Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load – Dr. Robert Woodbury

Your body converts certain foods (ie. carbohydrates) into sugar that get into your blood stream. Foods that produce high levels of blood sugar are high glycemic foods. When you eat these foods, your body produces more insulin. When your insulin levels are high your body stores fat. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a  low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike. A list of carbohydrates with their glycemic values is shown below. A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low. (Mendosa)

What is Insulin? Insulin is a hormone that is directly affected by the carbohydrates you eat. Insulin regulates fat metabolism and controls blood sugar levels.

What is Blood Sugar? Blood sugar is the fuel that all cells in the body use to make energy. It is important to maintain blood sugar levels for optimal health.

The Glycemic Load (GL) is a relatively new way to assess the impact of carbohydrate consumption that takes the glycemic index into account, but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone. A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn’t tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. You need to know both things to understand a food’s effect on blood sugar. That is where glycemic load comes in. A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11 to 19 inclusive is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low. (Mendosa)

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Sources: Mendosa