Whole-grain pasta reduces appetite and meal-induced thermogenesis acutely: A pilot study

Iolanda Cioffi, Lidia Santarpia, Andrea Vaccaro, Roberto Iacone, Giuseppe Labruna, Maurizio Marra, Franco Contaldo, Mette Kristensen, Fabrizio Pasanisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In epidemiological studies, the intake of foods rich in dietary fiber is associated with a reduced risk of developing overweight and type 2 diabetes. This work aims to identify acute strategies to regulate appetite and improve glucose control by using different pasta meals. Hence, 4 different isocaloric lunch meals, consisting of (i) refined-grain pasta (RG+T), (ii) whole-grain pasta (WG+T), (iii) lemon juice-supplemented refined-grain pasta (LRG+T), and (iv) refined-grain pasta with legumes (RG+L), were administered to 8 healthy participants in a crossover design. On the test days, participants underwent baseline measurements, including appetite sensation, blood sample, and resting energy expenditure (EE), after which the test lunch was served. Subjective appetite was assessed and a blood sample was taken each hour for 240 min, and postprandial EE was measured for 3 h. In repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), postprandial fullness (p = 0.001) increased and hunger (p = 0.038) decreased. WG+T had a lower EE than did both LGR+T (p = 0.02) and RG+L (p <0.001). Likewise, meal-induced thermogenesis was lower for WG+T compared with RG+L (58 ± 81 kJ vs 248 ± 188 kJ; p <0.05). Plasma glucose (p = 0.001) was lower for RG+T, and triacylglycerols (p = 0.02) increased for LRG+T; however, insulin, C-peptide, and ghrelin were comparable in all other meals. In conclusion, our study indicates that acute consumption of whole-grain pasta may promote fullness and reduce hunger, lowering postprandial thermogenesis, and adding lemon juice to the pasta or legumes does not appear to affect appetite. However, none of pasta meal alterations improved the postprandial metabolic profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 12 2015


  • Fullness
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Legumes
  • Meal-induced thermogenesis
  • Whole-grain pasta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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