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superfoods for diabetes & nutritional ketosis

More than carbohydrate counting or the glycemic index, the food insulin index data suggests that our blood glucose and insulin response to food is better predicted by net carbohydrates plus about half the protein we eat.

The chart below show the relationship between carbohydrates  and our insulin response. There is some relationship between carbohydrate and insulin, but it is not that strong, particularly when it comes to high protein foods (e.g. white fish, steak or cheese) or high fibre foods (e.g. All Bran).

food insulin index table - fructose analysis v2 21122015 44912 PM.bmp

Accounting for fibre and protein enables us to more accurately predict the amount of insulin that will be required for a particular food.  This knowledge can be  useful for someone with diabetes and / or a person who is insulin resistant to help them calculate their insulin dosage or to chose foods that will require less insulin.

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If your blood glucose levels are typically high you are likely insulin resistant (e.g.  type 2 diabetes) or not able to produce enough insulin (e.g. type 1 diabetes) it makes sense to reduce the insulin load of your food so your pancreas can keep up.

This list of foods has been optimised to reduce the insulin load while also maximising nutrient density.  These low insulin load, high nutrient density foods will lead to improved blood sugar control and normalised insulin levels.  Reduced insulin levels will allow body fat to be released and be used for energy to improve body composition and insulin resistance.

Also included in the table are the nutrient density score, percentage of insulinogenic calories, insulin load, energy density and the multicriteria analysis score score (MCA) that combines all these factors.

vegetables and fruit

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food ND % insulinogenic insulin load (g/100g) calories/100g MCA
broccoli 25 36% 3 22 1.66
endive 16 23% 1 17 1.65
chicory greens 15 23% 2 23 1.60
alfalfa 10 19% 1 23 1.52
coriander 16 30% 2 23 1.50
escarole 12 24% 1 19 1.45
zucchini 19 40% 2 17 1.33
avocado -2 8% 3 160 1.30
beet greens 14 35% 2 22 1.28
curry powder 4 13% 14 325 1.28
olives -7 3% 1 145 1.24
spinach 22 49% 4 23 1.23
basil 20 47% 3 23 1.16
paprika 9 27% 26 282 1.14
asparagus 19 50% 3 22 1.08
mustard greens 9 36% 3 27 1.05
banana pepper 8 36% 3 27 1.01
sage 6 26% 26 315 1.00
turnip greens 13 44% 4 29 0.97
cloves 10 35% 35 274 0.96
parsley 15 48% 5 36 0.96
collards 7 37% 4 33 0.95
lettuce 16 50% 2 15 0.95
watercress 26 65% 2 11 0.94
summer squash 12 45% 2 19 0.93
Chinese cabbage 18 54% 2 12 0.91
chard 16 51% 3 19 0.91
cauliflower 15 50% 4 25 0.91
portabella mushrooms 18 55% 5 29 0.89
chives 13 48% 4 30 0.88
okra 14 50% 3 22 0.88
eggplant 4 35% 3 25 0.87
cucumber 7 39% 1 12 0.86
pickles 7 39% 1 12 0.86
red peppers 7 40% 3 31 0.86
arugula 10 45% 3 25 0.84
sauerkraut 5 39% 2 19 0.83
blackberries -2 27% 3 43 0.83
poppy seeds -2 17% 23 525 0.82
jalapeno peppers 4 37% 3 27 0.81

eggs and dairy

dairy20and20eggs

food ND % insulinogenic insulin load (g/100g) calories/100g MCA
egg yolk 9 18% 12 275 1.34
cream 0 6% 5 340 1.32
sour cream 1 13% 6 198 1.25
whole egg 11 30% 10 143 1.22
cream cheese 1 11% 10 350 1.19
butter -1 2% 3 718 1.14
Swiss cheese 6 22% 22 393 1.08
cheddar cheese 5 20% 20 410 1.08
limburger cheese 1 19% 15 327 1.00
feta cheese 2 22% 15 264 0.99
camembert 1 21% 16 300 0.97
brie -0 19% 16 334 0.93
goat cheese -1 21% 14 264 0.90
blue cheese 0 21% 19 353 0.90
gruyere cheese 1 22% 23 413 0.87
Monterey cheese -1 20% 19 373 0.86
edam cheese 1 23% 21 357 0.85
gouda cheese 1 24% 21 356 0.85
muenster cheese -1 21% 19 368 0.85
mozzarella 7 34% 26 304 0.84
Colby -1 21% 20 394 0.82
ricotta -1 27% 12 174 0.81

nuts, seeds and legumes

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food ND % insulinogenic insulin load (g/100g) calories/100g MCA
coconut milk -5 8% 5 230 1.09
coconut cream -6 8% 7 330 1.01
sunflower seeds 1 15% 22 546 0.99
brazil nuts -1 9% 16 659 0.98
coconut meat -5 10% 9 354 0.98
flax seed -2 11% 16 534 0.97
macadamia nuts -2 6% 12 718 0.97
tofu 7 34% 8 83 0.95
sesame seeds -3 10% 17 631 0.92
hazelnuts -3 10% 17 629 0.88
peanut butter 0 17% 27 593 0.88
pumpkin seeds 1 19% 29 559 0.86
walnuts -3 13% 22 619 0.83
pecans -6 6% 12 691 0.83

seafood

seafood-salad-5616x3744-shrimp-scallop-greens-738

food ND % insulinogenic insulin load (g/100g) calories/100g MCA
mackerel 6 14% 10 305 1.35
caviar 15 33% 23 264 1.21
fish roe 22 47% 18 143 1.17
cisco 10 29% 13 177 1.17
trout 19 45% 18 168 1.09
salmon 23 52% 20 156 1.07
sardines 11 36% 16 185 1.00
herring 11 36% 19 217 1.00
anchovy 16 44% 22 210 0.98
sardine 11 37% 19 208 1.0
sturgeon 15 49% 16 135 0.87

animal products

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food ND % insulinogenic insulin load (g/100g) calories/100g MCA
beef brains 7 22% 8 151 1.27
lamb brains 7 27% 10 154 1.12
lamb liver 21 48% 20 168 1.10
lamb kidney 23 52% 15 112 1.09
beef tongue 0 16% 11 284 1.09
sweetbread -2 12% 9 318 1.07
bacon -2 11% 11 417 1.05
salami 2 18% 17 378 1.05
kielbasa -1 15% 12 325 1.03
bratwurst 0 16% 13 333 1.03
liver sausage -3 13% 10 331 1.02
turkey liver 18 47% 21 189 1.02
pepperoni 0 13% 16 504 1.02
pork ribs 1 18% 16 361 1.01
ground turkey 7 30% 19 258 0.98
park sausage 3 25% 13 217 0.98
chicken liver pate 8 34% 17 201 0.97
turkey bacon -1 19% 11 226 0.97
pork sausage 1 20% 16 325 0.97
meatballs -1 19% 14 286 0.95
T-bone steak 4 26% 19 294 0.94
chicken liver 18 50% 20 172 0.94
knackwurst -4 16% 12 307 0.92
beef sausage -2 18% 15 332 0.92
bologna -7 11% 9 310 0.91
liver pate -3 16% 13 319 0.91
turkey 1 20% 21 414 0.89
beef kidney 18 52% 20 157 0.88
roast beef 9 38% 21 219 0.86
duck -3 18% 15 337 0.86
blood sausage -5 14% 13 379 0.85
frankfurter -5 17% 12 290 0.85
lamb rib -2 19% 17 361 0.84

other dietary approaches

The table below contains links to separate blog posts and printable .pdfs detailing optimal foods for a range of dietary approaches (sorted from most to least nutrient dense) that may be of interest depending on your situation and goals.   You can print them out to stick to your fridge or take on your next shopping expedition for some inspiration.

dietary approach printable .pdf
weight loss (insulin sensitive) download
autoimmune (nutrient dense) download
alkaline foods download
nutrient dense bulking download
nutrient dense (maintenance) download
weight loss (insulin resistant) download
autoimmune (diabetes friendly) download
zero carb download
diabetes and nutritional ketosis download
vegan (nutrient dense) download
vegan (diabetic friendly) download
therapeutic ketosis download
avoid download

If you’re not sure which approach is right for you and whether you are insulin resistant, this survey may help identify the optimal dietary approach for you.

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