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What is the Difference of Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load?

Aug 17, 2007
Both the Glycemic index (GI) and the Glycemic load (GL) rankings of carbohydrates are based on the effect they have on the body when they are converted to glucose as they enter the bloodstream.

Glycemic index ranks how quickly sugar (glucose) enters the bloodstream after a particular carbohydrate is eaten.

Glycemic load takes into account not only how quickly a certain food is converted into sugar in the body but also how much glucose a particular carbohydrate contains.

Nutritionists have divided the Glycemic index into three distinct modules: low, medium and high. The categorization is determined by application to a scale from zero to one hundred - based on the effect each food has on blood sugar levels. For analytical purposes, the scale identifies low glucose content as up to 55, medium as 56 to 70 and high glucose levels are 70 and above. The lower the Glycemic index evaluation, the slower the rate glucose is absorbed by the bloodstream.

The Glycemic index of any food is limited for evaluation purposes because rather than determining exactly how much sugar a particular food contains, its focus is on the rate of sugar absorption by the blood. In order to determine the true nutritional value of any food the Glycemic index should be considered along with its Glycemic load.

A prime example of this is carrots if their nutritional value is rated solely on the Glycemic index, it appears that carrots contain high glucose content (rated around 74), and should be avoided if one is attempting to restrict glucose ingestion. However, when carrots are evaluated with a combination of both Glycemic index and Glycemic load, one finds that although the levels of glucose found in carrots is absorbed quickly by the bloodstream (GI), the actual amount of sugar in carrots is relatively low (GL) and so they are a nutritional asset. Pasta on the other hand has both a high GI and GL rating and as such has far less nutritional value.

Nutritionists advocate a diet based on consumption of foods with a low Glycemic load because studies have determined that these foods are great contributors to loss of waistline fat (the most dangerous fat content) because low Glycemic load foods seem to be able to not only satisfy hunger urges for longer periods of time, they also seem to mobilize the bodys fat burning capabilities.

Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread and other processed foods have been identified as nutritional culprits because of their ability to elevate blood glucose levels at a faster rate, thus contributing to additional strain on the body. Foods with the right combination of Glycemic index and Glycemic load, such as legumes and whole grains are able to be absorbed by the body more slowly and do not have such a detrimental affect on the bodys ability to absorb and distribute glucose.

Making informed decisions on your diet should be done by evaluating both the Glycemic index and Glycemic load of your carbohydrate choices. By replacing processed and refined carbohydrates like those prevalent in white bread and snacks with fruits and low-starch vegetables, whole grains and beans you will be offering your body foods that are nutrient rich and can assist in slowing digestion while moderating blood sugar levels.
About the Author
Copyright http://www.healthdietplan.com, Tarja Anchor; Kajava Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner.
More information about nutrition, healthy diet plan, food supplements, diets, and healthy fast weight loss at Healthdietplan.com and http://www.tarjaanchor.com
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