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The impact of the addition of toppings/fillings on the glycaemic response to commonly consumed carbohydrate foods



To investigate the influence of the addition of various toppings/fillings on the glycaemic response to baked potato, pasta and toast.


Randomised, repeated measures design.


Oxford, UK.


Forty normal, healthy subjects (11 males and 29 females) were recruited to the study. Subjects were staff and students from Oxford Brookes University.


Cheddar cheese, chilli con carne, baked beans and tuna were added to baked potatoes, cooked pasta and toast to determine the effect on glycaemic response.


No significant difference was found among the various toppings and baked potato (P=0.06), pasta (P=0.06) and toast (P=0.39). However, the addition of toppings to a carbohydrate-rich food had a consistent lowering effect on glycaemic index (GI). In particular, the addition of cheddar cheese to potato, pasta and toast reduced the GI of the test meal to a value that is considered to be low-GI (39, 27 and 35, respectively). This is particularly notable for potatoes, which, when eaten alone, had the highest GI value of all the staples.


This study has shown that the addition of foodstuffs to the staples baked potato, pasta and toast had a consistent lowering effect on the GI value of that meal. These findings emphasise the importance of investigating the GI of composite meals.


British Potato Council.

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We acknowledge the contribution of Pat Burton of Oxford Brookes University.

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Correspondence to H J Lightowler.

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Guarantor: HJ Lightowler.

Contributors: CJKH obtained the funding, planned and designed the study and commented on the manuscript. HJL planned and designed the study, coordinated the laboratory work and data analysis and contributed to the preparation of the manuscript. FLK was responsible for the collection of data and writing the manuscript. MS identified industry issues, advised on the study design and commented on the manuscript.

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Henry, C., Lightowler, H., Kendall, F. et al. The impact of the addition of toppings/fillings on the glycaemic response to commonly consumed carbohydrate foods. Eur J Clin Nutr 60, 763–769 (2006).

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  • glycaemic index
  • potatoes
  • carbohydrate
  • blood glucose

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