T Nation

Food, Protein & Insulin

I read recently that there are certain foods that, although having negligible carbs still cause significant insulin release. Does anyone know anything about this? Does anyone know what foods these might be?

What you are looking for is the glycemic index. The index is based on glucose which has the highest value(100) and of course causes the biggest spike. Here is a webaddress that I found which should be of assistance http://www.diabetesnet.com/gi.html

Actually, what I was reading stated that foods without carbs can stimulate insulin release… sort of like Dan Duchaine’s suggestion to put peanut butter in your mouth and spit it out when looking to spike insulin on a lowcarb diet.

Most foods illicit an insulin response to some degree, even fats. Proteins do release insulin, primarily due to the Branch Chain Aminos, most notably, Leucine. Whey protein, since it is high in BCAA’s, illicits a decent insulin release…nothing like a Coke, but enough to cause some to get tired after drinking a protein shake.

Almost any nutrient will induce a release of insulin. Carbs obviously do it the best, but protein and fats can too (albeit not that much of a release). In addition some artificial sweeteners can increase or promote insulin release. Also several metabolites of carbs or proteins also have an effect on insulin release despite a relatively nonsignificant nutriative value…All in all though, the agents I mentioned that promote insulin release promote such a small amount in the absense of carbs that they are insignificant…Notice I said the absence of carbs. In the presence of carbs many of these can really potentiate insulin release in a synergistic fashion. Whether thats good or bad is up to you. I like getting the insulin release at certain times while minimizing it at others.