Glycemic load is a measure of how much a given food will affect your body’s blood sugar levels. It takes into account both the glycemic index of the food, which tells you how fast the carbohydrates in the food are digested and absorbed, and the amount of carbohydrates present in a serving of the food. The glycemic load is determined by multiplying the glycemic index of the food by the amount of carbohydrates in one serving, and dividing the result by 100.
For example, suppose a food has a glycemic index of 70 and there are 15 grams of total carbohydrates in one serving. The glycemic load of this food would be calculated as follows: (70 x 15) / 100 = 10.5.
The glycemic load is then categorized according to the following scale:
- Low: 0-10
- Medium: 11-19
- High: 20 or more
Foods with a low glycemic load are better choices for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, while foods with a high glycemic load should be eaten in moderation. Foods with a medium glycemic load should make up the majority of your diet.
In addition to offering a quick way to determine the effect of a food on your blood sugar levels, the glycemic load also allows you to compare the relative blood sugar effects of different foods. For example, a food with a glycemic index of 70 and a serving size of 15 grams of carbohydrates would have a glycemic load of 10.5. But if the serving size of the same food was doubled to 30 grams, the glycemic load would double to 21.0. This shows that when it comes to the blood sugar-raising effects of a particular food, not only the glycemic index of the food, but also the amount of carbohydrates consumed, matters.
The glycemic load is a useful tool that can help you keep track of the impact of different foods on your blood sugar levels. By taking into account both the glycemic index of a food and the amount of carbohydrates in a serving, you can quickly determine which foods will have a greater or lesser impact on your blood sugar levels.