1. Healthy male volunteers consumed at noon, hot test meals with four different carbohydrate: fat ratios varying between 2.64 and 0.50, and composed of fried beefsteak, mashed potatoes, French beans, and a dessert of custard with mashed peaches. The energy content of the meals was 40% of the daily intake of the volunteers, estimated from their individual dietary histories.
2. Before, and at different times after the start of the meal, blood samples were taken and a number of indices of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism were determined in the samples, i.e. glucose, insulin, free fatty acid, free and total glycerol, free and total cholesterol, high-density-lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol.
3. Increasing the carbohydrate: fat ratio resulted in higher postprandial peaks of glucose and insulin. In addition, the peak area under the postprandial glucose curve showed a significant increase. The peak area under the postprandial insulin curve had also increased, indicating that a larger amount of insulin was secreted by the pancreas on increasing the carbohydrate content in the meal. There was no significant correlation between the height of the postprandial peak of blood glucose and the size of the meal.
4. All four meals caused elevated postprandial blood triacylglycerol levels. However, the decline of this elevated level took a much longer time after the meals with the lower carbohydrate: fat ratios, i.e. containing larger amounts of triacylglycerols. There was a significant decreasing linear relation between the carbohydrate content of the meals and the peak area under the postprandial triacylglycerol curve. Free glycerol and free fatty acids showed lower postprandial levels in the blood after the meals with the higher carbohydrate: fat ratios, and the peak areas of the postprandial curves of both variables displayed a significant decrease. Little or no effect of the meal carbohydrate: fat ratio was observed on the postprandial concentrations of total cholesterol, unesterified cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol or LDL-cholesterol.