A High-Glycemic Index, Low-Fiber Breakfast Affects the Postprandial Plasma Glucose, Insulin, and Ghrelin Responses of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in a Randomized Clinical Trial1–3

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Meals with a low glycemic index (GI) and rich in fiber could be beneficial with regard to postprandial metabolic profile and satiety.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 4 breakfasts with a different GI and amount of fiber on postprandial plasma glucose, insulin, and appetite in patients with type 2 diabetes.


This randomized 4-intervention crossover trial included 14 patients [7 men; ages 65.8 ± 5.2 y; glycated hemoglobin: 6.6 ± 0.9%; BMI (in kg/m2): 27.2 ± 3.1]. Dietary interventions were as follows: breakfasts with a high GI (60.4 ± 0.1%) and high fiber (6.0 ± 0.3 g) (HGI-HF), a high GI (60.9 ± 1.7%) and low fiber (2.5 ± 0.4 g) (HGI-LF), a low GI (37.7 ± 0.1%) and high fiber (6.2 ± 0.3 g) (LGI-HF), and a low GI (39.8 ± 1.3%) and low fiber (2.0 ± 0.1 g) (LGI-LF). Plasma glucose, insulin, and total ghrelin were evaluated postprandially (0–180 min). A visual analog scale was used to assess appetite. Data were analyzed by generalized estimating equations and post hoc least significant difference (LSD) tests. Data are reported as means ± SDs.


The area under the curve (AUC) [mean (95% CI); P for LSD tests] for plasma glucose (mmol/L × min) was higher after patients consumed the HGI-LF breakfast [9.62 (8.39, 10.84)] than after the LGI-HF breakfast [8.95 (7.71, 10.18)] (P ≤ 0.05). Insulin AUC (μIU/mL × min) after patients consumed the HGI-LF meal [65.72 (38.24, 93.19)] was higher than after the HGI-HF meal [57.24 (32.44, 82.04)] (P ≤ 0.05). The other observed difference was higher insulin AUC after the consumption of the LGI-LF breakfast [61.54 (36.61, 86.48)] compared with the AUC after the LGI-HF breakfast [54.16 (31.43, 76.88)] (P ≤ 0.05). Plasma ghrelin decreased in comparison with baseline only after patients consumed the LGI-HF and LGI-LF breakfasts (P ≤ 0.05). Subjective satiety did not differ between breakfasts.


Plasma glucose, insulin, and ghrelin responses were least favorable when patients with type 2 diabetes consumed a breakfast with a high GI and low fiber, which suggests that reducing the GI or increasing the fiber content or both of breakfasts may be a useful strategy to improve the postprandial metabolic profile of these patients. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01410292.

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