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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Atypically High Insulin Responses to Some Foods Related to Sugars and Satiety.

Authors
item Behall, Kay
item Trout, David - RETIRED, BHNRC, ARS
item Hallfrisch, Judith - RETIRED, BHNRC, ARS

Submitted to: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 23, 2004
Publication Date: November 1, 2004
Citation: Behall, K.M., Trout, D.L., Hallfrisch, J.G. 2004. Atypically high insulin responses to some foods related to sugars and satiety. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 55:577-588.

Interpretive Summary: Much research has focused on how different foods containing carbohydrate result in different levels of blood glucose after the food is consumed and how these differences relate to long-term coronary heart disease, stroke, and non-insulin dependent diabetes. Foods with carbohydrates that are quickly digested resulting in blood glucose levels similar to those after consumption of glucose alone are considered high glycemic index foods (ratio of blood glucose response after the food divided by the glucose response). Foods with slowly digested carbohydrate result in a low glycemic index. The lower blood glucose response has generally been accepted as beneficial for non-insulin dependent diabetic individuals. Beneficial effects of relatively low-glycemic diets appear to depend heavily on reduction of the response of the hormone insulin when glucose response is reduced. For the mathematical model for insulin response to various foods, glucose and insulin response after multiple glucose tolerance tests by the same group of individuals was used to determine the statistical population variance that could be expected. By comparing data on a wide variety of common foods, we have found differences between observed insulin response and estimates of insulin response based on the glycemic index of a food. These differences were found to correlate negatively with satiety index ratings and positively with contents of total sugars. It appears that one can better predict the insulin response of foods if one also takes into account the satiety or total sugar content of the food. This information is important to health care workers planning diets for individuals with coronary heart disease or non-insulin dependent diabetes since blood insulin concentrations affect chronic blood lipid levels.

Technical Abstract: Much research has focused on how the glycemic index (GI) of the diets of healthy people relates to long-term risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and non-insulin dependent diabetes. Beneficial effects of relatively low-GI diets appear to depend heavily on the usually reduced induction of insulinemic response. Wolever and Bolognesi (1996b) have derived a formula for predicting insulinemic index (II) from GI for starchy foods. Using data from Holt et al. (1995 & 1997) on a wide variety of common foods, we have examined differences between observed II and GI-based estimates of II. These differences were found to correlate negatively with satiety index ratings and positively with contents of total sugars. It appears that one can better predict the II of foods from GI if one also takes into account satiety or total sugars.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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