Objective: We evaluated the effects of mixed meals differing in glycemic index (GI) and carbohydrate content on postprandial serum glucose and insulin response, hunger, and satiety over the course of a 12-h day.
Research design and methods: In this randomized crossover trial, 26 overweight or obese adults received four diets in random order (high GI, high carbohydrate [HGI-HC]; high GI, low carbohydrate [HGI-LC]; low GI, high carbohydrate [LGI-HC]; and low GI, low carbohydrate [LGI-LC]). All meals were prepared by a metabolic kitchen. Participants received breakfast, lunch, and dinner over the course of a 12-h day. Primary outcomes were postprandial serum glucose and insulin quantified as area under the curve. Hunger, fullness, and satiety were assessed by visual analog scale.
Results: The HGI-LC, LGI-HC, and LGI-LC diets significantly reduced glucose and insulin area under the curve compared with the HGI-HC diet (P < 0.001 for all comparisons). There were no significant differences in ratings of hunger, fullness, or satiety between the different dietary treatments.
Conclusions: Reducing the GI or carbohydrate content of mixed meals reduces postprandial glycemia and insulinemia, and these changes can be sustained over the course of an entire day. However, there were no differences in subjective hunger and satiety ratings between the diets. These results demonstrate that maintaining a low GI or glycemic load diet is an effective method of controlling serum glucose and insulin levels.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01516333.