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Insulin index

I'm confused about why this diet uses beans and lentils instead of other carbs. I understand the rational about preventing blood sugar spikes and insulin release, but if you google the insulin index then brown pasta and white pasta have a lower insulin and glucose index than lentils (rice and bread are higher). So what scoring system was Tim using here, aside from blood tests on himself? It seems contradictory?


The Best Answer

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The name of the diet "Slow Carb Diet" comes from the fact that legumes are a "slow digesting carbohydrate" It isn't a matter of "low glycemic load" so much as keeping you full for longer. The other "low glycemic" carbs like brown pasta and white pasta are "fast digesting carbs" while they may not spike your insulin, they are converted into sugars much more quickly than legumes and from sugars into fat eventually. Plus, since they are "fast digesting" they won't stay in your system as long and then you get hungry. You're trying to make your body be LESS dependent on those fast carbs and more dependent on nourishing your body and feeling full and satisfied.

Some people have noticed on cheat days that when they start eating the white carbs/fruit/sugary stuff that it just makes them want to eat more then the cycle begins again.

  • Maria Rider commented May 11th 2012:

    Btw, it's great you are skeptical and questioning the slow carb lifestyle...just don't spend your whole time doing so and just trust in the process. Have faith, thousands of people doing it and succeeding can't be wrong, right? :) I am a firm supporter of the slow carb lifestyle....because it has worked for me so well. :)

  • Britbird commented May 12th 2012:

    Akane, I think it's great you have had awesome results on this diet. By questioning the methodology, I am not disputing that. I know it works, I have been on it for 3 weeks! But still, I think we should investigate why it works. It may have nothing to do with the reasons given in the book. All i say is that is that everyone on this ite avoids milk because it has a high Insulin Index (low GI). But beans have a high II, and what that measures is the immediate spike in a subjects insulin levels. Therefore beans are digested just as fast as brown pasta or milk, and the resulting insulin is spiked in the same timeframe. The Insulin Index varies hugely amongst its subjects (which is why it is based on a median)

  • Maria Rider commented May 13th 2012:

    Ahh, well nothing wrong with questioning it. :) I am just mostly going through the motions on what I usually answer. :) Obviously take whatever you wish. :)

All Answers


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Another thing to note is that beans and lentils are high in fiber. There is another book I have read, Metabolism Miracle (highly recommend it btw) and her diet (initially) is very close to SCD.

She judges things on "net carbs" or carbs - fiber.

I will say that her diet is considerably more complex which is why SCD is so nice, it may be restrictive but its very easy to understand the basic rules.

That being said, I would encourage anyone looking for a way to transition away from SCD once they hit their goal weight to read her book.

  • puckoff7337 commented May 11th 2012:

    FYI I am still on SCD I am just gonna look to this more when I am ready to come off

  • Britbird commented May 12th 2012:

    I think thats a good idea. I think if I really look at the science behind this I will find a way to balance it for myself in the longterm. Short-term, it's fine as is.

  • Maria Rider commented May 13th 2012:

    Hehehe, for SOME of us "short term" is actually = "long term" cause we don't "just have about 10-20 lbs" to lose....it's "We have over 100 lbs to lose" so, yeah, it becomes "long term" if you have that much to lose. :) I'm curious on how I will make SCD more balanced myself when I get to my goal cause NOW I am in the "just have about 10-20 lbs" to lose camp. :) Course it took me almost 13 months...so, yeah.... :)

  • marymay commented May 13th 2012:

    I heard ferriss say he couldn't explain why scientifically but lentils just seemed to get rid of fat.

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