Consuming low-insulin-stimulating bread significantly reduces body weight

In a study recently published in the journal Nutrientsresearchers discuss the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the effect of low insulin stimulation of bread on weight gain.

Study: Effect of low insulin-stimulated bread on weight development - a real-life randomized controlled trial. Image Credit: Dubai Brand Builder/Shutterstock.com

study: The effect of low insulin-stimulated bread on weight development–a real-life randomized controlled trial. Image Credit: Dubai Brand Builder/Shutterstock.com

The effect of bread on body weight

Bread provides carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and various other bioactive substances. Bread made from refined/white wheat flour or ground whole grains has a high insulin and glycemic index. Hyperinsulinemia and carbohydrate-rich diets increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

A low insulin release lifestyle is associated with clinically significant weight loss. Therefore, reducing the intake of available carbohydrates is an effective weight loss strategy, whereas consumption of highly processed bread increases the risk of obesity. Therefore, making conscious bread choices can significantly impact weight management.

about research

In the present study, the researchers determined the insulin-stimulating potential of different types of bread to determine whether consumption of low-insulin-releasing bread significantly affected an individual's body weight.

In adults with a body mass index (BMI) over 27.0 kg/m2, a single-centre triple-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted to analyze the effect of two different types of bread on body weight without further lifestyle changes2 And often eat bread. Eighty obese adults were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either moderate-carbohydrate, low-insulin-releasing bread or rye bread baked with ground whole wheat, which served as a control.

The primary endpoint was the estimated treatment difference (ETD) in weight change after three months of treatment. Secondary outcomes included hip circumference, BMI, blood pressure, waist circumference, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, ETD changes in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting glucose and insulin levels, lean body mass, and fat mass.

Venous blood samples were taken every 30 minutes for two hours to monitor insulin and glucose levels. Individuals were recruited based on newspaper reports.

Between August 1, 2020 and October 21, 2021, 90 people were screened. Among these 90 individuals, 6 and 80 participated in the pre-test assessment and RCT, respectively.

During the pre-test period, following an overnight fast, individuals ingested 50 g of 10 different types of bread in random order over similar morning periods on consecutive days during which continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) was performed. Those who suffered from acute illness or severe disease hospitalization in the previous three months, were taking diet pills, had a weekly weight change of more than two kilograms in the last month, and those who had quit smoking in the previous three months were excluded, or were intolerant to the ingredients of the bread under investigation .

Study participants returned to the center after the three-month study intervention to provide anthropometric data, including height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, waist circumference, fat mass and lean body mass. Study participants were blinded to the type of bread they ate and abstained from other types of bread, rolls and other baked goods for three months.


Of the participants, 86% completed the assigned study intervention. Pretest results showed that the two bread types elicited significantly different insulin and glucose responses, but had comparable energy content, taste and texture.

The four breads were moderate in carbohydrates (14%) and low in digestible carbohydrates (3% to 4%), a marked difference from the usual range of 38% to 54% digestible carbohydrates.

Recipients of low insulin releasing bread had a significant weight loss of 1.80 kg with an ETD of -1.70 kg. This effect was particularly pronounced in those over 55 who lost an average of 2.60 kg, along with significant reductions in hip circumference and BMI. Furthermore, the proportion of people who experienced a significant weight loss of more than one kilogram was twice as high among consumers of low insulin-releasing bread than among consumers of rye bread.

The rye-type bread contains Type 997 flour, while the low-insulin-releasing bread contains sunflower seeds, rolled oats, psyllium husks, chia seeds, bread honey, flaxseed, rhine peas, and chopped almonds. Eating rye, pretzel sticks, spelt, white bread, whole wheat bread, and buckwheat raised blood sugar levels by 20 to 35 mg/dL, peaking within 45 minutes.

Consuming moderate and low-carb bread did not significantly raise blood sugar levels over a two-hour period. No adverse events related to the consumption of bread were reported. The correlation of blood insulin levels with weight loss gave rise to the carbohydrate-insulin concept, thus suggesting that low-fat diets are inferior to low-glycemic diets for weight loss.

Overall, the findings suggest that replacing commonly used insulin-stimulating bread with bread that releases low levels of inulin can lead to significant weight loss in obese people, especially older adults.

Journal reference:

  • Kempf, K., Röhling, M., Kolb, H. and Martin, S. (2023). The effect of low insulin-stimulated bread on weight development–a real-life randomized controlled trial. Nutrients. doi:10.3390/nu15051301

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