11 Proteins That Spike Insulin


This week on Episode #50 of KetoTalk.com we talked about those proteins highest in arginine and lysine with the greatest potential for spiking your insulin and kicking you out of ketosis.  Here is a Graphic to give you a little help:


34 Comments on “11 Proteins That Spike Insulin

  1. Well….I’m a type 1 diabetic who has serious seafood allergies. Where does this leave me? I wear an insulin pump, which delivers a basal rate programmed down to the 1/2 hour. I’m eating less than 5 grams of carbs a day. I’m not really needing a bolus very often unless I’m sick or seriously stressed. Bacon and eggs? Kale and celery.

    • My type I patients are able to cut their insulin basal rates in half frequently and rarely have to bolus. Just work closely with your doc about tuning in the rate.

  2. I had to laugh. Shrimp and Crab. I live in Louisiana.
    But love bacon, eggs, beef, and pork ribs. so, let it be, let it be

  3. Doc, what time of day is best for protein consumption?
    And can you have a list of an average day of meals on ketogenic diet without any major allergies, or ailments?

  4. Say it ain’t so, doc! Chicken!? Turkey breast!? Shrimp!? PORK LOIN!? Why oh why?
    On another note I now REALLY want to try sea lion liver….

  5. For an insulin resistant person who has to take L-Lysine as a preventative anti-viral protection, sometimes to the tune of 4000 mg a day during an episode, in addiction to the form of magnesium I take is magnesium glycinate, it was 800 mg a day, but is between 400-800 on a daily basis, how can I better manage my insulin levels?

    I did a ketogenic diet for 18 months, but every time I buckled down and went back to basics, I stalled out my thyroid function. I don’t have the cravings control on just a 100 grams of carbs daily low carb diet, so that isn’t a good option. I loved how I felt on the ketogenic diet, just after 2-3 months, I made no progress. I attributed it to my declining thyroid function, but it seems like every time I brought my fast insulin levels lower, my thyroid function slowed to a crawl as well…

    • Without seeing you as a patient and closely examining all of you lab data, I am unable to answer that question. However, I suspect from your comments that there is a missing piece to the puzzle as your experience is exactly opposite the ketogenic affect on diet that I have seen clinically with thousands of patients over the last 10 years.

      • Sadly, that is exactly why I asked. I can’t afford severay hundreds of dollars to see a functional doctor at this point, but I know something still has to be missing. Tuit Nutrition has a great article about the unusual reasons keto doesn’t work for some people, and I’ve addressed many aspects, but I’m out of ideas for someone who has only studied this out of necessity and not out of schooling…

    • Not sure where you are getting your information, but based on my nutrition data lean chicken breast has over 800mg more argenine than beef. I am not referring to the argenine/lysine ratio. I am referring to the overall content of argenine and the overall content of lysine.

  6. Woops — in my last post I meant to say beef is similar to chicken — both very high in arginine and lysine.

    • Remeber that argenine and lysine are essential amino acids and are found in almost all proteins. However, there is tremendous argument over the “inter-web” amongst the Facebook page managers, who apparently know more than most of us, that protein doesn’t stimulate insulin response. The whole point of this article is to demonstrate that these two amino acids have a dose dependent insulin response and those foods with higher contents are more likely to kick you out of ketosis if you over indulge. . .

  7. I enjoy reading and learning from Dr Nelly, I am forever grateful for the sharing of his knowledge. Every thing he teaches for me is not hard to understand, also because my knowledge of the English language is a little limited. thank you Dr Nelly. My goal is to loose weight of 120lb before God takes me.
    I am a cancer survivor and I believe into the ketogenic way of life. I am seen progress already. thank you .

  8. So what are you suggesting we eat for protein and how much? I’m T2D and have dawn phenomenon. I can make some ketones but can not get into ketosis, have tried everything that I can find on the internet. My Dr has no clue as to ketones or keto or DP. Thanks.

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  10. Is low dose L-Arginine (Free-Form) 500mg Amino Acid 1gr (1,000 mg) the same thing?
    I have been taking one capsule a day as a supplement for fatigue, low energy, & brain fog. Should I discontinue taking it if I am on a ketogenic diet?

  11. Wow. This list basically eliminates most meats I consume. I’ve been following the Ketogenic Dieters macros for weight-loss for a month now & have lost 21 pounds. I assumed I was in ketosis because of the success I’ve been having but I eat chicken & shrimp several times a week as a good source of lean protein. All symptoms of hypoglycemia have vanished since I started the diet. I’m confused by all the conflicting information. Should I not be eating these foods? I have no idea how I would meet my macros without breaking my budget if I couldn’t consume these protein sources any longer.

    • No, the list was not to stop eating, the list was give so that if you’re having trouble getting into Ketosis, using too much of the meats in the list has the potential to kick you out of Ketosis.

      • What do you think about using a powder supplement in the am when you wake up like muscle milk? The lower Carb stuff.

      • I use Pure Bone Broth Protein powder made from chicken, 20 gr protein per scoop. I know this will sound nasty but I use 1/2 scoop in a large cup of coffee with 1 T Kerry Gold and 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk this whiz it in the blender. Voila! Latte! You would never know it has bone brother in it. I get it directly from the company, it’s the cheapest I’ve found. No sugar in it either. I usually have 2 cups, then I’m not hungry until dinner.

  12. Hi Doc- My past history includes competitive distance running, tons of carb loading (evil I know), and eating most of what I wanted. That brought me right into insulin resistance.

    I’ve been doing the ketogenic diet for a few months now and noticed my fasting blood glucose drop (from 119 to 102) — which is AWESOME!!

    I do heavy lifting and exercise 5-6 days per week, for at least an hour. According to the protein calculator, I’m only supposed to have 113 grams per day. Can the body still put on muscle mass with that low of protein intake, and that intense of an exercise routine? Also, what are the best quality proteins that will help build muscle but won’t throw you out of ketosis?

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