Fructose is often recommended due to its ability to lower glycemic response and its increased thermogenic effect. Additionally, proteins can reduce the glycemic response of carbohydrate-rich foods and have a high diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT). The aim of this study was to investigate whether the inclusion of fructose in a high-protein meal would demonstrate metabolic advantages.
Nineteen Asian women (body mass index 17–28 kg/m2) consumed a low-glycemic index (GI; fructose) or high GI (glucose), high-protein breakfast followed by a standardized lunch in a randomized crossover design. Simultaneously, 8-h continuous glucose monitoring provided incremental area under the curve (iAUC) and 4-h indirect calorimetry provided DIT and respiratory quotient (RQ).
The low GI diet resulted in a lower glucose iAUC (135 ± 25 versus 212 ± 23 mmol/L, P < 0.05) following breakfast, but no second-meal effect after the standardized lunch (217 ± 37 versus 228 ± 27 mmol/L, P < 0.05) compared with the high GI diet. Furthermore, 4-h DIT was greater (40.6 ± 2.3 versus 34.9 ± 1.8 kcal, P < 0.05) and RQ was increased after the fructose high-protein breakfast (0.047 ± 0.009 versus 0.028 ± 0.009, P < 0.05) compared with the glucose meal.
Fructose is an effective sweetener in reducing glycemia and increasing DIT in the presence of a high-protein diet. However, the reduced fat oxidation after high fructose consumption might present a risk for increased lipogenesis.