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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 May;65(5):1427-33.

How the degree of unsaturation of dietary fatty acids influences the glucose and insulin responses to different carbohydrates in mixed meals.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, Paris, France.


The association of fats with carbohydrates results in a lower glucose response but the influence of the nature of the dietary fatty acids has not been investigated clearly. We examined the effect of the degree of dietary fatty acid unsaturation on the postprandial glucose and insulin responses to a mixed meal. Eight young normolipidemic men consumed four different meals in random order. The meals differed in the nature of their oils and in the type of their main carbohydrates. The meals contained either a high ratio of monounsaturated to polyunsaturated n-6 fatty acids (MUFA) or a low ratio (PUFA) and either potatoes or parboiled rice. Proteins and saturated and polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acid contents were not different among meals. Blood samples were collected every 30 min for 3 h after the test meal. The glucose response was significantly lower 30 min after the parboiled rice-PUFA meal than after parboiled rice-MUFA or potato-MUFA (P < 0.05) meals. The insulin response was lower after parboiled rice-PUFA than after potato-MUFA (P < 0.05) meals. Similarly, an effect of fat appeared after 30 min. Glucose responses (F = 1.4, P < 0.01) and insulin responses (F = 5.3, P < 0.05) to both carbohydrates were significantly lower with dietary PUFA compared with dietary MUFA. In conclusion, the degree of dietary fatty acid unsaturation (18:1 compared with 18:2) may influence the glucose and insulin responses to mixed meals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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