In the comments after the last post, dissertante asked about the above study. It's been around for a while and many folks have talked about it, Bill Lagakos being one of the more articulate. The study is enormous. The paper is quite long and, for various reasons, not exactly gripping reading for myself. So I may well have missed certain facts which are not immediately obvious. This is the summary of the study from the abstract:
My initial thought was to ask how the insulin response varied between people with a normoglycaemic response to junk food vs hyperglycaemic response. Typical junk foods considered in the study are the bananas vs the cookies in section G of Figure 2:
If normoglycaemia is bought at the cost of hyperinsulinaemia, it's not particularly attractive, to me anyway. Banana, cookie, who cares? The only way I can see that either of these is acceptable as food is if they are taken by the gut bacteria, converted to short chain fatty acids and so bypass the whole insulin/glucose signalling system. Many people seem to be happy to trust their health and glycaemic control to their gut bacteria. It takes all sorts I guess.
So, the implication is that we can use this massive level of investigation to make choices between carbs which spike glucose and carbs which don't. For us, on an individual basis, tailored nutrition. Without any idea of what these given sources of carbohydrate do to an individual's insulin levels. But, to be quite honest, it's junk vs junk anyway.
There is a snippet which shows a glimmer of interest in the use of fat to blunt the glycaemic response to carbohydrate by the group. This is what they say:
"The PDP [partial dependence plots, part of their model] of fat exhibits a beneficial effect for fat since our algorithm predicts, on average, lower PPGR [post prandial glucose response] as the meal’s ratio of fat to carbohydrates (Figure 4C) or total fat content (Figure S5A) increases, consistent with studies showing that adding fat to meals may reduce the PPGR (Cunningham and Read, 1989). However, here too, we found that the effect of fat varies across people".
Fat cannot reliably save us from carbohydrate induced hyperglycaemia. We still need personalised nutrition, even if we eat fat.
But what if we eat only fat? What would be the glycaemic response to 100ml of double cream, drunk on its own, for breakfast?
Dandona, on his way to drawing incorrect conclusions, gives us the glucose and insulin data for 100ml of double cream:
Drinking cream alone mildly reduces insulin after a transient rise and point blank drops glucose throughout the study period. There may be minor individual variations in response but these are all contained within standard deviations which narrow with time after exposure... There is little scope for a pathological rise in glucose or insulin within those SDs.
So how much do we have to go begging, cap-in-hand, to our gut microbiota for a nice glucose AND insulin response to 100ml of cream? Not a lot. Ditto butter, lard, beef dripping...
The simple approach to personalised nutrition is to eat fat, cut out the middle man of our microbiota, limit glucose and reduce signalling through the insulin pathway while eating just enough protein to meet our needs. Anything else is going to need an awful lot of laboratory investigations to even get half the information we need to keep our blood glucose levels remotely normal while still using unknown amounts of insulin.
Personalised nutrition: Eat fat.
Oh, dissertante also mention that, for some people, chicken came through as a "bad" food in terms of post prandial glycaemia. That's another post I guess.