Glycemic Index Vs Glycemic Load

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Glycemic Index

Glycemic index is a measure of how fast a food raises your Blood Glucose Levels.

Glycemic Index of a carbohydrate containing food is determined by comparing the glucose excursions or fluctuations of blood glucose levels after consuming a 50g of test food with glucose excursions after consuming 50g of reference food ( White Bread)

                               Blood glucose area under the curve (3h) for test food                                                                  
  Glycemic Index =   —————————————————————————   × 100                                                                           
                              Blood glucose area under the curve (3h) for reference food

Eating low glycemic index foods results in lower glucose levels after meals. 

GI is measured on a scale of 1 to 100 and 100 being the Highest. Foods which are 55 or less are considered Low GI Foods and those which are 70 and greater are considered High GI Foods.

Low glycemic index foods have values of 55 or less and include 

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables 
  • Grainy breads
  • Pasta
  • Legumes

High glycemic index foods have values of 70 or greater and include 

  • Baked potato
  • White bread
  • White rice.

Our meals would mostly consist of carbs, proteins and the presence of fats and Glycemic index tend to be lowered when we have mixed meals.

Glycemic Load

Glycemic load (GL) is a measure of how much a food raises your blood sugar levels in one serving. It takes into account both the glycemic index of a food and the amount of carbohydrates in one serving.

To calculate the glycemic load of a food, you multiply the glycemic index of the food by the grams of carbohydrates in one serving, then divide by 100. 


Which is more important for weight loss, Glycemic Index or Glycemic Load?

The glycemic load is more important for weight loss than the glycemic index. That’s because the glycemic load takes into account both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a food.

For example, watermelon has a high glycemic index (72), but it is mostly water and has very few carbohydrates (about 11 grams per cup). This means that watermelon has a low glycemic load (about eight).

On the other hand, a slice of white bread has a lower glycemic index (70), but it has more carbohydrates (about 15 grams per slice). This means that white bread has a higher glycemic load (about 11).

So, when you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to pay attention to the glycemic load of the foods you’re eating, not just the glycemic index.

Glycemic Index of High Carbohydrate Foods

High Carbohydrate FoodsGlycemic Index
White Bread75 ± 2
Specialty Grain Bread 53 ± 2
Wheat Roti62 ± 3
Chapati 52 ± 4
Corn Tortilla46 ± 4
White Rice, boiled73 ± 4
Brown Rice, boiled68 ± 4
Sweet corn52 ± 5
Rice Noodles53 ± 7
Barley 28 ± 2

Glycemic Index of Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast CerealsGlycemic Index
Cornflakes81 ±  6
Porridge, rolled oats55 ±  2
Instant oat porridge79 ±  3
Rice porridge78 ±  9
Millet porridge67 ±  5
Muesli57 ±  2

Glycemic Index of Fruits

FruitsGlycemic Index
Apple,raw36 ± 2
Orange,raw43 ± 3
Banana,raw51 ± 3
Pineapple,raw59 ± 8
Mango,raw51 ± 5
Watermelon, raw76 ± 4

Glycemic Index Food List of Vegetables

VegetablesGlycemic Index
Potato, boiled78 ± 4
Potato, instant mash87 ± 3
Potato, French fries63 ± 5
Carrots, boiled39 ± 4
Sweet potato, boiled63 ± 6
Pumpkin, boiled64 ± 7

Glycemic Index List of Dairy Products

Dairy ProductsGlycemic Index
Milk, full fat39 ± 3
Milk, skim37 ± 4
Ice cream51 ± 3
Yogurt, fruit41 ± 2
Soy milk43 ± 4
Rice milk86 ± 7

Glycemic Index of Legumes

LegumesGlycemic Index
Chickpeas28 ± 9
Kidney Beans24 ± 4
Lentils32 ± 5
Soya Beans16 ± 1

Glycemic Index Food List of Common Snacks

SnacksGlycemic Index
Chocolate40 ± 3
Pop Corn65 ± 5
Potato Chips56 ± 3
Soft Drink / Soda59 ± 3
Rice Crackers87 ± 2

Glycemic Index of Sugars

SugarsGlycemic Index
Sucrose65 ± 4
Honey61 ± 3
Fructose15 ± 4

To calculate Glycemic Load, multiply the glycemic index of the food by the grams of carbohydrates in one serving, then divide by 100.

Glycemic Index of Common Foods

Common Food ListGlycemic Index
Basmati Rice55
Jasmine Rice109
Maple syrup65
Black Beans20
Pinto Beans45
Red Kidney Beans20
Sourdough bread54
Peanut butter14
Maltodextrin106 to 136
Table sugar65
Honey 58

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