Background: The role of glycemic index (GI) in appetite and body-weight regulation is still not clear.
Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the long-term effects of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with either low glycemic index (LGI) or high glycemic index (HGI) on ad libitum energy intake, body weight, and composition, as well as on risk factors for type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease in overweight healthy subjects.
Design: The study was a 10-wk parallel, randomized, intervention trial with 2 matched groups. The LGI or HGI test foods, given as replacements for the subjects' usual carbohydrate-rich foods, were equal in total energy, energy density, dietary fiber, and macronutrient composition. Subjects were 45 (LGI diet: n = 23; HGI diet: n = 22) healthy overweight [body mass index (in kg/m(2)): 27.6 +/- 0.2] women aged 20-40 y.
Results: Energy intake, mean (+/- SEM) body weight (LGI diet: -1.9 +/- 0.5 kg; HGI diet: -1.3 +/- 0.3 kg), and fat mass (LGI diet: -1.0 +/- 0.4 kg; HGI diet: -0.4 +/- 0.3 kg) decreased over time, but the differences between groups were not significant. No significant differences were observed between groups in fasting serum insulin, homeostasis model assessment for relative insulin resistance, homeostasis model assessment for beta cell function, triacylglycerol, nonesterified fatty acids, or HDL cholesterol. However, a 10% decrease in LDL cholesterol (P < 0.05) and a tendency to a larger decrease in total cholesterol (P = 0.06) were observed with consumption of the LGI diet as compared with the HGI diet.
Conclusions: This study does not support the contention that low-fat LGI diets are more beneficial than HGI diets with regard to appetite or body-weight regulation as evaluated over 10 wk. However, it confirms previous findings of a beneficial effect of LGI diets on risk factors for ischemic heart disease.