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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1994 Oct;48(10):749-52.

Replacing starch with sucrose in a high glycaemic index breakfast cereal lowers glycaemic and insulin responses.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.



To test the hypothesis that replacing starch with sugar in a processed breakfast cereal that has a high glycaemic index could significantly decrease glycaemic and insulin responses.


Subjects consumed in random order three equi-carbohydrate meals based on a popular puffed rice cereal containing three levels of sucrose (0, 21 and 43 g). Postprandial glucose and insulin responses were compared using the incremental area under the curve (AUC).


Twelve healthy volunteers (5 males and 7 females) with normal glucose tolerance drawn from the university community, mean age 23 years (range: 20 to 27 year), mean body mass index 22.6 kg/m2 (range: 18.6 to 31.2 kg/m2).


Glycaemia was significantly lower after the meal containing the highest amount of sugar (glucose AUC 101.7 +/- 14.0 mmol/l.120 min) compared with the non-sweetened cereal (155.5 +/- 18.0 mmol/l.120 min, P < 0.01). There was a significant inverse correlation between the amount of sucrose incorporated and the degree of glycaemia (analysis of covariance coefficient = -1.25, P = 0.00). Similarly, the plasma insulin response was significantly lower after the highest sugar meal (insulin AUC 2267 +/- 346 microU/ml.120 min) compared with the meal without sugar (3505 +/- 365 microU/ml.120 min, P < 0.01).


We found a significant reduction in glycaemic and insulin responses when sugar replaced the rapidly digested starch in a processed breakfast cereal, i.e. the opposite of what is commonly believed. Thus sweetened breakfast cereals may not compromise glycaemic control more so than the unsweetened counterpart.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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