Carbohydrate-Rich Foods in the Treatment of the Insulin Resistance Syndrome : Studies of the Importance of the Glycaemic Index and Dietary Fibre

Sammanfattning: The glycaemic responses to various carbohydrate-rich foods are partly dependent on the rate at which the carbohydrate is digested and absorbed. The glycaemic index (GI) is a way of ranking foods according to their glycaemic response and is recommended as a useful tool in identifying starch-rich foods that give the most favourable glycaemic response. This investigation was undertaken to determine whether carbohydrate-rich foods with a low GI and a high content of dietary fibre (DF) could have beneficial metabolic effects in the insulin resistance syndrome. This question was addressed both in single-meal studies and in randomised controlled clinical trials. Starch-rich foods with low GI values incorporated into composite meals resulted in lower postprandial responses of both glucose and insulin than foods with a high GI in meals with an identical macronutrient and DF composition, in subjects with type 2 diabetes. After three weeks on a diet including low GI starchy foods metabolic profile was improved in subjects with type 2 diabetes, compared with a corresponding high GI diet. The glucose and insulin responses throughout the day were lower, the total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol was decreased, and the fibrinolytic activity was normalised. In subjects with impaired insulin sensitivity and diabetes low GI foods rich in soluble DF for breakfast gave a more favourable metabolic profile, with smaller glucose fluctuations from baseline during the day, than a breakfast with high GI foods low in DF. A low GI breakfast high in DF also resulted in lower responses of insulin and C-peptide after breakfast and a lower triacylglycerol response after a standardised lunch. However, none of the tested breakfasts improved the glucose and insulin responses after lunch. Similar results were obtained in obese subjects after including a breakfast with a low GI high in soluble DF for a period of four weeks in comparison with a breakfast with a high GI and low content of DF.These results support the therapeutic potential of a diet with a low GI in the treatment of diabetes and also in the treatment of several of the metabolic disturbances related to the insulin resistance syndrome.