Someone looking to “go low carb” will typically try to make a decision on whether a food meets their goals simply based on the number of carbohydrates per serving or per 100g shown on the label.
This approach has limited benefit though, as the food may or may not contain a lot of water which makes it hard to compare in terms of carbohydrates per calorie.
Another way is to look at the amount of protein and fat in relation to the carbohydrates, but again this is a difficult calculation to make when you’re looking at the nutritional label in the shopping isle.
If we take the concept of “net carbs” and the idea that protein has some insulinogenic effect we can calculate the proportion of insulinogenic calories using the following formula:
This calculation could be useful to determine whether one food is better than another if you’re trying to reduce your insulin load to the point that your pancreas can keep up.
As demonstrated by the chart below, the lower the proportion of insulinogenic calories in your food the less likely your meal is going to require large amounts of insulin, raise your blood glucose or cause you to store fat.
Sure, this is not a simple calculation we can quickly while we’re out shopping. However using readily available nutritional data we can compare and rank a wide range of foods, making us better informed when we prepare our shopping list.
An extensive list of the foods with the lowest proportion of insulinogenic calories can be in this list of the most ketogenic diet foods.
[next article… application of insulin load for type 1 diabetics]
[this post is part of the insulin index series]
[Like what you’re reading? Skip to the full story here.]