What is Glycemic Load (GL)?

Glycemic load considers the quality and the quantity of carbohydrate content of the foods. Glycemic index takes into account the quality of the carbohydrate in a food and ignores its quantity. A glycemic index value therefore tells us only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn't tell how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. Both the things are important to understand a food's effect on blood sugar.

Glycemic Load = GI x carbohydrate/100

Take watermelon as an example of calculating glycemic load.

The glycemic index = 72
In a serving of 120 grams, it has 6 grams of available carbohydrate.
The glycemic load = (72/100) x 6 = 4.32 = 4 rounded.

By simply looking at the glycemic index value you will think that watermelon is not good for you, but its glycemic load is low, so it is safe to eat.




Diabetes Signs and diabetes information | Liquors sugar content | GIycemic index |GIycemic index food list | GI diet


The glycemic index value alone does not give accurate picture of the food. The glycemic load (GL) takes both the things into account.

The glycemic load is the glycemic index divided by 100 multiplied by its available carbohydrate content (i.e. carbohydrates minus fiber) in grams.

Foods that have a low glycemic index invariably have a low GL, while foods with an intermediate or high glycemic index range from very low to very high GL. Therefore, you can reduce the GL of your diet by limiting foods that have both a high glycemic index and a high carbohydrate content.

To optimize insulin levels, you should eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains preferably with low glycemic index and low GL values. The fiber contained in these foods slows down the release of sugars.

The following table gives a values for low, medium and high glycemic load for foods.

Value Glycemic Index (GI) Glycemic Load (GL)
High 70 or more 20 or higher
Medium 56 to 69 inclusive 11 to 19 inclusive
Low 55 or less 10 or less

Values are with reference to Glucose.

Foods that have a low glycemic index invariably have a low glycemic load, while foods with an intermediate or high glycemic index range from very low to very high glycemic load. Therefore, you can reduce the glycemic load of your diet by limiting foods that have both a high glycemic index and a high carbohydrate content.

Glycemic Load Diet

You can reduce the glycemic load of your diet by limiting foods that have both a high glycemic index and a high carbohydrate content.

To optimize insulin levels, you should eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains preferably with low glycemic index and low GL values.

Dr Rob Thompson, M.D. suggests in his book, "Glycemic Load Diet" (Mcgraw-Hill, 2006) that to stop your body from overproducing insulin, you should not consume glycemic load more than about 500 (bread based) in a day. Generally, you can eat foods with glycemic load values under 100 in satisfying amounts without gaining weight or raising the risk of diabetes.

So what are the foods with glycemic loads higher than 100 (bread based)?

According to the glycemic load diet the following foods should be restricted:

Grain products
flour products
potatoes
rice and
sugar containing soft drinks and juices.

You should avoid these 5 foods in your diet. It is recommended that "you need not to count on glycemic loads but just don't eat more than 1/4 serving of flour products, rice or potatoes at a time and don't drink sugar containing soft drinks and juices." The message is that you should avoid starchy foods from your diet.

The starchy carbohydrates are readily transformed to fat when your activity levels are low like just before bed. They either are stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles or are converted into fatty acids and stored in adipose tissue as body fat. Therefore, the best time to consume high GL foods is early in the day, may be breakfast.

It is pointed out that more than a couple of servings a day of foods with higher glycemic load values (more than 100) push up insulin levels to the risk of diabetes, and encourages weight gain.




You should watch your insulin levels if you are on diabetes medications as the use of glycemic load diet will control your diabetes.

Reference: Rob Thompson, Glycemic Load Diet, Mcgraw-Hill, 2006.



Related Content




Bookmarks, Share, Email, Add This Page




Search Site & Web






Popular Articles


Health Articles

Weight loss tips Blood Pressure Chart Stress Management Hair Care Sensitive Teeth Remedy Toothache Home Remedies Abdominal Exercises Worms in human Pictures

Food Related Articles

Foods Hing in Antioxidants Fiber Rich Foods Chart Iron Rich Foods Vegetable Carb List List of Low Carb Foods Weight Gain Tips Mcdonalds Ingredients Indian Vegetarian Recipes Food Poisoning Symptoms Calories in McDonald's French Fries Cholesterol in scallops Gout Diet