So I understand the basics of how the body releases insulin to keep blood glucose levels in check and (loosely) that higher insulin levels can lead to more (or at a faster rate) glucose being stored as fat rather than being made readily available for energy. For this reason, I try hard to keep a good balance of carbs/protein/fat with each meal... operating on the principle that the protein and fat will slow the breakdown of carbs into glucose and eventual absorption into the bloodstream.

Recently, I have heard some chatter suggesting that in addition to the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, the mere activation of our sweet receptors can/does cause the release of insulin as well.

If this is the case, when I have a snack of say an orange and some cheese, while I think I'm avoiding the insulin spike (by adding the protein and fat of the cheese) that an orange ingested by itself may cause, it's actually still occurring due to, not the high glycemic index of the orange, but it's sweet taste.

Does anyone know if there is any truth to this? And if so, what does the data say... are the spikes elicited by activation of the sweet receptors of similar levels to those from actual high glucose levels in the blood?

In Googling cephalic phase insulin release, I've read abstracts for a few studies that seemed to be more focused on the effects of artificial sweeteners... which isn't really what I'm looking for. But one study seemed to indicate that solutions of sucrose tended to elicit higher insulin levels (than other solutions tested), but not being from the bio/physiology world, it quickly became over my head. I know some fruits (such as my aforementioned orange) are quite high in sucrose.

In practical terms, I'm trying to figure out what other foods, if any, may cause this response and if it is significant enough that one concerned with maintaining consistent, low insulin levels should stay away from such foods.

Can anyone help shed some light on this for a curious layperson? Thanks!


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