Dr Fung's longevity solution

(aka Nick) #42

Interesting question. I think the answer lies in the insulin index but I’m no expert. People often incorrectly assume that a ketogenic diet optimally lowers insulin resistance. That’s not necessarily true as I understand it. There are many foods that are highly stimulating of insulin that are keto staples. A great example is beef. It has basically 0 carbs, so it’s great for keto, but it has a very high insulin index score (50), so it’s terrible for addressing insulin resistance. Conversely, a can of navy beans has tons of carbs, so it’s terrible to for keto, but it has an insulin index score of 23, so it’s excellent for addressing insulin resistance. Incidentally, a poached egg has an insulin index score of 23 just like navy beans. Even more surprising, although white pasta is a keto nightmare food, it has an insulin index score of 29, vs beef at 50. We could debate whether different cuts of beef have different insulin responses (they do), but the point remains (I’m not anti-beef btw, I’m just anti-insulin resistance)

When you look at the actual published data on what triggers insulin response, a lot of it is intuitive, but much of it is surprising. What’s good for keto is not necessarily good for managing insulin resistance. When it comes to maintenance, I care a lot more about managing my insulin resistance than I do about maintaining ketosis gratuitously. Some folks don’t have that luxury due to epilepsy, autoimmune disease etc, but my main problem is insulin resistance.

Here is the most definitive table of foods with measured insulin index that I’ve ever found. It’s worth reading if you are thinking about managing insulin resistance and/or maintenance.

In answer to your actual question, different breads have different insulin index scores. White bread had a score of 73 in Bell’s table above, but Holt et al. measured rye bread (47% kibbled rye) at just 56. I think there are definitely breads out there that are compatible with maintenance, but I’ll probably just stick to beans personally.


Sorry I don’t understand. Was she 103 or something or…?

(It's all about the bacon, baby) #44

A glycemic index of 55 or under is considered low, 56-69 is considered moderate, 70+ is considered high.

Ideally, you want foods that have not only a low glycemic index, but also a low glycemic load.

If you believe these calculations have value, of course. I have read a number of criticisms of how they are determined. For one thing, the number of people used in testing is necessarily small, usually under 10, as I recall.

(aka Nick) #45

A bit of a typo there, I meant to say insulin index. Your point stands in any case. You definitely know more about his stuff than I do!

My point main point was just that it’s not a safe assumption that keto friendly foods are invariably the best for overcoming insulin resistance, and that some foods, like navy beans that are not keto friendly, may have a place in a post-keto maintenance diet. (not that everybody will have a post-keto stage, just that I plan to).

(It's all about the bacon, baby) #46

Insulin index, that’s a new one on me. But I’m not clear how these scores are calculated, because the milieu makes a difference. In a high-carb setting, protein has a much more insulinogenic effect than it does in a low-carb setting. Prof. Benjamin Bikman has fascinating data on the effect of protein on the insulin/glucagon ratio in various conditions. So the insulin index of fat and carbohydrate shouldn’t change, because we know it’s high in the case of the latter, and practically non-existent in the case of the former, but the insulin index for each form of protein should be different, depending on whether it’s accompanied by carbohydrate or fat.


Thanks for the thesis link Don_Q, the Insulin Index in the table is interesting and helpful.

I too have an insulin resistance problem and have struggled for years, originally with Atkins way back in the 80s and Glycaemic Index in the 90s. The Glycaemic Index eating plan was what tipped me into type 2 diabetes…I am not a big fan of it at all.
My own belief is that I need to continue with keto at a very low carb level and sometimes a no carb level, and a lot of healthy fats, to contain my insulin resistance.
Although I now test out of the diabetes 2 range I don’t believe that indicates a “cure” of my insulin resistance…it is just a containment due to present diet. I believe I have a genetic predisposition and avoiding grains and simple carbs is the simplest way to address it as long as I keep up the healthy fats and oils at a pretty high percentage of my diet.

Is there anyone around these forums who was type 2 diabetic for more than a decade who has reversed their insulin resistance with keto to the extent that they are able to eat carbs, beans etc as you describe for maintenance without tipping BGL upwards again?

ie Do most think keto diet is a treatment for reversal or a containment of metabolic/insulin disorders? @richard

(Alec) #48

I think Jason and Megan have always unapologetically focussed on fasting, and not specifically used keto. I don’t remember either of them singing from the keto hymn sheet. I know that Megan was invited to these forums as an admin straight off the bat, but it looks like she has not come on board.

I think IDM are dealing with pretty sick people, and they need to focus on the most effective way to get insulin under control. Their view is clearly fasting is the preferred method. I think I’ve heard Jason say that he had problems early on telling people not to eat carbs as the folks he was dealing with just didn’t understand what a carb was. So he went even simpler and said just don’t eat. And that worked. He got better results with fasting than low carb.

However, I am also a bit disappointed with a recommendation on any kind of grains. It is just possible he is trying to speak to a public who will never want to do low carb, and explain what carbs are the best to have? Just a theory.

(PSackmann) #49

I watched a podcast yesterday, The Complete Guide to Fasting on 180 Nutrition with Dr. Fung, and that’s exactly what he said. He said rather than deciding what to eat, it’s just easier not to eat. What I didn’t like, in answer to the question of whether what was eaten mattered in between fasts, he indicated it didn’t, only the fasting mattered. I’m sure this works for the people he’s working with, it’s just not the approach I’m comfortable with myself.

(Jane) #50

They were in their 50’s I think at the time.

It bugged my MIL that her DIL was so sensitive about her age that she wouldn’t reveal it. I thought it a pretty clever way to find out :wink:

(aka Nick) #51

I’m a member of Dr. Fung’s IDM program. There are 3 dietary options listed:

  1. Liberal Low Carb: 50g-100g carbs per day
  2. Moderate Low Carb: 20g-50g carbs per day
  3. Ketogenic: Less than 20g carbs per day

Grains are explicitly verboten during the weight loss phase. It’s also reinforced that the fewer carbs you eat between fasts, the easier they are to do. Most folks over there are keto.

Personally, I’ve did my first dozen 3-4 day fasts while eating 150g-200g of carbs a day (mostly beans). It wasn’t really that difficult, but eating keto in between fasts now makes my weekly 3 day fast quite a bit easier and more enjoyable!

(Jane) #52

I put myself in the moderate low carb since not trying to lose weight now. Although some days I eat mostly carnivore and very few carbs.

My husband at maintenance is liberal low carb. I am happy for him but at the same time irks me a bit that I will never be able to eat the carbs he does and stay healthy and maintain my weight.

But, I love the keto food and the occasional potato or other carb is a nice treat. But still a treat - not every day. Fortunately I could take or leave sweets even before keto so my extra carbs are not sugar - peas, beans, potatoes and the occasional evil wheat bread.

I like running on ketones and being able to effortlessly skip meals while others are pulling out snacks every two hours and get grumpy if lunch is half an hour late. I don’t even care if I GET LUNCH!

(Alec) #53

That’s really interesting in the context of Jason’s recommendation to eat whole grains. Hmmmm…

(aka Nick) #54

How so? The vast majority of us over at IDM have typeII diabetes, insulin restistance, and have 100lbs to lose. To fix those three things you need LCHF and a couple 42hr fasts a week (recommended fast duration) and a 5 day ZornFast once a month.

Once someone has hit a healthy maintenance weight, and instead is looking to maximize “health span” and longevity, why would you use the same strategy?

Different problem, different strategy. Makes sense to me. As far as I can tell, nobody here has even read his book, so nobody has any idea if it actually recommends whole grains, or if it did, what kind, and even then, in what amount or in what frequency. Currently, the only info we have is one sentence from an internet article!

(Alec) #55

I have read his book a number of times, and do not remember any recommendations to eat any kind of grains.

Ah, I think you meant his new book… in which case, I haven’t read it. But I want to!

(Alec) #56

From his new book:

“High-protein diets, such as the Atkins diet, reduce refined carbohydrates and sugar, which is likely beneficial. A person who follows one of these diets may replace carbohydrates and sugar with more protein, but the protein is mostly from animal sources, and this substitution may not be optimal for health. Low-carbohydrate diets high in animal protein are associated with higher death rates from cardiovascular disease and cancer. 42 However, low-carbohydrate diets with more vegetable protein are associated with a lower death rate, particularly from cardiovascular disease.”

The 42 is a reference to a study. Hmmmmm…


RIP, Dr. Fung, I hardly knew ye.

(Jane) #58

Me thinks he has been bought and sold by the establishment. i.e. Big Food.



Ha ha, yes very clever.

(bulkbiker) #60

Which study though…?

(Cindy ) #61

Gimme some of this potato of youth!