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Br J Nutr. 2011 Jul;106(2):248-53. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511000080.

Protein and fat modify the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to a mashed potato-based meal.

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Department of Lifestyles and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.


Potatoes, especially mashed potatoes, are known to result in high glycaemic and insulinaemic responses. However, in most meals, potatoes are accompanied by other foods. The objective of the present study was to investigate how glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to a mashed potato meal changed when a high-fat food (rapeseed oil), a high-protein food (chicken breast) and/or salad were added to the meal. Healthy subjects (n 11) ingested the test meals once and the reference food (glucose solution) twice in a random order at 1-week intervals. Capillary blood samples were then drawn for 2 h, and glucose and insulin were analysed. The 2 h glycaemic responses to six mashed potato-containing meals varied more than twofold. The glycaemic index (GI) of pure mashed potato was 108, whereas combined with chicken breast, rapeseed oil and salad, it was only 54. The latter GI also differed considerably from its predicted value of 103, which was based on the individual GI of the components of the meal. The insulinaemic indices of the mashed potato-based meals varied between 94 and 148. Chicken breast in the meal increased the insulinaemic response, and rapeseed oil diminished it. However, the insulinaemic response to mashed potato with chicken breast and rapeseed oil was lower than that to mashed potato alone. In conclusion, the protein, fat and salad contents of a meal exert considerable influence on the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to mashed potatoes. Furthermore, the estimation of the GI of a mixed meal by calculation is imprecise.

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