The individual and combined effects of glycemic index and protein on glycemic response, hunger, and energy intake

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Dec;19(12):2365-73. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.145. Epub 2011 Jun 30.


Although high protein and low glycemic index (GI) foods are thought to promote satiety, little is known about the effects of GI, protein, and their interaction on hunger and energy intake several hours following a mixed meal. This study investigated the long term effects of GI, protein, and their combined effects on glucose, insulin, hunger, and energy intake in healthy, sedentary, overweight, and obese adults (BMI of 30.9 ± 3.7 kg/m(2)). Sixteen individuals participated separately in four testing sessions after an overnight fast. The majority (75%) were non-Hispanic Blacks. Each consumed one of four breakfast meals (high GI/low protein, high GI/high protein, low GI/low protein, low GI/high protein) in random order. Visual analog scales (VAS) and blood samples were taken at baseline, 15 min, and at 30 min intervals over 4 h following the meal. After 4 h, participants were given the opportunity to consume food ad libitum from a buffet style lunch. Meals containing low GI foods produced a smaller glucose (P < 0.002) and insulin (P = 0.0001) response than meals containing high GI foods. No main effects for protein or interactions between GI and protein were observed in glucose or insulin responses, respectively. The four meals had no differential effect on observed energy intake or self-reported hunger, satiety, and prospective energy intake. Low GI meals produced the smallest postprandial increases in glucose and insulin. There were no effects for GI, protein, or their interaction on appetite or energy intake 4 h after breakfast.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Appetite
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hunger*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Postprandial Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Satiety Response


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins