightly greater insulin rise than cooked starch containing an equal amount of carbohydrate, and high fiber starchy foods cause a much lesser insulin response than does glucose in solution. Doubling the dose of carbohydrate in a meal causes only a small increase in glucose response but a large increase in insulin response. Dietary fiber could act by displacing some of the carbohydrate that would normally be absorbable in the small intestine, or could translocate the carbohydrate to a point lower in the intestinal tract where less effect on insulin secretion would be observed. Evidence is presented that a higher fiber diet is associated with a higher concentration of fasting circulating free fatty acids, a lesser post-cibal decrease in circulating free fatty acids and triglycerides and less chronic increase in fasting triglycerides than a low fiber diet. These differences are associated with a lesser insulin response to high fiber meals. The extreme fluctuations between the fed and fasted states seen with low fiber diets are thus dampened by high fiber diets. The less complete inhibition of lipolysis during the fed state, and more intense lipolysis during fasting, suggested by the above data, might tend to prevent obesity. The mechanisms of the lesser insulin response to high rather than low fiber meals are not known, but the possibility that dietary fiber decreases the GIP response is considered. Continue reading >>

How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar And Insulin

How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar And Insulin

Sugar is a hot topic in nutrition. Cutting back can improve your health and help you lose weight. Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is one way to do that. However, some people claim that artificial sweeteners aren't as "metabolically inert" as previously thought. For example, it's been claimed that they can raise blood sugar and insulin levels. This article takes a look at the science behind these claims. Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue. They are often called low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners give things a sweet taste, without any added calories (1). Therefore, they're often added to foods that are then marketed as "health foods" or diet products. They're found everywhere, from diet soft drinks and desserts, to microwave meals and cakes. You'll even find them in non-food items, such as chewing gum and toothpaste. Here's a list of the most common artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that make things taste sweet without any extra calories. We have tightly controlled mechanisms to keep our blood sugar levels stable (2, 3, 4). Blood sugar levels increase when we eat foods containing carbohydrates. Potatoes, bread, pasta, cakes and sweets are some foods that are high in carbohydrates. When digested, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar levels rise, our body releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key. It allows blood sugar to leave the blood and enter our cells, where it can be used for energy or stored as fat. If blood sugar levels drop too low, our livers release stored sugar to stabilize it. This happens when we fas Continue reading >>

Reader Response: Insulin Index

Reader Response: Insulin Index

Reader Pete asked for some thoughts on the “Insulin Index,” a measurement chart similar to the glycemic index. While the glycemic index calculates the relative blood sugar rise induced by given foods, the insulin index evaluates the insulin response generated by 38 different foods. The insulin index, which first made its appearance in a 1997 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article, was primarily the creation of Susanne Holt, a graduate student at the time and now a doctor. Interestingly, Holt, her supervisory co-authors, or other researchers haven’t chosen to conduct further research to update the “preliminary” results of their insulin index study since its creation eleven years ago now. While Holt and her co-authors found a high correlation between glycemic index and insulin index measurements, they stumbled upon an intriguing exception. High protein, virtually no-carb foods like meat and eggs, while low on the glycemic index, measured high on the insulin index. In other words, while the meat and eggs didn’t cause a spike in blood sugar the way most carbohydrates do, they did result in an unexpectedly significant rise in insulin. (Baked goods, with their high levels of refined carbs, elicited a very high rise in insulin as well. Of course, this comes as less of a surprise.) Obviously, the index has some eyebrow-raising potential, especially in those of us who choose a high protein diet. But there’s more to the story here. First off, let’s remember that the protein-rich foods didn’t result in the physical stress of blood sugar spikes. But what about that rise in insulin? Why? Should I be concerned about that omelet I ate for breakfast? Insulin, in and of itself, is a good and necessary thing. It promotes the storage of nutrients after all. In ou Continue reading >>

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

Many people believe that insulin is to blame for the obesity epidemic. When you understand how it actually works, you’ll know why this is a lie. Insulin has been taking quite a beating these days. If we’re to listen to some “experts,” it’s an evil hormone whose sole goal is making us fat, type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, we’re told that carbohydrates also are in on the conspiracy. By eating carbs, we open the insulin floodgates and wreak havoc in our bodies. How true are these claims, though? Does it really make sense that our bodies would come with an insidious mechanism to punish carbohydrate intake? Let’s find out. What is Insulin, Anyway? Insulin is a hormone, which means it’s a substance the body produces to affect the functions of organs or tissues, and it’s made and released into the blood by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is a very important one: when you eat food, it’s broken down into basic nutrients (protein breaks down into amino acids; dietary fats into fatty acids; and carbohydrates into glucose), which make their way into the bloodstream. These nutrients must then be moved from the blood into muscle and fat cells for use or storage, and that’s where insulin comes into play: it helps shuttle the nutrients into cells by “telling” the cells to open up and absorb them. So, whenever you eat food, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood. As the nutrients are slowly absorbed into cells, insulin levels drop, until finally all the nutrients are absorbed, and insulin levels then remain steady at a low, “baseline” level. This cycle occurs every time you eat food: amino acids, fatty acids, and/or glucose find their way into your blood, and they’re joined by additional insulin, which ushers them into cells. Once the job is done, insu Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall. When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar. This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar. Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops. Glycemic index In the past, carbohydrates were commonly classified as being either “simple” or “complex,” and described as follows: Simple carbohydrates: These carbohydrates are composed of sugars (such as fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures composed of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body because of their simple chemical structure, often leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas – which can have negative health effects. Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates have mo Continue reading >>

Insulin Index

Insulin Index

The Insulin Index of a food represents how much it elevates the concentration of insulin in the blood during the two-hour period after the food is ingested. The index is similar to the Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL), but rather than relying on blood glucose levels, the Insulin Index is based upon blood insulin levels. The Insulin Index represents a comparison of food portions with equal overall caloric content (250 kcal or 1000 kJ), while GI represents a comparison of portions with equal digestible carbohydrate content (typically 50 g) and the GL represents portions of a typical serving size for various foods. The Insulin Index can be more useful than either the Glycemic Index or the Glycemic Load because certain foods (e.g., lean meats and proteins) cause an insulin response despite there being no carbohydrates present, and some foods cause a disproportionate insulin response relative to their carbohydrate load. Holt et al.[1] have noted that the glucose and insulin scores of most foods are highly correlated,[2] but high-protein foods and bakery products that are rich in fat and refined carbohydrates "elicit insulin responses that were disproportionately higher than their glycemic responses." They also conclude that insulin indices may be useful for dietary management and avoidance of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia. Explanation of Index[edit] The Insulin Index is not the same as a glycemic index (GI), which is based exclusively on the digestible carbohydrate content of a food, and represents a comparison of foods in amounts with equal digestible carbohydrate content (typically 50 g). The insulin index compares foods in amounts with equal overall caloric content (250 kcal or 1000 kJ). Insulin indexes are scaled relative to white b Continue reading >>

7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar

7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar

1 / 8 7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar If you have type 2 diabetes, you know about the importance of making healthy mealtime choices. But just as important is staying away from the wrong foods — those that can spike your blood sugar. That's because simple carbohydrates, like white bread and sugary soda, are broken down by the body into sugar, which then enters the bloodstream. Even if you don't have diabetes, these foods can lead to insulin resistance, which means your body's cells don't respond normally to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Here are seven foods you should avoid for better blood sugar control. Continue reading >>

Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Almost everyone has heard of Insulin. You probably know that people with type 1 diabetes need to inject themselves with insulin to survive, and must constantly monitor the amount of sugar they eat. But what do you really know about insulin? What is its purpose in the body, and why do we need it? How does it relate to our diets? What happens when things go wrong with it? And why should anyone who doesn’t have diabetes give a hoot? Insulin is one of the most important hormones in the human body, and yet most people don’t really understand why our bodies make it or how what we eat affects the levels of insulin we produce. More so than any other hormone, our diet is key in regulating insulin levels, and thus a number of biological processes. As you’ll soon see, everyone should think about how what they eat impacts their body’s insulin release to be at their happiest and healthiest. Why We Need Insulin Every living thing requires energy to survive. In cells, energy is stored and shuttled around using a molecule called Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, or ATP. Whenever the cell then has an energy-requiring reaction, enzymes can use the energy stored in ATP’s phosphate bonds to fuel it. Cells rely on ATP to survive, and to create ATP, they rely on glucose. All cells, from bacteria and fungi to us, take glucose and use it to generate ATP by a process called Oxidative Phosphorylation. First, glucose is converted to an intermediate molecule called pyruvate via a process called glycolosis. As long as there is oxygen around, this pyruvate is further converted to Acetyl CoA, which enters a cycle of reactions called the Citric Acid Cycle. This takes the carbon to carbon bonds and uses them to create high energy electrons, which are then passed down a chain of enzymes which use the e Continue reading >>

List Of Foods That Do Not Cause Insulin Release

List Of Foods That Do Not Cause Insulin Release

Contrary to what many believe, carbohydrates -- that is, sugar and starch -- are not the only macronutrient that stimulates the release of insulin, the hormone responsible for clearing excess glucose from the bloodstream and packing it, in the form of fatty triglycerides, into fat cells. Protein also stimulates insulin release. Dietary fat is the only one of the three macronutrients that does not cause insulin release. Therefore, food that is made up entirely of, or predominantly of, fat is the only type that does not cause insulin release. Note that this categorization does not apply to type I diabetics, who are not able to produce insulin at all. Video of the Day Olive Oil and Other Plant-Derived Oils Oil is pure plant-source fat, whether it is olive, canola, sunflower, sesame, peanut, coconut, soy or corn. One ounce of oil is about 28 grams of fat because 1 ounce converts to about 28 grams in the metric system. It makes no difference to this equation whether the fat is saturated or unsaturated. It is probably more helpful, and certainly more accurate, to think of oil as being fat, rather than containing fat. Dietary fat by itself, including these foods, does not cause insulin release. Two tbsp. butter, about 1 ounce, contain 22 grams of fat and no carbohydrates or protein. The other 6 grams in the 28 grams ounces of butter is made up mostly of water, along with a small amount of milk solids. Butter eaten by itself does not stimulate the release of insulin. Nearly all of cream cheese's macronutrient value is in fat, as 1 ounce of cream cheese contains 9 grams of fat, but only 1 gram of carbs and 2 grams protein. That would mean that it stimulates little insulin release. One ounce of macadamia nuts contains 21grams fat, with only 4 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams protei Continue reading >>

Six Insulin-sensitizing Foods For Weight Loss

Six Insulin-sensitizing Foods For Weight Loss

Insulin is the primary hormone that tells your body to store energy as fat or use it as fuel — so you want to ensure that your diet is designed to keep insulin levels (and in turn, your weight) in check. Food can be as powerful as a drug — it can make you weak and sick or it can make strong and healthy. I picked some of my favourite superfoods, spices and seeds that will not only protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes, but also help your waistline by boosting your insulin-sensitivity. 1. Stay healthy with horseradish It may clear your sinuses and more. Horseradish contains a high percentage of glucosinolates (significantly more than broccoli), which act as a natural antibiotic and can also improve your resistance to cancer and environmental toxins. Horseradish is also said to aid digestion, reduce urinary tract infections and fight against certain pathogens in food, such as listeria, E. coli and staphylococcus aureus. Bottom line: If you prefer prepared horseradish to a homemade recipe, than look for one with no added sugars. 2. Ample dose of avocado Fats, when eaten in the proper balance with protein and carbohydrates, can help to slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, which leads to less insulin release. The end result? You stay fuller longer, and your waist gets slimmer, faster. In one study 347 adults (half were females) who consumed an average of half an avocado a day had higher intakes of important nutrients — including dietary fibre, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium — than people who didn’t eat avocados. They also reaped the benefits of being lighter (7.5 pounds on average) with a smaller waist circumference (4cm on average). Bottom line: Keep in mind that fat does have twice the amount of calories as carbs or protein, so limit y Continue reading >>

How To Reverse Diabetes: 41 Foods That Improve Insulin Resistance

How To Reverse Diabetes: 41 Foods That Improve Insulin Resistance

This article was republished with permission from doctorshealthpress.com. A healthy diet is extremely important for anyone, but it’s especially important for diabetics. Many foods we consume are turned into glucose (sugar), which the body uses for energy during the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. When the pancreas fails to produce the hormone insulin, blood sugar cannot get into the body’s cells. (Fortunately, you can help to prevent and even reverse this condition with the diabetes-fighting foods listed below! Plus, you’ll find a helpful summary you can keep referring back to at the end of the article.) According to the annual National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.3% of Americans suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes—that’s more than 29 million people! In fact, it is the seventh most common cause of death in the U.S. The disease can also snowball, and lead to many other serious health conditions, including blindness, nerve disorders, stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease. Natural Foods That Reverse Diabetes Luckily, diabetics can help reverse the condition with simple dietary changes. Food is definitely an important medicine for people with diabetes. What you eat can make all the difference between reversing the disease or making the condition even worse. What foods should diabetics avoid? They are likely some former favorites, such as bacon, French fries, and dairy products. A person with diabetes should stay away from processed foods, especially refined carbohydrates. For instance, pizza night should likely be cancelled. Other high-glycemic-index foods diabetics should avoid include many wheat flour products, white potatoes, white rice, candy, sodas, many cereal products, and especial Continue reading >>

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