Low glycemic response to traditionally processed wheat and rye products: bulgur and pumpernickel bread

Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Apr;43(4):516-20. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/43.4.516.


To look at the effect of processing wheat and rye on blood glucose responses with special reference to bulgur and pumpernickel bread, groups of 9-12 Noninsulin-dependent (NIDDM) and 5-6 Insulin-dependent diabetic volunteers (IDDM) were fed test meals containing 50 g carbohydrate portions of four wheat and three rye products. Glycemic indices for IDDM and NIDDM combined, calculated as the incremental area under the blood glucose response curve, where white bread = 100, demonstrated values of 96 +/- 5 for wholemeal wheat bread, 89 +/- 6 for wholemeal rye bread, 78 +/- 3 for pumpernickel bread, 65 +/- 4 for bulgur, 63 +/- 6 for whole wheat kernels and 48 +/- 5 for whole rye kernels. Results for IDDM and NIDDM were similar (r = 0.96, p less than 0.01). It is concluded that traditional processing of cereals, such as parboiling (bulgur) or the use of wholegrains in bread (pumpernickel) may result in the low GI value associated with the unmilled cereal. Cereal foods processed in these ways may form a useful part of the diet where a reduction in postprandial glycemia is required.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose*
  • Bread*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Food Handling
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Secale
  • Triticum


  • Blood Glucose