Glycemic Load

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic Load (GL) is the term used to rate foods according to their effect on individuals’ blood sugar. The glycemic load of a food is an estimate of how much the carbohydrate in the food will elevate a person’s blood sugar level after consuming it. One unit of glycemic load approximates the effect of eating one pound of carbohydrate for one person. In general, the lower the glycemic load, the better the carbohydrate content of the food.


Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Loads (GL) represent two completely different concepts. A GI diet system divides foods into categories according to their glycemic index. Foods are then ranked from low to high according to their glycemic index. Foods with the lowest glycemic index are called low-glycemic foods, while foods with the highest GI are known as high-glycemic foods. GI is a ranking system that was developed by Robert Atkins and John Atkins in the 1970s. They based their systems on studies conducted by scientists who had previously shown that a high intake of simple carbohydrates leads to obesity, insulin resistance, and various diseases.

Glycemic Loads are based on the glycemic index. They take into consideration not only the number of carbohydrates in the food but also its glycemic index. A higher than average glycemic index means that the carbohydrate will have a greater amount of time to be metabolized and converted into glucose instead of into body fat. A lower than average glycemic load means that the carbohydrate will be absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream and used before the end of the meal. It will also take longer before the glucose reaches our cells and is used as a source of energy.


Both the GI and glycemic load systems can be considered to be dietary guidelines. However, they are not 100% accurate due to many factors. For instance, many factors can affect the blood sugar levels of diabetics such as age, gender, race, obesity, and the medications they may be taking. As well, the foods that you eat can also affect your blood sugar levels. Therefore you need to know how your body reacts to various foods.


A good way to start keeping track of your glycemic load is to eat a meal that has a low GI and then another high GI meal. This should tell you how your body reacted to the two meals. For instance, you can compare the blood glucose levels of a bowl of rice that is served with skim milk versus a bowl of white rice that is served with whole milk.

If you like a bit of both and your blood glucose levels are already at a high state before you even taste the white rice, chances are good that the skim milk will make your stomach feel satisfied and keep your blood glucose levels at a healthy level. On the other hand, if you feel like you absolutely cannot tolerate any forms of sugar at all, chances are good that you would be sensitive to any amount of white sugar, regardless of whether it had a low or high GI.

Once you learn about your glycemic load, you need to change your diet so that you are consuming foods that have a low glycemic load. Some of these foods can be vegetables and fruits. For some people, changing their diet can take some time because they are used to eating certain foods on a daily basis. In addition, changing your diet can get expensive because you may need to replace some of your favorite carbohydrates with other foods.

When you are learning about your glycemic load, you will find that the two most common foods have a high level of GI but a low level of GL. These foods include many types of bread and pasta. The only foods that have a low glycemic load but have a medium level of GL are oatmeal and some whole-grain cereals. Most people do not eat very often in front of these two common foods, but when they do, they end up digging into the delicious taste of those bread and pasta.

Substitute Your Diet Plan

To keep your diet healthy, you should add variety to your meals. This can be done by substituting your white rice and couscous for brown rice. You can also substitute your white bread for brown bread, as well as your pasta for wheat pasta. There are several ways to make sure that you are getting plenty of variety while you are changing your diet. By adding variety to your food choices, you will keep your blood sugar levels stable, which will prevent you from developing hypoglycemia. You can learn more about your glycemic load and common food allergens by registering for a free online sugar diabetic diet guide.

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