“What is Glycemic Load?”

The Glycemic Index measures how fast and high a specific food or beverage increases your Blood Sugar. A lower Glycemic Index indicates that a food will stimulate less Blood Sugar and is a “good” carbohydrate. A higher one means it’s a “bad” carbohydrate. This system is useful however it doesn’t account for your carbohydrate serving size. A better measure is your Glycemic Load.

To measure your Glycemic Load, use the following equation:

Glycemic Load = Glycemic Index  x  Grams of Carbohydrates/ 100

Glycemic Load measures the effect of the total amount of a food on your Blood Sugar. To find the Glycemic Load of any food or beverage, simply multiply the Glycemic Index by the number of carbohydrates per serving and then divide by 100 squared. What’s a healthy number? Shoot for 10 or less.

Glycemic Load guidelines per portion of a single food are…

Low Glycemic Load  =  0 to 10

Medium Glycemic Load  = 11 to 19

High Glycemic Load  =  20 and higher

Use this information that both measures provide, with the goal to eat low Glycemic Index/Glycemic Load foods, such as a salad, vegetable and a protein, keeping the total Glycemic Load of the meal low. Glycemic Load daily intake should range from a low of 60 to a high of 180. You can lower the Glycemic Index’s impact of a carbohydrate if you eat protein first. Glycemic Index is impacted by both gastric emptying time and speed of digestion in the intestines, and by adding healthy fats, such as butter on popcorn, potatoes, or pasta.

You can lower the ranking of pasta (which falls in the middle range of the Glycemic Index if you mix whole wheat pasta with regular pasta, and make a sauce with lots of vegetables and some protein. Eat plenty of low Glycemic Index foods, such as beans, legumes, and fruits, throughout the day and you’ll easily keep within or even below the recommended daily Glycemic Load of 100.

Lynn Lyons


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