Insulin index

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The Insulin Index is a measure used to quantify the typical insulin response to various foods. The index is similar to the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load, but rather than relying on blood glucose levels, the Insulin Index is based upon blood insulin levels. This measure 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. have noted that the glucose and insulin scores of most foods are highly correlated,[1] 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, which is all relative to eating 100% glucose, as this index is relative to eating white bread (glycemic index of ~70 to 75). In the chart below, Glycemic Index and Insulin Index scores show the increase in the blood concentration of each. While a higher satiety score indicates how much less was eaten from a buffet after participants ate the listed food.

The Insulin Index is based on the consumption of 1,000kJ of the given food.

Mean average glucose,[2] insulin[2] and satiety scores[3]
FoodFood TypeGlycemic Index scoreInsulin scoreSatiety score
All-BranBreakfast Cereal40 ± 732 ± 4151
PorridgeBreakfast Cereal60 ± 1240 ± 4209
MuesliBreakfast Cereal43 ± 746 ± 5100
Special KBreakfast Cereal70 ± 966 ± 5116
HoneysmacksBreakfast Cereal60 ± 767 ± 6132
SustainBreakfast Cereal66 ± 671 ± 6112
CornflakesBreakfast Cereal76 ± 1175 ± 8118
Average:Breakfast Cereal59 ± 357 ± 3134
White bread(baseline)Carbohydrate-rich71 ± 0100 ± 0100
White PastaCarbohydrate-rich46 ± 1040 ± 5119
Brown pastaCarbohydrate-rich68 ± 1040 ± 5188
Grain bread[n 1]Carbohydrate-rich60 ± 1256 ± 6154
Brown riceCarbohydrate-rich104 ± 1862 ± 11132
French friesCarbohydrate-rich71 ± 1674 ± 12116
White riceCarbohydrate-rich110 ± 1579 ± 12138
Whole-meal bread[n 2]Carbohydrate-rich97 ± 1796 ± 12157
PotatoesCarbohydrate-rich141 ± 35121 ± 11323
Average:Carbohydrate-rich88 ± 674 ± 8158.556
EggsProtein-rich42 ± 1631 ± 6150
CheeseProtein-rich55 ± 1845 ± 13146
BeefProtein-rich21 ± 851 ± 16176
LentilsProtein-rich62 ± 2258 ± 12133
FishProtein-rich28 ± 1359 ± 18225
Baked beansProtein-rich114 ± 18120 ± 19168
Average:Protein-rich54 ± 761 ± 7166.333
ApplesFruit50 ± 659 ± 4197
OrangesFruit39 ± 760 ± 3202
BananasFruit79 ± 1081 ± 5118
GrapesFruit74 ± 982 ± 6162
Average:Fruit61 ± 571 ± 3169.75
PeanutsSnack/confectionery12 ± 420 ± 584
PopcornSnack/confectionery62 ± 1654 ± 9154
Potato chipsSnack/confectionery52 ± 961 ± 1491
Ice creamSnack/confectionery70 ± 1989 ± 1396
YogurtSnack/confectionery62 ± 15115 ± 1388
Mars BarsSnack/confectionery79 ± 13122 ± 1570
JellybeansSnack/confectionery118 ± 18160 ± 16118[n 3]
Average:Snack/confectionery65 ± 689 ± 7100.142857
DoughnutsBakery product63 ± 1274 ± 968
CroissantsBakery product74 ± 979 ± 1447
CakeBakery product56 ± 1482 ± 1265
CrackersBakery product118 ± 2487 ± 12127
CookiesBakery product74 ± 1192 ± 15120
Average:Bakery product77 ± 783 ± 585.4
Average:Average67.333 ± 5.66772.5 ± 5.5135.696958
Average:ALL68.8421 ± 12.710572.263158 ± 9.5136.052632
FoodFood TypeGlycemic Index scoreInsulin Index scoreSatiety score
  1. ^ Rye bread containing 47% kibbled rye, Holt et al.
  2. ^ Bread made from whole-meal wheat flour, Holt et al.
  3. ^ the authors of the satiety study[3] stated that the amount of jellybeans consumed tended to make participants nauseated which may have produced an erroneous satiety score.

Glucose (glycemic) and insulin scores were determined by feeding 1000 kilojoules (239 kilocalories) of the food to the participants and recording the area under the glucose/insulin curve for 120 minutes then dividing by the area under the glucose/insulin curve for white bread. The result being that all scores are relative to white bread. The satiety score was determined by comparing how much food was eaten by participants at a buffet after being fed a fixed number of calories of a particular food while blindfolded (to ensure food appearance was not a factor), then dividing that number by the amount eaten by participants after eating white bread. White bread serves as the baseline of 100. In other words, foods scoring higher than 100 are more satisfying than white bread and those under 100 are less satisfying.

± indicate uncertainty in the data. For example 60 ± 12 means that there's a 95% chance the score is between 60-12 (48) and 60+12 (72), 60 being the highest probability assuming a bell curve. In practice this means that if two foods have large uncertainty and have values close together then you don't really know which score is the higher.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cousens, Gabriel (2008). There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+ Program. North Atlantic Books. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-55643-691-8. 
  2. ^ a b Holt, Susanne H.A.; Brand-Miller, Janette Cecile; Petocz, Peter (November 1997). "An insulin index of foods: the insulin demand generated by 1000-kJ portions of common foods" (PDF). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 66 (5): 1264–76. PMID 9356547. Lay summaryInsulin Index (2009-10-14). 
  3. ^ a b Holt, Susanne H.A.; Brand-Miller, Janette Cecile; Petocz, Peter; Farmakalidis, E. (September 1995). "A satiety index of common foods". European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 49 (9): 675–690. PMID 7498104. Lay summaryThe Satiety Index — What Really Satisfies (2005-01-10). 
  • Mäkeläinen H, Anttila H, Sihvonen J, et al. (June 2007). "The effect of β-glucan on the glycemic and insulin index". Eur J Clin Nutr 61 (6): 779–85. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602561. PMID 17151593.