Insulin Index vs Glycemic Index

The tables below are drawn from data published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Issue 66, 1997.  The studies were conducted at the Sydney University by well known Glycemic Index exponent, Professor Jennie Brand-Miller together with Suzanne Holt and Peter Petocz.

The Glycemic Index has achieved global acclaim as a sensible and scientifically sound method of assessing the appropriateness of various foods according to the impact they have on blood glucose.

In addition to developing the Glycemic Index, the researchers also developed an Insulin Index.  Whilst they have similarities, there are some significant differences which tend to suggest that following the Glycemic Index alone may not be the definitive weight loss approach.  Of particular curiosity is the third chart below which analyses the percentage variance between the Glycemic Index and the Insulin Index, comparing the same goods.

The table below compares the difference between the two preceding charts.  Foods to the right (in red) of zero are foods which have a greater direct impact on insulin than they do on blood glucose.  Foods the the left (in green) have a lesser direct impact on insulin than they do on blood glucose.  This would suggest that those foods to the left (in green) are better for diabetics and those trying to control their weight.


Data source:
Holt SH, Millar JC, Petocz P, An insulin index of foods: the insulin demand generated by 1000-kJ portions of common foods, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997, Vol 66, page 1269

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