Glycemic Index vs Glycemic Load


So by now, you all must be familiar with sugar levels and how a rapid rise in blood sugar and hence in insulin isn’t a desirable condition for your body. That’s the first and very important step in this journey to control the insulin spikes in your body. 

The next step that really makes a shift on the awareness level is knowing and judging which food fulfills the above condition and which does not. To do this there are two terms you need to get familiar with:

  1. Glycemic Index: The glycemic index (GI) assigns a numeric score to a food based on how drastically it makes your blood sugar rise. Foods are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose (sugar) given a value of 100. The lower a food’s glycemic index, the slower blood sugar rises after eating that food. In general, the more processed a food is, the higher its GI, and the more fiber or fat in a food, the lower it’s GI.
  2.  Glycemic Load: Glycemic load is how high your blood sugar could go when you actually eat the food. It gives a more complete picture of a food’s complete effect on blood sugar, by taking into consideration both how quickly it makes glucose after it enters the bloodstream and how much glucose per serving it can deliver. 

For instance, Raisins and watermelon have glycemic index 64 and 72 respectively but their glycemic load are 56 and 4 respectively. This means even if you eat the same quantity of raisins and watermelon insulin spike will be much much higher in the case of raisins.

For a guideline, food with a glycemic load below 10 gives a low spike in blood sugar, between 10-20 a moderate one, and anything above 20 is high and should be avoided.

So next time whenever you are confused about eating something or not in your diet, refer to google for glycemic load and judge for yourself. One critical thing to note is that glycemic load depends on the size of your serving so whenever you look for one do check for how big a serving it is given for. So 200 g watermelon will have twice the glycemic load as compared to 100g watermelon. So don’t a kg saying that glycemic load given is low.

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