The potential positive health effects of carob-containing snacks are largely unknown. Therefore, the aims of these studies were to determine the glycemic index (GI) of a carob snack compared with chocolate cookie containing equal amounts of available carbohydrates and to compare the effects of a carob versus chocolate cookie preload consumed as snack before a meal on (a) short-term satiety response measured by subsequent ad libitum meal intake, (b) subjective satiety as assessed by visual analog scales and (c) postprandial glycemic response.
Ten healthy, normal-weight volunteers participated in GI investigation. Then, 50 healthy, normal-weight individuals consumed, crossover, in random order, the preloads as snack, with 1-wk washout period. Ad libitum meal (lunch and dessert) was offered. Capillary blood glucose samples were collected at baseline, 2 h after breakfast, just before preload consumption, 2 h after preload, 3 h after preload, just before meal (lunch and dessert), 1 h after meal, and 2 h after meal consumption.
The carob snack was a low GI food, whereas the chocolate cookie was a high GI food (40 versus 78, respectively, on glucose scale). Consumption of the carob preload decreased the glycemic response to a following meal and to the individual's feelings of hunger, desire to eat, preoccupation with food, and thirst between snack and meal, as assessed with the use of visual analog scales. Subsequently, participants consumed less amounts of food (g) and had lower total energy intake at mealtimes.
The carob snack led to increased satiety, lower energy intake at meal, and decreased postmeal glycemic response possibly due to its low GI value. Identifying foods that promote satiety and decrease glycemic response without increasing the overall energy intake may offer advantages to body weight and glycemic control.