Journey To Total Health
By Jesi Mandagaran
Following upon my previous blog with all of its light shining on the Glycemic index, I now bring you it’s complicated lover, the Glycemic Load. The GI + the GL make for one heck of a power couple.
Imagine this, you walk up to a table decorated by a red and white checkered table cloth. And on that table is 1 cup of delicious cubed watermelon and on the opposite end of the table is a medium blueberry muffin. In front of the watermelon is a sign that reads GI: is 72. In front of the muffin is another sign reading GI: is 59. (GI= Glycemic Index). Considering our blood sugar levels, which one would be the best choice? …Tricky-Tricky.
Now, according to Glycemic index charts and the GI definition alone, the muffin seems to be the one you’re taking home tonight right? Well of course I am calling this muffin, my Muffin for the night since the GI number is lower than the watermelon’s GI!
[Buzzer insert noise here.] WRONG.
While the GI only tells part of the story, the Glycemic Load (GL) tells the whole story.
GI, glycemic index is the measurement of foods that affect the blood sugar levels from 0-100+, a ranking of foods how quickly they are digested and hit the bloodstream.
GL, glycemic load is a number based off the concentrated amount of a serving. It’s the quality and quantity giving a more accurate story of the food item.
A tad confusing, I know. Let’s go back to the same table with the same berry muffin and the delicious watermelon but now with the GI’s as well as the GL’s.
- Watermelon: GI- 72 | GL- 2
- Muffin: GI- 59 | GL- 17
Great, Jesi, now how do I know which one to choose? So, just like the Glycemic index has a scale from Low to High, (Low 0-55, MED 56-69, High 70+)
GL Scale: 1-10 LOW, 10-20 MEDIUM, 20+ HIGH
So, according the GL scale, the watermelon with a GL of 2 is the sexier choice rather than the blueberry muffin of a GL at 17.
Here’s how to identify the lotus in all that mud, I give you, the GL equation.
Glycemic Index # x Net Carbs # / 100 = the Glycemic Load
** Net Carbs = Grams Total Carbohydrates – Grams Fiber.
Or, if you want to get really fancy; Net Carbs = Grams Total Carbohydrates – (Grams Fiber + Grams Sugar Alcohol)
EXAMPLE: 1 medium apple. The GI is 38. Its Net Carb is 16.
38×16=608, 608/100= 6.0à GL of 1 medium is 6 which falls under the LOW category in the GL scale.
Ooh, La-La, right? I know, for those of you who don’t speak math well, like myself, it is okay. Luckily, we live in a such a time right now where we can just simply ask Google, or Siri, or Alexa etc. My point is, there are websites now that have food lists with the Glycemic Load information already done for you. …WHEW
Why are we needing to know this stuff? Well, quick recap, chronic diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart attacks, are accounting for deaths at 70% every year—70%!!!, it’s safe to say our way of eating needs to change and that old skanky carb-heavy food pyramid has got to go. Ciao baby! Understanding how and which foods effect our blood sugar levels is a pretty darn good place to start, being that the repeated pattern of blood sugar spiking leads to obesity, and obesity leads to Type 2 Diabetes, heart attacks etc. etc. etc. SO! I end with the money question from my previous blog:
If it is true and it is, that continual high GI/GL carb eating spikes both blood sugar and insulin levels high and blocks the fat burning hormone, why would it make any sense to keep eating that way???
GI + GL = True Love. #Romeo+Juliet
For Nutrition Coaching inquire: Nutrition Coach Laura Nava (<– Email link)
See you in the box!
YouTube: (3min) GI vs GL w Dr. Berg
YouTube: (6min) GI & GL explained