Effect of low-glycemic cereals on glucose response at subsequent meals

Researchers studied the extent to which high blood sugar levels and after-meal blood sugar increases are adjusted by the characteristics of cereal foods, including their glycemic index (GI) and content of indigestible carbohydrates (dietary fiber).

Twelve healthy subjects consumed two different test meals. In series 1, the test meals were consumed at breakfast, and after-meal blood glucose levels were calculated after a test breakfast, standardized lunch, and standardized dinner. In series 2, the subjects consumed test evening meals, and blood sugar levels were calculated after a standardized breakfast the following morning.

Breakfasts comprised of low-glycemic grains (such as barley or rye kernel) lowered blood glucose response levels at breakfast, at the following lunch, and cumulatively throughout the day (breakfast + lunch + dinner) when compared with white-wheat bread. An evening meal of low-glycemic grains resulted in lower blood-glucose responses at the following morning’s breakfast (again, when compared with white-wheat bread).

The study concluded that glucose tolerance and sensitivity at subsequent meals can be improved during the course of an entire day – or even overnight – by choosing specific low-glycemic, whole-grain cereal products.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 3, 645-654, March 2008