The efficacy of combining carbohydrate quality with exercise on metabolic syndrome risk is unclear. Thus, we determined the effects of exercise training with a low or high glycemic diet on metabolic syndrome severity (Z-score).
Twenty-one adults (66.2 ± 1.1 yr; BMI = 35.3 ± 0.9 kg/m2) with metabolic syndrome were randomized to 12 weeks of exercise (60 minutes/d for 5 d/week at ~85% HRmax) and provided a low-glycemic (n=11; LoGIx) or high glycemic (n=10; HiGIx) diet. Z-scores were determined from: blood pressure, triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and waist circumference (WC) before and after the intervention. Body composition, aerobic fitness, insulin resistance, and non-esterfied fatty acid (NEFA) suppression were also assessed.
LoGIx and HiGIx decreased body mass and insulin resistance and increased aerobic fitness comparably (p < 0.05). LoGIx and HiGIx decreased the Z-score similarly, as each intervention decreased blood pressure, TG, FPG, and WC (p < 0.05). HiGIx tended to suppress NEFA during insulin stimulation compared to LoGIx (p = 0.06).
Our findings highlight that exercise with weight loss reduces metabolic syndrome severity whether individuals were randomized to a high or low glycemic index diet.