Nutso-Sweet Friday – Glycemic Index vs. Load

Q: What about 
the difference & importance of 
Glycemic load vs. glycemic index?
A: A glycemic index is used to determine to what extent each food can raise blood sugars. Foods higher on the index, raise blood sugars more quickly. Inversely, those lower on the index have less impact on blood glucose. Obviously you want to concentrate on foods lower on the glycemic index (click on link for chart).
But because the amount of carbohydrate also affects blood sugar levels (and thus insulin response), it is also important to understand glycemic load. Glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbohydrates per serving in grams (you’d have to read the label or obtain carbohydrate in grams from food analysis data) and dividing the total by 100.
In terms of controlling your glycemic load:
  • Opt for foods with a glycemic load of 10 or less. These are your best bets.
  • Foods with a glycemic load of 10-20 should be your second choice, because they moderately raise blood sugars.
  • Try to minimize blood sugar-spiking / insulin-spiking foods – ie: those with glycemic load of 20+
For a chart of glycemic index and load of common carbohydrate foods, visit:
Attached is a portion of a chart with glycemic index, carbohydrate in grams and glycemic load (obtained from Linus Pauling Inst. website) so you can see how glycemic load calculated:
glycemic index = 81
grams of carb. per serving = 26
81 x 26g carb. per 1 cup serving = 2106 
2106 / 100 = glycemic load 21*

*Perhaps you should limit to 1/2 cup or choose a different carbohydrate.
The Morselist would like to add in layman terms:
Glycemic index is how much a food will raise your blood sugar.
Glycemic load is how quickly its absorbed.
For example, carrots have a high glycemic index but a low glycemic load because
although the carbs are absorbed quickly, there are not many carbs.
Great book & site  Dr. Dean Ornish’s THE SPECTRUM
p.s. If you’re wondering what the picture of the frog has to do with 
Glycemic index/load…it doesn’t..I just LIKE it! 🙂
Here’s a GIVEAWAY from Lauren, our NUTRI-SAVVY R.D.
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