Why is Keto Better than Low Glycemic?

The Glycemic Index rates food based on their impact on blood glucose levels with white bread coming in at 100. In theory, a system like that sounds like a great deal for Diabetics who need to control their blood sugar levels. If you eat foods which produce smaller increases in your blood sugar you shouldn’t have the excursions into the highs that damage people. And that is true, but is it enough?

As often used, the Glycemic Index puts food into two categories – either good (Low GI),  or bad (High GI). This GI chart breaks it into three categories:

(From here)

In a sense, a Ketogenic diet is the ultimate form of a Low Glycemic index diet. Keto only has food that have very, very low Glycemic Index items. The diet eliminates all of the food on the chart including most Low GI foods. Of course the chart is way out of proportion with actual food usages. Jellybean candy has its own value listed. Some other items, like French Fries, occupy a huge portion of the American diet through fast food.

By way of comparison, Meat has a GI of 0, most nuts have a GI of 10 and vegetables which grow above ground have a GI of 20. You can’t beat that for Low GI.

But why not just eat the Low GI foods? Well, for diabetics they aren’t quite good enough. As the last study listed shows, they do help, but not nearly as well at getting people off T2D medications.

Are Chicken Wings a LC Choice?

I was eating a lot of chicken wings thinking they are Low Carb. And when it comes to carbs, they are. Well, sorta. Here is the nutritional information for chicken wings. Note they took away the skin which has fat.

Nutr-Wings

A wing without skin has 43 calories where 24 of the calories come from Protein. 15 Calories come from Fat. That’s only 35% of calories from fat. Not LCHF at all. That’s LCHP, not the goal for a diabetic.

What happens with the Protein? Suppose you have 6 wings. That’s 36 grams of Protein. But half of that gets converted to Glucose. That’s 18 grams of carbs (equivalent).

Leaving the skin on helps quite a bit. It is the best part after all. Here’s the wing with the skin.

Nutr-WingsWSkin

Fat is 5.4*9=48.6 calories from fat = 60%
Protein is 29.8 calories from protein = 37%

A half dozen whole wings is 44 grams of protein with the glucose equivalent of 22 grams of carbs. No wonder I used to need to pump under such a protein load. It wasn’t spread out like my carb load was. It would last around twice as long. But it still had a load for Insulin response.