What is Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load?

What is glycemic index and glycemic load?

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale (0-100), which quantifies how quickly food turns to sugar in the body. Glycemic load (GL) is a number (on a scale of 0-100) resulting from multiplying the glycemic index of the food by the amount of carbohydrates per serving, then dividing that number by 100.

The lower the GL, the more stability within the body, i.e., balanced blood sugar and insulin levels. For those who live with chronic blood sugar and insulin imbalances such as diabetes, it is imperative to maintain a low GL diet. 


Here are some ideas to lower your glycemic load:


1 pop over to these guys. Skip the sodas and juices. If water is too boring, flavor it up using fresh fruit as a base. If you need some carbonation, try La Croix Sparkling Flavored Water, an excellent calorie-free, no sugar option.

2. Did you know white rice has a glycemic load of 43 per serving?! That’s higher than most pasta! Trade white rice for brown rice or quinoa. If you’re really craving pasta, try the Black Bean & Quinoa Pasta from Trader Joe’s. It packs 15 grams of fiber per serving (the higher the fiber content, the lower the GL).

3. Leafy greens, beans and nuts naturally have lower GI’s and GL’s. Need a filling midday snack idea? Grab some hummus and carrots for the lowest GI rating of 2.

4. Fruits are an excellent option to satisfy a sugar craving. Stick with citrus, apples and melons. Go easy on the bananas, grapes, dates and prunes; their GL is almost as high as some pastas and breads. Certain foods have a high GI, but a low GL due to their fiber and carbohydrate content. Watermelon is a good example; it has a GI of 81, but a GL of 5, so if you’ve got a sweet tooth, this would be a good choice.

For a list of over 100 foods and their GI and GL measurements, read on here…

Eat well to be well!


Find a primary care physician for your glycemic load?

4C Medical Group provides primary care throughout the valley of Phoenix.  With multiple locations, you can find a primary care clinic near you.

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