Impact of Diet Composition on Blood Glucose Regulation

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(4):541-90. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2013.792772.


Nutritional management of blood glucose levels is a strategic target in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). To implement such an approach, it is essential to understand the effect of food on glycemic regulation and on the underlying metabolic derangements. This comprehensive review summarizes the results from human dietary interventions exploring the impact of dietary components on blood glucose levels. Included are the major macronutrients; carbohydrate, protein and fat, micronutrient vitamins and minerals, nonnutrient phytochemicals and additional foods including low-calorie sweeteners, vinegar, and alcohol. Based on the evidence presented in this review, it is clear that dietary components have significant and clinically relevant effects on blood glucose modulation. An integrated approach that includes reducing excess body weight, increased physical activity along with a dietary regime to regulate blood glucose levels will not only be advantages in T2DM management, but will benefit the health of the population and limit the increasing worldwide incidence of T2DM.

Keywords: Postprandial glycemia; diabetes; human dietary intervention; insulin resistance; insulin sensitivity..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Exercise
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Minerals / administration & dosage
  • Phytochemicals / administration & dosage
  • Prebiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Weight Loss


  • Amino Acids
  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Minerals
  • Phytochemicals
  • Prebiotics
  • Vitamins