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Glycaemic and insulin responses of six traditional Sudanese carbohydrate-rich meals in subjects with Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Moawia Abdelgadir, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University Hospital, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail:


Aims  The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of six Sudanese traditional carbohydrate-rich meals on glucose and insulin responses and to formulate appropriate dietary guidelines based on glycaemic excursions of traditional foods.

Methods  On six occasions with 1-week intervals, 10 Type 2 diabetic subjects consumed six Sudanese traditional carbohydrate-rich meals. The following meals were tested and also analysed for their composition: wheat gorasa (pancakes), sorghum kisra (flat bread) and sorghum acida (porridge), millet kisra and millet acida and maize acida. Blood samples were collected before and after meal ingestion at 0, 30, 60, 120 and 240 min and analysed for plasma glucose and plasma insulin and incremental areas under the curves (AUC) were calculated.

Results  A significant variation in AUC for glucose and insulin responses were found between meals, the over all differences in incremental AUCs between the six meals were significant for both plasma glucose (P = 0.0092) and insulin (P = 0.0001). The 2-h glucose values were 10.5 ± 2.7 for sorghum flatbread, 9.5 ± 3.1 for sorghum porridge, 10.3 ± 3.4 for millet flatbread, 10.6 ± 3.6 for millet porridge, 11.4 ± 2.7 for maize porridge and 8.7 ± 2.4 for the wheat pancakes. The comparison between the AUCs of the meals showed that millet acida (porridge) followed by wheat gorasa (pancakes) displayed significantly lower post-prandial glucose and insulin responses, whereas maize acida induced a higher post-prandial glucose and insulin response.

Conclusions  The comparison of glycaemic and insulin responses to six traditional Sudanese meals show differences of clinical importance, and could form a basis for dietary advice to diabetic subjects in Sudan and countries sharing similar food traditions.