Insulin Response in Low Carbohydrate Diets Essay examples

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Insulin Response in Low Carbohydrate Diets

With the current popularity of the Atkins diet and similar plans that emphasize a reduced intake of carbohydrates, it is important to understand both the theory underlying these diets and the effects of low carbohydrate consumption on one's health. In particular, it is crucial that anyone considering such a program understand the effects of low carbohydrate diets on the body's insulin response, as well as consequences of low and high insulin levels in the blood. Therefore, the research on the insulin response to reduced carbohydrate energy bars contained in the article "Glycemic and insulinemic responses to energy bars of differing macronutrient composition in healthy
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Other low carbohydrate diets parallel Atkins' rationale, although they do not eliminate carbohydrates entirely. For example, the Balance
Bar, which represents a moderate carbohydrate food in Hertzler and Kim's study, is composed of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

In order to determine the level of insulin response to low and moderate carbohydrate foods (in this case, energy bars), Hertzler and Kim recruited 20 healthy adult subjects. Each recruit fasted for twelve hours prior to consuming one of five possible test meals; one meal was consumed during each of five testing sessions. Each test meal included 8 fluid ounces of tap water and a 60 gram portion of one of the following five foods: the previously mentioned low carbohydrate Atkins Advantage
Bar; the moderate carbohydrate Balance Bar; the high carbohydrate Power
Bar; a no carbohydrate portion of chicken breast; and an almost pure carbohydrate potion of white bread. The 60 gram portion size was chosen because it is approximately the weight of one of each type of bar and is representative of normal energy bar consumption. Venous blood samples measuring blood insulin levels were taken before consumption of the test meal, and again at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after starting.

After processing the blood samples from the 20 participants, the following results were observed. Insulin

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