Predicting mixed-meal measured glycaemic index in healthy subjects

  • Simon BallanceEmail author
  • Svein Halvor Knutsen
  • Øivind Winther Fosvold
  • Aida Sainz Fernandez
  • John Monro
Original Contribution



To determine the influence of meal composition on the glycaemic impact of different carbohydrate staples, and the accuracy of “adjusted calculated meal GI” compared with “measured mixed-meal GI”.


In a non-blind randomized crossover trial fasted healthy subjects consumed four dinner-type mixed meals of realistic serving size comprising a carbohydrate staple of either mashed potato, pasta, rice or a glucose drink, combined with fixed portions of boiled carrots, poached salmon and herb sauce. Blood samples collected between 0 and 180 min were analysed for glucose and insulin concentrations. Adjusted calculated meal GI values were determined against a 50 g reference glucose drink, and compared to corresponding measured mixed-meal GIs, supplemented with data from four previous mixed-meal postprandial glycaemic response studies.


The common carbohydrate staples, and the glucose drink, ingested as part of the salmon mixed meal induced a significantly lower post-prandial relative glycaemic response (RGR) and concurrent higher relative insulin response than the same amount of staple eaten alone. Adjusted calculated mixed-meal GI closely predicted measured mixed-meal GI in healthy subjects for 15 out of 17 mixed meals examined, showing the need to account for effects of fat and protein when predicting measured mixed-meal GI. Further, we showed the validity of using customarily consumed food amounts in mixed-meal postprandial RGR study design.


Adjusted calculated mixed-meal GI appears a useful model to predict measured mixed-meal GI in healthy subjects and with further development and validation could aid nutrition research and rational design of healthy meals for personalized nutrition and particular consumer groups.


Blood sugar Insulin Potato Rice Pasta Starch Meal 



The authors would like to acknowledge the skillful technical assistance of Hanne Zobel, Ingunn Berget and Silje Johansen. We thank Dr. Huicui Meng, Tufts University, Boston, USA, for providing raw data for evaluation from reference [12]. This study is part of Project no. 225148 in The Research Council of Norway with financial support by the Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry in Norway (85%) and Norwegian potato industry (15%). Additional financial support (25% in total) is acknowledged from Project no. 262300 from the Foundation for the Research Levy on Agricultural Products.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

All human studies have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and, therefore, have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. All persons participating in the clinical study gave informed consent prior to their inclusion.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Ballance
    • 1
    Email author
  • Svein Halvor Knutsen
    • 1
  • Øivind Winther Fosvold
    • 2
  • Aida Sainz Fernandez
    • 3
  • John Monro
    • 4
  1. 1.Nofima AS, Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture ResearchÅsNorway
  2. 2.Fjordland ASOsloNorway
  3. 3.Leatherhead Food ResearchEpsomUK
  4. 4.The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research LimitedPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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