7

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Postprandial vs. Fasting Insulin: comparing carbohydrate sources

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 07, 2011 at 8:59 AM

As a follow-up to the recent question about Guyenet's views, I am curious about Namby Pamby's insight into the difference in the BG spiking duration of safe starches as opposed to gluten grains and sugar.

Does anyone have a chart from their own records or from a scientific study comparing the length of time BG is raised for different sources of carbohydrate? For example, is rice a safe starch by this definition? Does pairing the carbohydrate with fat or protein effect them all in the same way? It would be interesting to have another quantitative measure besides toxin load for what constitutes a safe starch.

Further, it sounded from Namby Pamby's comments that in his/her experience the BG levels that the safe starches induce are more rapidly and profoundly reduced. Does this imply their ingestion is more likely to be followed by hypoglycemic periods? This would seem to be a disadvantage.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 08, 2011
at 11:29 AM

I think most of us on this site do. Where is there cven evidence that says people can;t eat carbs once they become healthy or even to help them in there journey to become healthier? Many people use carbohydrate rich diets to cure all sorts of ailements so I don;t really get the problem?? What is the mechanism that suddenly causes tubers and fruit to become problematic? You have seen people who follow a high starch paleo diet become metabolically damaged?? You do realize its entirley possible to cure diabetes on extremly high carb diets ala ornish?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Thank you PaleoGran. Melissa, I'd be interested in your results.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:35 AM

I agree on all those counts. I'm just curious about the difference between spikes/bursts and prolonged high BG based on food types.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:32 AM

Yeah, good point, Quilt. We don't always take an interest in the healthy.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Wow. That's really interesting. I like the saliva sucker analogy.

Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on July 08, 2011
at 01:27 AM

What I mean about forcing my blood sugar down is that, with wheat, my sugar may hit, say, 280. NORMALLY I could take 10 units of insulin and bring it down to normal. With wheat, I may need 25-35 units and it may or may not work -- it may take hours, and I may have to wait until the next day for my sugar to be normal again. Rice may need 15-25 units and it'll take awhile, but it will happen. Starches and sugar will only need that 10 and a few hours. And maybe a jog around the block.

Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on July 08, 2011
at 01:25 AM

Pairing it with fat (FOR ME, remember that my body is dysfunctional!) just makes the spike happen slower and later. What that means is that my sugar will still rise, say, 120 points. BUT, if I use insulin correctly, I can time it to "match" the spike so that my sugar will only rise, say, 55 points. So the insulin is working at the same time the blood sugar rise is -- kind of like the dentist's thing sucking out your saliva :) Saliva is being produced, but it's also being sucked away just as fast.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on July 07, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Dr. Bernstein said that coffee did not raise his blood sugar, but that it did in some of his patients. Here is the page for what he says to avoid and to eat, for the purposes of maintaining normal blood sugars. Perhaps it will be of some use: http://www.diabetes911.net/readit/chapter10-2.shtml

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on July 07, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Ambimorph, in a couple of Dr. Richard Bernstein's internet broadcasts, he has said that how quickly the blood glucose level rises, and how high, how long it takes to go down, and how low, depends on the person, as well as the type of carb. There isn't a chart of exact amounts on his websites or in his books, but he might have one he would send you. Name: Richard K. Bernstein, M.D., F.A.C.E., F.A.C.N, F.A.C.C.W.S Phone: 914 - 698 - 7525 Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM, Eastern USA Time Fax: 914 - 698 - 7523 Address: 1160 Graecon Point Road Mamaroneck, NY 10543

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 07, 2011
at 04:42 PM

i think it would be determining the glycemic index vs the glycemic load... one will have prolonged elevation one wont, i think

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 07, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Chris and I are going to do an experiment when we have time.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 07, 2011
at 03:11 PM

Healthy people can tolerate this for sure...but the real issue is that our country and doctors offices are stuffed with people who can't do these things. That is why we need to know the context of the issue. Moreover, is there a time when someone who is normal keeps doing the same things and then something radically changes as they age or exercise too aggressively? The answer is yes. I have seen too many people who think they are fit only to find out they are metabolically problematic. The only hard data I know of ambi is all on diabetics. You clearly want it on normal folks. Tough call

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 07, 2011
at 03:08 PM

Great answer plus one

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:31 PM

So are you saying that pairing with fat merely delays the spike? I had thought it would also flatten it somewhat.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:31 PM

I understand there is individual variation, of course. Thanks for making that explicit.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:29 PM

That's good anecdote -- exactly what I was looking for. What do you mean when you say you can force it down after rice?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:28 PM

I know there is individual variation, and I know what the theoretical answer among paleos is. I want hard data.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Good point esque. There are many ways in which carbs are not a unified animal.

Ee7c5b7b9d4cd48d61dc259e6966a725

(90)

on July 07, 2011
at 12:39 PM

I think the answer also needs to take into account impact on the liver - a lower GI carb may have more fructose, and may be having negative impacts on health even though its effects on blood glucose seem benign.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 07, 2011
at 12:34 PM

very well summarized answer. I wish I had something to add but you've nailed it, Cliff. Default healthy humans can eat starch with no ill-effects. Metabolically damaged people are the exception to the rule, and may have issues with starch-consumption. The issue lies not with the carbohydrate but with the sick individual. Analyzing the starch and the insulin over analyzing the derangement of the individual is mistaking cause and effect.

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3 Answers

8
Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on July 07, 2011
at 11:44 AM

I can give you what I know as a type 1 diabetic because I'm constantly testing my sugar. And you're going to hate the answer.

"It depends."

Seriously -- 50g of wheat will send my sugar soaring and leave it there for HOURS, unable to come down no matter how much insulin I give myself. 50g of rice will send me up there, but I can force it down. Surprisingly, 50g of flat-out candy will cause a blip on the blood sugar radar.

And those numbers are contingent on whether or not I've exercised that day. And how much. And whether or not I slept well, or got a full night's sleep. (For the record -- bad quality sleep makes my sugars go up easier and be harder to control -- quality sleep, but less of it (less than 6 hours) makes them a little difficult, and only on good quality sleep, 7+ hours, are my sugars reasonable. And if I sleep more than 10 hours withotu being sick, I'm in trouble!)

Your body is unique. The only way to know how you handle particular carbs, and for how long, is to invest in a blood testing meter and test yourself right before you eat, and at the 1 and 2 hour marks. And maybe add in 3 hours just to make sure you don't dip low afterwards for some reason.

Oh, and if you pair starch with fat, test at 5 and 6 hours as well, because fat slows the absorption rate of the carbs and you have to adjust for it. (Seen when I used to eat pizza --1 and 2 hours were fine.... 6 hours later.....)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Wow. That's really interesting. I like the saliva sucker analogy.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:31 PM

So are you saying that pairing with fat merely delays the spike? I had thought it would also flatten it somewhat.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:31 PM

I understand there is individual variation, of course. Thanks for making that explicit.

Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on July 08, 2011
at 01:27 AM

What I mean about forcing my blood sugar down is that, with wheat, my sugar may hit, say, 280. NORMALLY I could take 10 units of insulin and bring it down to normal. With wheat, I may need 25-35 units and it may or may not work -- it may take hours, and I may have to wait until the next day for my sugar to be normal again. Rice may need 15-25 units and it'll take awhile, but it will happen. Starches and sugar will only need that 10 and a few hours. And maybe a jog around the block.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:29 PM

That's good anecdote -- exactly what I was looking for. What do you mean when you say you can force it down after rice?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 07, 2011
at 03:08 PM

Great answer plus one

Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on July 08, 2011
at 01:25 AM

Pairing it with fat (FOR ME, remember that my body is dysfunctional!) just makes the spike happen slower and later. What that means is that my sugar will still rise, say, 120 points. BUT, if I use insulin correctly, I can time it to "match" the spike so that my sugar will only rise, say, 55 points. So the insulin is working at the same time the blood sugar rise is -- kind of like the dentist's thing sucking out your saliva :) Saliva is being produced, but it's also being sucked away just as fast.

2
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on July 07, 2011
at 03:23 PM

i think if we back up and look at it from "there's no such thing as a macronutrient" view of kurt harris, then things get a little clearer. once i started looking at carbs as glucose and fructose instead of just "carbs" and looked at glucose as being more benign and being a bit more suspicious of frutose, my choices became inherently better and my health improved.

having said that, if you're already type 2 diabetic then glucose is possibly no longer benign- however, it was the fructose that got you there. if you are obese, then you quite possibly need to do some metabolic rehab and reteaching yourself how to handle glucose better- probably by instituting a bit of strenght training and strategic starch refeeds.

from the studies i've seen, the relationship between leptin and insulin is one where leptin trumps all. however, for the layperson who is just trying to lose weight, that doesn't even matter being that the process for reestablishing the sensitivity in both hormones are damn near identical. i didn't know anything about leptin when i lost my weight but the process i went through to regain insulin sensitivity is the same i would tell someone to combat leptin sensitivity issues.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:35 AM

I agree on all those counts. I'm just curious about the difference between spikes/bursts and prolonged high BG based on food types.

1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 07, 2011
at 12:29 PM

Like the person above said you're unique. No one knows how your insulin will react to different stimulus.

A healthy person should be able to eat all the above carbs and spike insulin without going hypoglycemic.

Insulin spikes make healthy people satiated, insulin spikes in glucose deranged people can lead to hypoglycemia since the insulin won't work than more will pump out than it will work too good making blood glucose drop too low which leads to hunger, weight gain, even more metabolic disturbances.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 07, 2011
at 01:28 PM

I know there is individual variation, and I know what the theoretical answer among paleos is. I want hard data.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 08, 2011
at 11:29 AM

I think most of us on this site do. Where is there cven evidence that says people can;t eat carbs once they become healthy or even to help them in there journey to become healthier? Many people use carbohydrate rich diets to cure all sorts of ailements so I don;t really get the problem?? What is the mechanism that suddenly causes tubers and fruit to become problematic? You have seen people who follow a high starch paleo diet become metabolically damaged?? You do realize its entirley possible to cure diabetes on extremly high carb diets ala ornish?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 07, 2011
at 03:11 PM

Healthy people can tolerate this for sure...but the real issue is that our country and doctors offices are stuffed with people who can't do these things. That is why we need to know the context of the issue. Moreover, is there a time when someone who is normal keeps doing the same things and then something radically changes as they age or exercise too aggressively? The answer is yes. I have seen too many people who think they are fit only to find out they are metabolically problematic. The only hard data I know of ambi is all on diabetics. You clearly want it on normal folks. Tough call

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 07, 2011
at 12:34 PM

very well summarized answer. I wish I had something to add but you've nailed it, Cliff. Default healthy humans can eat starch with no ill-effects. Metabolically damaged people are the exception to the rule, and may have issues with starch-consumption. The issue lies not with the carbohydrate but with the sick individual. Analyzing the starch and the insulin over analyzing the derangement of the individual is mistaking cause and effect.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:32 AM

Yeah, good point, Quilt. We don't always take an interest in the healthy.

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