Curious about Glycemic Load and Index?

Curious about Glycemic Load and Index?

I have written about glycemic index and load in the past but thought I would touch on it again….

The glycemic load is a ranking system for carbohydrate content in food portions.

The glycemic index (gl) is the ranking of foods according to how quickly the food – glucose – will be absorbed in the bloodstream. Basically it is defined during a 2-hour blood glucose response after ingesting approximately 50 grams of a carbohydrate. The higher the GL, the more rapid the raise in blood sugar in the body.

The glycemic index is not the best glucose indicator as some foods may have a high glycemic index but have many other quality aspects – packed with nutrients and fiber- that benefit the body.

The glycemic load is a perfect predictor of blood sugar values in different types of foods putting emphasis on both the quality (key) and quantity (also key) of the food. It is basically the effect of our blood sugar and insulin levels after eating. The formula is:

Glycemic Load (GL) = (glycemic index x carbohydrate gram per serving) divided by 100.

I am all about visual example so to really grasp a concept.

Carrot (fiber and nutrient rich):

GL = (47 x 7.5 grams of carbohydrate) divided by 100

GL = 3.5

White bread (no fiber, no nutrients):

GL = (95 x 50 grams of carbohydrate) divided by 100

GL = 48

The key to remember here is the more fiber and nutrients the food has to offer, the more beneficial it is in the body and thus will have the desired lower GL index (for example; cornflakes has a GL of 84 and oatmeal (has more fiber) has a GL of 42… therefore the latter being the better choice. It really all boils down to eating more whole, colorful, fiber packed, and nutrient rich foods. This is the basis of good health!

Next post will be on, what sugar does in the body.

Be well

Heather Manley N.D.

Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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