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Tallying Your Glycemic Load

Fullness Factor


The simple explanation is – the glycemic index (GI) compares the potential of foods containing the same amount of carbohydrate to raise blood glucose. The glycemic load of a food is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index (GI) by the amount of carbohydrate in grams provided by a food and dividing the total by 100. The concept of this equation was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality of GI and quantity of carbs in a meal.


When you obtain a Glycemic Load Chart, you will see lines for comparison listed in the following manner:


Cornflakes GL of 81 Serving Size 1 cup Carbs 26 Load 21
Peanuts GL of 14 Serving Size 1 cup Carbs 6 Load 1


With all foods listed in this manner, you can easily see the high end (cornflakes) and the low end (peanuts) and eat accordingly. Obviously “portion control” makes a difference or they wouldn’t list it on the Glycemic Load Chart. Best GL’s: 10 or below are considered low, and 20 or above are considered high.


Some strategies for lowering your dietary glycemic load include:

  • Increasing the consumption of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, anf non=starchy vegetables

  • Decreasing the consumption of starchy high-glycemic index foods like potatoes, white rice, and white bread

  • Decreasing the consumption of sugary foods like cookies, cakes, candy, and soft-drinks


Other factors can make some of this inaccurate; for instance 1) GI values affected by preparation method. 2) GI values affected by combination with other foods. 3) Individual differences in glycemic response. And 4) Reliance on GI and GL can lead to over-eating.


As you consider the strengths and weaknesses of the Glycemic Index Load, it’s important to remember your original goal. What we are really trying to do is control blood sugar levels. Is the consumption of low GI foods the only way to do this? No, it is not. Your blood sugar can also be controlled simply by limiting the total number of carbohydrates that you consume in any given meal.


Of course no foods are off limits – but lower blood sugar levels can be reached by being encouraged to select the foods that cause you to fill up faster without as many total calories or carbs. That’s just common sense.


Esther Smith, author

Smith obtained a normal blood sugar level after a warning from her doctor; it didn’t take her long to study glycemic index loads and adjust her lifestyle accordingly. For more on this subject go to:

Glycemic Health News