Insulin index

Insulin index

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Encyclopedia
The Insulin Index is a measure used to quantify the typical insulin
Insulin
Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle....

 response to various foods. The index is similar to the Glycemic Index
Glycemic index
The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more...

 and Glycemic Load
Glycemic load
The glycemic load is a ranking system for carbohydrate content in food portions based on their glycemic index and a standardized portion size of 100g. Glycemic load or GL combines both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in one number. It is the best way to predict blood glucose values of...

, 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 carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s 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, 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


The insulin index shows how much insulin is present in people's blood as a result of a particular food, the glucose index shows how much glucose is present in the blood as a result of a particular food, and the satiety index shows how much a particular food decreases one's propensity to eat more.

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.
Mean average glucose, insulin and satiety scores
FoodFood TypeGlucose scoreInsulin scoreSatiety score
All-Bran Breakfast Cereal 40 ± 7 32 ± 4 151
Porridge Breakfast Cereal 60 ± 12 40 ± 4 209
Muesli Breakfast Cereal 43 ± 7 46 ± 5 100
Special K
Special K
Special K is a lightly toasted breakfast cereal manufactured by the Kellogg Company. The cereal was introduced to the United States in 1956. It is made primarily from rice and wheat....

Breakfast Cereal 70 ± 9 66 ± 5 116
Honeysmacks
Honey Smacks
Honey Smacks is a sweetened puffed wheat breakfast cereal made by Kellogg's.-Naming:Introduced in 1953, the cereal has undergone several name changes. It started out as Sugar Smacks. In the 1980s, it was renamed Honey Smacks...

Breakfast Cereal 60 ± 7 67 ± 6 132
Sustain Breakfast Cereal 66 ± 6 71 ± 6 112
Cornflakes Breakfast Cereal 76 ± 11 75 ± 8 118
Average: Breakfast Cereal 59 ± 3 57 ± 3
White bread(baseline) Carbohydrate-rich 100 ± 0 100 ± 0 100
White Pasta Carbohydrate-rich 46 ± 10 40 ± 5 119
Brown pasta Carbohydrate-rich 68 ± 10 40 ± 5 188
Grain breadRye bread containing 47% kibbled rye, Holt et al. Carbohydrate-rich 60 ± 12 56 ± 6 154
Brown rice Carbohydrate-rich 104 ± 18 62 ± 11 132
French fries Carbohydrate-rich 71 ± 16 74 ± 12 116
White rice Carbohydrate-rich 110 ± 15 79 ± 12 138
Whole-meal breadBread made from whole-meal wheat flour, Holt et al. Carbohydrate-rich 97 ± 17 96 ± 12 157
Potatoes Carbohydrate-rich 141 ± 35 121 ± 11 323
Average: Carbohydrate-rich 88 ± 6 74 ± 8
Eggs Protein-rich 42 ± 16 31 ± 6 150
Cheese Protein-rich 55 ± 18 45 ± 13 146
Beef Protein-rich 21 ± 8 51 ± 16 176
Lentils Protein-rich 62 ± 22 58 ± 12 133
Fish Protein-rich 28 ± 13 59 ± 18 225
Baked beans Protein-rich 114 ± 18 120 ± 19 168
Average: Protein-rich 54 ± 7 61 ± 7
Apples Fruit 50 ± 6 59 ± 4 197
Oranges Fruit 39 ± 7 60 ± 3 202
Bananas Fruit 79 ± 10 81 ± 5 118
Grapes Fruit 74 ± 9 82 ± 6 162
Average: Fruit 61 ± 5 71 ± 3
Peanuts Snack/confectionery 12 ± 4 20 ± 5 84
Popcorn Snack/confectionery 62 ± 16 54 ± 9 154
Potato chips Snack/confectionery 52 ± 9 61 ± 14 91
Ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

Snack/confectionery 70 ± 19 89 ± 13 96
Yoghurt
Yoghurt
Yoghurt, yogurt or yogourt is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yoghurt are known as "yoghurt cultures"...

Snack/confectionery 62 ± 15 115 ± 13 88
Mars Bars
Mars Bar
Mars is a chocolate bar manufactured by Mars, Incorporated. It was first manufactured in Slough, Berkshire in the United Kingdom in 1932 as a sweeter version of the US Milky Way bar which Mars, Inc. produced...

Snack/confectionery 79 ± 13 122 ± 15 70
Jellybeans
Jelly bean
Jelly beans are a small bean-shaped type of confectionery with a hard candy shell and a gummy interior which come in a wide variety of flavors. The confection is primarily made of sugar.-History:...

Snack/confectionery 118 ± 18 160 ± 16 118the authors of the satiety study [Holt et al.,1995] stated that the amount of jellybeans consumed tended to make participants nauseated which may have produced an erroneous satiety score.
Average: Snack/confectionery 65 ± 6 89 ± 7
Doughnuts Bakery product 63 ± 12 74 ± 9 68
Croissants Bakery product 74 ± 9 79 ± 14 47
Cake Bakery product 56 ± 14 82 ± 12 65
Crackers Bakery product 118 ± 24 87 ± 12 127
Cookies Bakery product 74 ± 11 92 ± 15 120
Average: Bakery product 77 ± 7 83 ± 5
Average: Average ± ±
Average: ALL ± ±
FoodFood TypeGlucose scoreInsulin scoreSatiety score