The glycemic load is the measure of a given food on blood glucose levels once the quantity of carbs (grams) in that food has also been factored into the assessment. It gives you a more precise and accurate picture of how food affects your glucose levels.
The glycemic load is calculated by taking the GI x the amount of carbohydrate (grams) and dividing it by 100.*
GI of 55 is low; GL of 10 is low.
This is important because there are some fruits and vegetables with a high glycemic index that may have a low glycemic load because they just don't contain enough carbs.
However, if you drink them as juice you will multiply your carbs and get a higher GL. Still...the juice, especially if you juice it yourself, will likely fall into the moderate range not the high range.
An example is the carrot. The carb content in a single raw carrot is 11 grams. The glycemic index is 35 so the GL using the formula above is 3.8 which is low.
If you juice three carrots you have 33 grams of carbs and the GL is 11.5 which is just over the low GL of 10 so it's still reasonable. The health benefits of carrot juice are well worth it.
Another example would be a thick slice of pineapple. Pineapple has a moderate GI of 66 but a slice of fresh pineapple has only 10 grams of carbs so the GL is 6.6 which is low. Pineapple is a wonderfully nutritious snack and one slice will probably not raise your blood sugar. Eating just one serving is key when you are eating something high glycemic with a low glycemic load.
The glycemic load considers the stress on your pancreas from the amount of the carbohydrate in the food. The GL, as it is sometimes called, is caused by eating too many carbs at once. This turns off the hormonal process that converts stored fat to energy. It can remain turned off for several hours after you have eaten which creates low energy and that sluggish feeling that is caused by an abnormal insulin response. If you are eating mainly low glycemic foods with a GL of 10 or under this will not happen.
A good example of eating too much of a good thing would be Ezekiel bread which has the low glycemic seal from the Glycemic Research Institute. This is an excellent high fiber bread that is made from sprouted grains. According to the company's online information, maltose, (the grain sugar produced during the sprouting process) is the slowest absorbing sugar in the human body. Obviously, it's a good choice for your bread.
You couldn't select a better bread for a low glycemic eating plan. Eating 1 slice for breakfast would be perfectly fine. The GL for one slice is approximately 8 which is low and the glycemic index is approximately 45.
However, it has 18 grams of carb per slice so if you eat two slices that's a GL of approximately 16. Ok for a lunch sandwich but you wouldn't want that many carbs for dinner. Again, moderation is important.
Whole grains are carbohydrate dense so it's best to stick to the low glycemic ones and to limit your portions.
There are many fruits and vegetables with a high
glycemic index yet they contain so few carbs you don't need to avoid them.
Watermelon, pineapple, the winter squashes, carrots, all fall into this
category. It's always better to eat the whole food. Watermelon juice or pineapple juice could raise your blood sugar.
Most vegetables are low glycemic and very alkaline and juicing them is a great way to get more enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Drinking fresh vegetable juice on a daily or at least weekly basis is probably the single most important thing you can do for your health and to lose weight!
Understanding the concept of the glycemic load frees us to be able to eat more foods that may have a high glycemic index but so few carbs per serving that they will likely not raise your blood sugar if you eat them in moderation.
It's not really necessary to get the GL calculations if you are trying to lose fat or just eat in a healthy way. As long as you pay careful attention to serving sizes you will be able to maintain a low glycemic eating plan using the glycemic index. Limit your high carb, low glycemic foods especially in the evening.
* University of Sydney - glycemic index data base
There are some glycemic researchers like the University of Sydney, S. Australia, publishing the GL, glycemic load, of a given food as well as the the GI, glycemic index. Please refer to Resources to find these indices from the research institutes themselves.
The glycemic index list of foods includes foods that lower blood sugar and
help you to lose fat!
Return from Glycemic Load to Glycemic Index.
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