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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Overall glycemic index and glycemic load of vegan diets in relation to plasma lipoproteins and triacylglycerols

Annika Waldmann, Alexander Ströhle, Jochen W Koschizke, Claus Leitzmann, Andreas Hahn
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 2007, 51 (4): 335-44
17726311

BACKGROUND: To investigate the overall glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), and intake of dietary fiber, and to examine the associations between these factors and plasma lipoproteins and triacylglycerols in adult vegans in the German Vegan Study (GVS).

METHODS: Cross-sectional study, Germany. Healthy men (n = 67) and women (n = 87), who fulfilled the study criteria (vegan diet for >or=1 year prior to study start; minimum age of 18 years; no pregnancy/childbirth during the last 12 months) and who participated in all study segments.

RESULTS: The average dietary GL of the GVS population was 144, and the average GI was 51.4. The adjusted geometric mean total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol concentrations decreased across the increasing quartiles of GL, carbohydrate and dietary fiber intake. The associations between total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and GL density and GI were inconsistent. Also, associations between GI, GL, the intake of carbohydrates, and triacylglycerol concentration were not observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Fiber-rich vegan diets are characterized by a low GI and a low to moderate GL. The data do not support the hypothesis that a carbohydrate-rich diet per se is associated with unfavorable effects on triaclyglycerols that would be predicted to increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

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