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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul;70(7):808-11. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.9. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Glycaemic and insulin index of four common German breads.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nutritional Epidemiology, University of Bonn, DONALD Study at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Dortmund, Germany.
School of Molecular Bioscience, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise and School of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



German-style breads are recommended as a lower glycaemic index (GI) alternative, yet little data is available. Our aim was to test the GI and insulin index (II) of four breads and rolls commonly consumed in Germany.


Four German bread products were tested for their GI and II in 12 healthy subjects according to the International Standard Organization guidelines.


Only the wholemeal rye bread with visible intact grains and sunflower seeds was identified as low GI (GI=55). Both the wholemeal spelt wheat (GI=63) and the rye wheat sourdough bread (GI=62) were classified as medium GI, whereas soft pretzel was high GI (GI=80, P<0.05 compared with other products). The II of soft pretzels (II=102) was also highest and differed significantly from wholemeal rye (II=70) and rye sourdough bread (II=72) but not from wholemeal spelt wheat (II=77).


Contrary to popular belief, these German-style breads are medium to high GI, with the exception of the rye bread with intact grains and seeds. The results highlight the need to test, rather than 'guestimate', the GI of local products, and develop a broader range of low-GI breads.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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