, Volume 45, Issue 9, pp 765–775 | Cite as

A High Legume Low Glycemic Index Diet Improves Serum Lipid Profiles in Men

  • Zhiying Zhang
  • Elaine Lanza
  • Penny M. Kris-Etherton
  • Nancy H. Colburn
  • Deborah Bagshaw
  • Michael J. Rovine
  • Jan S. Ulbrecht
  • Gerd Bobe
  • Robert S. Chapkin
  • Terryl J. Hartman
Original Article


Clinical studies have shown that fiber consumption facilitates weight loss and improves lipid profiles; however, the beneficial effects of high fermentable fiber low glycemic index (GI) diets under conditions of weight maintenance are unclear. In the Legume Inflammation Feeding Experiment, a randomized controlled cross-over feeding study, 64 middle-aged men who had undergone colonoscopies within the previous 2 years received both a healthy American (HA) diet (no legume consumption, fiber consumption = 9 g/1,000 kcal, and GI = 69) and a legume enriched (1.5 servings/1,000 kcal), high fiber (21 g/1,000 kcal), low GI (GI = 38) diet (LG) in random order. Diets were isocaloric and controlled for macronutrients including saturated fat; they were consumed each for 4 weeks with a 2–4 week break separating dietary treatments. Compared to the HA diet, the LG diet led to greater declines in both fasting serum total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively). Insulin-resistant (IR) subjects had greater reductions in high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C; P < 0.01), and triglycerides (TAG)/HDL-C (P = 0.02) after the LG diet, compared to the HA diet. Insulin-sensitive (IS) subjects had greater reductions in TC (P < 0.001), LDL-C (P < 0.01), TC/HDL-C (P < 0.01), and LDL-C/HDL-C (P = 0.02) after the LG diet, compared to the HA diet. In conclusion, a high legume, high fiber, low GI diet improves serum lipid profiles in men, compared to a healthy American diet. However, IR individuals do not achieve the full benefits of the same diet on cardiovascular disease (CVD) lipid risk factors.


Legume intake Lipids Insulin resistance 



Analysis of variance

apo A-I

Apolipoprotein A-I

apo B

Apolipoprotein B


Akaike Information Criteria


Bayesian Information Criteria


Body mass index


Coronary heart disease


Cardiovascular disease


Coefficients of variations


Dietary Guidelines for Americans


General clinical research center


Glycemic index


Glycemic load


Healthy American diet


High density lipoprotein cholesterol


Homeostasis model assessment index


Institute of Medicine






Low density lipoprotein cholesterol


Low density lipoprotein cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio


Legume diet


Legume inflammation feeding experiment


Messenger ribonucleic acid


Monounsaturated fatty acid


Nutrition data system for research


Polyunsaturated fatty acid




Saturated fatty acid


Small dense LDL-C particle


Total cholesterol


Total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio




Triglyceride to high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio


Very low density lipoprotein


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Copyright information

© US Government 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiying Zhang
    • 1
  • Elaine Lanza
    • 4
  • Penny M. Kris-Etherton
    • 1
  • Nancy H. Colburn
    • 4
  • Deborah Bagshaw
    • 1
  • Michael J. Rovine
    • 2
  • Jan S. Ulbrecht
    • 3
  • Gerd Bobe
    • 4
  • Robert S. Chapkin
    • 5
  • Terryl J. Hartman
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Nutritional SciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Develop and Family StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biobehavioral Health and MedicineThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Laboratory of Cancer Prevention, Center for Cancer ResearchThe National Cancer InstituteBethesda and FrederickUSA
  5. 5.Program in Integrative Nutrition and Complex DiseasesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  6. 6.110 Chandlee Laboratory, The Department of Nutritional SciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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