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Old 01-21-2009, 03:19 AM   #1
Patrick Poblocki
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Default Meal Size and Insulin Response

Hi all.

After skimming through Sears's book again, I came across a point he makes about meal size: he states that a large meal can also trigger an insulin response, regardless on how "zoned" it is. To what extent is this true?

I've dabbled with both Zone and IF, both of which where based in Paleo foods. I'm wondering if the insulin response of two big meals per day (e.g., 8 blocks per) or one really large meal per day (up to a lb. of meat!) was negatively impacting my insulin levels. I guess my question is simply how much of a response does this have? Would a large meal of steak and eggs have a triggered insulin kick? Seems odd to me. But, perhaps this is one area where the Zone's small portion sizes makes more sense than a OMPD.

I don't want to start a "which is better post" because I've tried both and have had progress of each. I think this is purely from a scientific standpoint, and what I think is an interesting difference between the two approaches. I have read, too, and understand that small meals spaced out through the day DOES NOT promote a "revved" metabolism--this is not about that!


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Old 01-21-2009, 07:06 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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Ratios do matter

Postprandial glycemic and insulinemic responses to high-carbohydrate vs high-protein meals in obese normoglycemic subjects with varied insulin sensitivity

Volume 25, Issue 6, Pages 535-548 (June 2005)

The aim of this study was to investigate whether metabolic responses to diet composition differ between obese subjects with varied insulin sensitivity. Fourteen healthy obese normoglycemic male subjects were divided according to their homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values: group A, HOMA-IR ≤2.6 (n = 5); group B, 2.6 < HOMA-IR < 5.0 (n = 4); and group C, HOMA-IR ≥5.0 (n = 5) and given, on 2 separate days, either a high-carbohydrate (HC) (58% carbohydrates, 12% protein, and 30% fat) or an equicaloric high-protein meal (52% protein, 18% carbohydrates, and 30% fat). Glucose, insulin, and lactate were determined before and during 4 hours after ingesting the meals. Results showed that within the HC meal, postprandial glucose and insulin responses and the area under the curve for glucose, insulin, and lactate were significantly higher in group C than group A. Comparing meals, the HC meal resulted in significantly higher area under the curve for glucose and insulin in groups A, B, and C and higher lactic acid in B and C than the corresponding values on the high-protein meal. This study illustrates that diet composition should be an important consideration in dietary management of obesity when accompanied by insulin resistance.

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:56 AM   #3
Patrick Poblocki
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Default ?

But does the size matter too? (pardon the loaded question) I understand that the proportions are important, but lets say that keeping insulin levels low is important, how does a large meal affect insulin levels, even if it's a high protein/fat, low carb meal? Maybe I'm not intelligent enough to understand your post, Mike...Just thought it might be a down-side of eating one or two meals per day, if I were going low carb and IF.

Would the size of the meal negate the insulin control I was attempting with eating low carb in the first place?

Thanks for any clarification,

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:43 AM   #4
Mike ODonnell
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If you are doing IF....eating low carb...and do have some sort of higher insulin response to a larger meal....the fasting hours with less insulin release should help balance the equation. Low carb eating will also prevent high blood sugar issues. Of course remember IF is supposed to be intermittent....so mix it up.

Plus if you are exercising you are also improving insulin sensitivity.

Honestly if you want definitive answers you could get your fasting insulin tested every month or so to see what is really going on.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:28 PM   #5
Patrick Yeung
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From what ive read, meal frequency had a negative correlation with insulin sensitivity. More meals means less sensitivity.

I think that the fact that you havent eaten anything all day, and are eating a large meal all of a sudden, youre going to spike. I usually 'prime' my stomach with some kind of liquid calories, milk or shake with a high protein:low carb ratio, and I dont experience that crazy spike I would feel when I didnt.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
Scott Kustes
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I think it's Stephan at Whole Health Source (or might be Peter at Hyperlipid) that has discussed the impact of insulin spikes vs. having high fasting insulin. He points out that many traditional groups relied heavily on roots and even grains (though properly prepared grains...not like what we have in the store) and had fairly carby diets, to the tune of 10-15% protein and 50-60% carbs. Their insulin no doubt spiked on such fare, but their fasting insulin remained low.

Basically, I don't think the spike to digest real food is a huge issue. The spike when it's sugar and processed grains on top of a high resting insulin is likely no helping. I may be completely off base too.

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