Food fried in extra-virgin olive oil improves postprandial insulin response in obese, insulin-resistant women

J Med Food. 2011 Mar;14(3):316-21. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0264. Epub 2010 Dec 13.


The benefits of low glycemic load (GL) diets on clinical outcome in several metabolic and cardiovascular diseases have extensively been demonstrated. The GL of a meal can be affected by modulating the bioavailability of carbohydrates or by changing food preparation. We investigated the effect on plasma glucose and insulin response in lean and obese women of adding raw or fried extra-virgin olive oil to a carbohydrate-containing meal. After an overnight fast, 12 obese insulin-resistant women (body mass index [BMI], 32.8 ± 2.2 kg/m(2)) and five lean subjects (BMI, 22.2 ± 1.2 kg/m(2)) were randomly assigned to receive two different meals (designated A and B). Meal A was composed of 60 g of pasta made from wheat flour and 150 g of grilled courgettes with 25 g of uncooked oil. Meal B included 15 g of oil in the 150 g of deep-fried courgettes and 10 g of oil in the 60 g of stir-fried pasta. Both meals included 150 g of apple. Blood samples were collected at baseline and every 30 minutes over a 3-hour post-meal period and were tested for levels of glucose, insulin, C-peptide, and triglycerides. The area under the curve (AUC) values were calculated. In obese women the AUCs for C-peptide were significantly higher after meal A than after meal B at 120 minutes (W [Wilcoxon sign rank test] = 27.5, P = .0020), 150 minutes (W = 26.5, P = .0039), and 180 minutes (W = 26.5, P = .0039). No differences were found in lean subjects. This study demonstrated that in obese, insulin-resistant women, food fried in extra-virgin olive oil significantly reduced both insulin and C-peptide responses after a meal.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cooking / methods
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Flour
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Olive Oil
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • C-Reactive Protein