Glycemic Load

Posted on 28 June 2011

Glycemic index alone cannot refer to the exact blood sugar response of the consumed food. If you consume a small amount of a high GI food, like one small glass of cola or you eat one big plate of brown rice, the effect on blood sugar can be the same. Of course you feel more satisfied after the plate of rice then the small, 2dl cola. Glycemic load (GL) gives you the possibility to compare an amount of food according to their actual effects on blood sugar.

The formula of GL is the following:

GI*  the amount of total carbohydrate in the food (what you can read on he label of some pre-packaged food). It can give you a helpful tool which helps you to design your diet around a moderate carbohydrate load giving the effect of the exact proportion of food on blood glucose level. It helps avoiding high blood sugar peak, which can cause dizziness, fatigue and other health effects an hour later.

If you eat a bagel from white wheat which is 50gr you can calculate it’s GL like the following:

The GI of white bread is 90, the carbohydrate content is around 50% of its weight (reading from its label), so 50gr in 100gr. The glycemic load of this bagel is calculated like this: 0.5 * 50* 0.9 =22.5

The diet advice is to keep the GL of one meal in the medium category: 10-20, and for a day is no more then 120 if you train less then one hour in that day. Use a meal over 20 only as a carbohydrate load meal after training or during high volume endurance activity, but not in everyday diet.

Some help for GL of some food available here, if you do not want to count, but be careful GL always refer to an exact amount of food. If the GL of 100gr sweet corn is 10, the GL of 500gr is 50!!!: http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htmű

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

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