Glycemic Load: What is it and how to use it for our diet?

The glycemic load is a relatively new concept that can provide interesting information about the foods we eat. Therefore, we tell you what the glycemic load is and how to use this data for our diet.

What is the glycemic load?

In addition, we have said that the glycemic index with a number shows the impact of food on blood glucose levels in the body. The glycemic load includes an index and consider other important aspects of our diet.

The glycemic load (GL) of a food is determined by dividing the glycemic index thereof by 100 and multiplying the result of this equation by the grams of carbohydrate or carbohydrate content present in the amount assessed.

That is, unlike the glycemic load, glycemic index not only considers the lifting speed of product glucose intake of food but also take into account the carbohydrate content of the food.

So a high glycemic index food may have a low glycemic load because although it is rapidly absorbed and raises glucose in blood in a short time, has few carbohydrates.

This parameter, being more complete than the glycemic index to classify and include food, it is most practical to assess the quality of what we eat and its impact on the body.

Depending on the glycemic load, it is considered that:

  • Low glycemic load: Less than 10
  • Glycemic load average: Between 11 and 19.
  • High glycemic load: Greater than or equal to 20

Using the glycemic load in favor of our diet

Glycemic Load

Knowing what the glycemic load is, we must bear in mind that for diabetics remain important to consider the glycemic index (GI), i.e. the rate of rising of blood glucose, but also is very useful observer the glycemic load.

Because no matter how much we eat an apple it will have the same IG always, this parameter has its limitations, while a larger amount consumed more glycemic load and, therefore, is a concept to consider if we want to take care of the diet, as in food quantity also matters.

To lose weight is essential to consider the glycemic load because depending on a number of hydrates have a reference value and clearly higher carbohydrate content greater caloric intake.

Thus, a fruit like a pineapple can have a very high GI, but has a low CG, and becomes a food fit for our diet if we lose weight.

Then we leave a table with food and glycemic load and glycemic index so you can appreciate the differences.

While a food with high CG and low GI may be useful to consume a couple of hours before training or for athletes who need long-term energy, a food with high GI but low CG can be useful for those who are caring for the line.

If we care about the quality of the diet, it is best to choose foods low or medium CG and limit the presence of food with high CG, since they are the ones who mostly consist of simple, such as candy sugar, goodies or refined grains that have little fiber.

We see that the glycemic load can be much more useful than the glycemic index only, it offers a more complete when evaluating foods that make up our plates look.

How glycemic load influences body fat?

The glycemic load of a food, unlike the glycemic index not only takes into account the speed at which the blood glucose rises, but also the amount of carbohydrates that have a particular food.

This term is a bit more novel than the glycemic índivce and serves to have a broader view of the quality of the food we are eating, because it shows us how many carbohydrates absorbed by the body and how it affects the blood sugar levels. For all this, the glycemic load may be related to body fat.

The glycemic load of food is determined by dividing the GI (glycemic index) by 100 and then multiplying the result by the carbohydrate content. So a high glycemic index fruit, for example, watermelon has a GI of 72, have a low glycemic load because its carbohydrate content is low (4%).

Then, a food whose glycemic load is high (greater than 20) significantly affects the secretion of insulin, which not only stimulates glycogen formation but once repletion it stimulates the formation of fat through hydrates.

Ingesting large amounts of preparations with high glycemic load, that is, besides having high glycemic index have many hydrates. For example, ice cream, the sweets or foods refined sugar may be the cause of an increase in body fat. Therefore, we must not only control the calories and fat in the diet but also take into account the quality of food sources of carbohydrates, it is also necessary to protect the body.

The glycemic load is more practical than the glycemic index

We will show you in rest of this article about the glycemic index have limitations and is not always practical. For me, it is more practical the concept of glycemic load (CG), as it takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in a serving of the food we consume and produce in response to glucose.

Why is glycemic load better?

The glycemic load is calculated by dividing the glycemic index of food by 100 and multiplying by the amount of carbohydrate in grams having the ration. Thus, the data we get is more real about the way a ration of food will influence our blood sugar. Thus, we see how the glycemic load is more practical than the glycemic index.

Here you can see the scale that considers the different values of CG:

  • CG high: More than 20
  • Average CG: Between 11-19
  • CG low: Less than 10

Practical applications of the glycemic load

A food can have a very high glycemic index (GI), however, the amount consumed in a serving may not have much impact on blood sugar. This way we aside to one of the limitations of IG, which always takes into account the same amount of food (50) grams, which is calculated with an amount of food such as to provide 50 grams of hydrates bioavailable. In some foods that 50 grams is an acceptable ration and other outrageous.

This can be seen in the case of white bread, the GI is older (95), and however, what we consider a serving of bread has an average glycemic load (15). Of course, at the time we surpassed that eating ration glycemic response will be higher, so the amounts to eat are important if we want to have controlled blood levels.

In addition, we have the opposite example we can see in the table, the macaroni, with an average GI of 47 have one, considered a high glycemic load of 23. This is because the amount we take in a serving of pasta is not 50 grams that are what he considers the IG, but 70-100 grams, so the impact on blood sugar will be higher. For this reason macaroni or pasta, in general, are used to replenish glycogen stores, the glycemic response is greater and the speed of filling the tanks too.

However, this concept of glycemic load also has the limitation of IG in that a meal with fat and fiber influences the absorption of sugars, so they no longer make sense data. However, to meals before, during and after exercise can help us to know what food take, like if we want to control weight and do not want to have high glycemic peaks.

If we are to make a long – distance training and we want to have a constant supply of carbohydrates, we can choose any food average glycemic load so you provide us hydrates slowly. But if we want to recover glycogen stores or raise our blood sugar something for a test of short duration, take food with the higher glycemic load.

No doubt, people who know most about this issue are diabetics, who control the GLs very well and how different foods will affect their blood sugar levels. Athletes can serve to help us to know what, how much and when to eat certain foods according to our goals.

What is a glycemic index, and how to reduce it in the kitchen?

You have probably heard of the glycemic index as part of diets for weight loss or perhaps in people with diabetes because it represents a value that describes the effect of food on the elevation of blood glucose. To learn more of what it is, we tell you what the glycemic index and how to reduce it in the kitchen.

What is the glycemic index (GI)?

The glycemic index is a value that is awarded to food to describe the impact of their consumption on blood glucose levels. Thus, it is taken as reference glucose with a GI of 100 and based on this is classified as a numerical value to other foods.

In diets to lose weight often hear about the glycemic index, perhaps because high GI food, such as a sweet fruit or orange juice, raises blood sugar and, therefore, raises insulin levels. This hormone is responsible for promoting the deposition of glucose in the body and their use by cells. In addition, it involves the formation of body fat sugar entering the body with food is higher than it needs.

On the other hand, for people with diabetes know the GI of foods and how to reduce it is of great importance since it implies to reduce the impact of what they consume on blood sugar. That is, to avoid sudden elevations of blood glucose.

Factors that affect the glycemic index

Since the IG describes the response on glucose intake of food, several factors influence this value number. For example not the same food that is quickly digested and contains sugar as a sugary soda, a food that has a high amount of fiber that slow digestion and also have complex carbohydrates and proteins but no simple sugars, eg legumes.

Thus, the size of the particles food affects digestion, as the method of cooking employed, the fiber content and the presence of nutrients, all of which influences the glycemic index of a food.

Then rice al dente be more difficult to digest than past cooking rice, thus, the first lower GI has the second. Similarly, it happens with pasta and in the case of potatoes, mashed having a higher degree of processing, have higher glycemic index than some potatoes roasted skin.

In addition, mashed potatoes can be digested more slowly if you consume it simultaneously to a protein-rich food such as a fillet of beef because proteins are mixed with hydrates and delay the digestion of the latter.

Tips for reducing the glycemic index in the kitchen

When guided by the GI, we must not ignore that high in fat or protein such as oils or meat, not having hydrates and digested slowly, foods have a low GI, however, we must abusing them in the diet daily.

Reduce the glycemic index will be very useful for those who want to control their blood sugars, but we must not neglect the balanced intake of other nutrients.

In the kitchen, we can achieve great things and therefore, if we contemplate the IG when preparing our dishes, especially those rich in carbohydrates, bear in mind the following tips:

  • Avoid long cooking times and try to include fresh or lesser degree of cooking food on plates: a raw carrot Grated will lower GI than a baked and the latter will have a lower GI carrot puree.
  • Choose good food combinations to add fiber – rich carbohydrates or combine them with protein dishes. You can choose a skin potato salad, fresh vegetables, dried fruits, and eggs, for example.
  • Incorporates fresh vegetables preparations meal spaghetti with broad beans and asparagus, pizza artichoke, pasties various vegetables, penne with zucchini and ricotta cheese, among others, are good alternatives to add fiber, slow digestion of carbohydrates and thus reduce the IG.

These are good tips to reduce the GI of the dishes when cooking and thus control the rise in blood glucose. Something that can not only be useful to keep the line and lose weight but also for people with diabetes who are physically active and need power for a long time, for the latter, nothing better than a pre – exercise meal low glycemic index providing energy to go slow and progressive manner the body.