Coconut oil found to lower the glycaemic response of bread

Increased levels of insulin and postprandial glucose are associated with metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. A number of strategies have been used to decrease glycaemic response (GR) in bread. One strategy is to enhance the formation of amylose-lipid complexes (ALC) which results in an increase in resistant starch thereby reducing starch digestibility. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition has investigated the influence of fat type on ALC formation during baking of bread, and GR and insulin response after consumption. 
Lau et al. developed five bread types: a control bread without any added fats and then breads baked with either butter, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil added at 20% w/w of dough. Using fifteen healthy men (mean age 25.3 years old, mean BMI 21.2) the scientists assessed the effect of fat used in the breads on metabolic outcomes. The day prior to testing, the men were instructed to abstain from alcohol, restrict their intake of caffeine, and avoid physical activity. The evening before the trial, the participants were provided with a standardised dinner in order to reduce potential variations in GR that occur because of the second meal effect. 
Each bread was tested in a randomised order, on separate days, with a 3 day wash out between test visits. Fasting blood samples were taken before consumption and body weight, height, blood pressure and waist and hip circumference, body fat measured and physical activity recorded. Blood samples were taken at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 minutes following consumption and analysed for glucose concentration and changes in plasma insulin. The scientists used the same method on each test bread day.
Compared to the bread formulated with grapeseed and butter, the coconut oil bread and the olive oil bread were reported to have a significantly lower amylose-lipid complex forming ability. The coconut oil bread was also found to have a lower GR compared to the control. All bread consumed with added fats/oil were found to have significant reductions in glucose compared to the control however insulinaemic response was not altered by the addition of fats/oils. Lau et al. report that as coconut oil had the greatest impact on GR, lauric acid and myristic acid (medium chain triglycerides MCT) in the coconut oil may have had a contributory influence. Previous studies have found that lauric acid reduced in vitro starch digestibility. The authors conclude the study by stating “the use of simple dietary interventions (addition of functional lipids during cooking of carbohydrates may be an effective and practical strategy for improving glycaemic content and may help in the prevention and management of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and CVD.”


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