Glycemic load versus Glycemic Index

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Chlofloso 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #73836

    Chlofloso
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    I often see posts about the Glycemic Index (GI). Wouldn’t it make more sense to speak of the Glycemic Load (GL) which takes into account the actual amount that you consume? Wouldn’t that change the view on certain foods, for example carrots (they have a GL of 3.5, while a white baguette has one of 48)

    table showing the GL of foods: http://www.ajcn.org/content/76/1/5/T1.expansion.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_load :
    “The glycemic load (GL) is a ranking system for carbohydrate content in food portions based on their glycemic index (GI) and a standardized portion size of 100g. Glycemic load or GL combines both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in one number. It is the best way to predict blood glucose values of different types and amounts of food. The formula is: GL = GI x the amount of available carbohydrate in a 100g serving / 100.[1]

    The glycemic load assesses the impact of carbohydrate consumption using the glycemic index but takes into account the amount of carbohydrate that is consumed. GL is a weighted GI value. For instance, watermelon has a high GI – but watermelon does not actually contain much carbohydrate, so the glycemic effect of eating it (and therefore its GL) is actually relatively low. The rationale for establishing glycemic load as an important characteristic of a food is based on the fact that a larger amount of a food with certain glycemic index that contains few available carbohydrates would have the same effect on blood sugar as a smaller amount of a food that has the same glycemic index but a higher carbohydrate content.”

    Wondering what you think about this!

    Chloë

    #73842

    Javizy
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    Topics: 20
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    It’s hard to use GL to draw up an allowed foods list though. You’d need to qualify everything with portion sizes and foods that have to be eaten with it. There are additional factors, like cooking method and time, that would influence the end GL too, and with people suffering digestive issues you can’t really say what’s going to happen to the food. The majority of it could never end up in the bloodstream as glucose and just ferment in the bowels.

    The GI is more straightforward when it comes to ruling out foods, although certainly you’ll want to consider the GL of your meals when you begin adding new foods in future. As far as GI is concerned, you might find this article about glycaemic profile interesting. None of these measurements are foolproof, so you’re generally better off looking at nutrition stats (grams of carbs and sugar per 100g in particular), and considering how you cook foods. Boiling and mashing vegetables will mean they’re digested much faster than a salad, for example.

    #74150

    Chlofloso
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    Topics: 28
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    A late thanks for the reply and the interesting article. I agree that it is complicated to take all those factors into account. But reading explanations like this one http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm on glycemic load I still find that logical… I mean, the rise in blood sugar level logically also depends on how much you eat of a certain carbohydrate, and if you eat a food like watermelon, which consists mainly of water, of course your blood sugar will not raise that much even though it has a high GI… well, I think we are all trying our best to avoid too much sugar 😉

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