We all know the "safe starch" argument: safe starches such as white rice, yams, sweet potatoes, yuca/cassava, taro, and even white potatoes are okay as long as you avoid sugar/fructose and harmful starches (such as wheat). Thus, tribes that subsisted on such safe starches thrived: the Kitavans, the Irish, the New Guineans, the Southeast Asians, the Japanese, etc. These tribes did not suffer from diabetes, heart disease, autoimmunity, and other degenerative diseases.
Could we extend the same argument to insulin elevation? Elevated insulin is supposedly bad because it promotes cancer development, inflammation, diabetes, AGEs and glycation, oxidative stress, and accelerated aging. Yet I wonder if the term "elevated insulin" is precise enough.
Is the issue really elevated insulin or is it elevated insulin caused directly by sugar/fructose? Compared to someone eating a low-carb diet, someone who eats a moderate to high carb diet will have more insulin, since BG will skyrocket after a meal. To bring the BG under control, insulin will have to be deployed and, within 2 hours, the BG should return to the fasting level of 85 or so.
Of course, the insulin could be elevated in LC and ketogenic diets from protein consumption. But the overall level of circulating insulin will be much less than in a moderate to HC diet.
If that's the case, is insulin elevation necessarily bad? Or is it only bad when sugar/fructose and harmful starches are involved?
Another issue is that LC and ketogenic diets are often touted by those treating cancer and neurological diseases. By flatlining insulin, it is said, you're minimizing tumor growth and cancer development. But is that really the issue or is it really sugar, which the cancer cells supposedly feed on, that's the problem (a la Gary Taubes).
Is the problem here not being precise enough in analyzing what's behind insulin elevation? Or is insulin elevation itself (whether caused by sugar or safe starches) really the problem?