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Food plays a fundamental role in our health and well-being, and both the glycemic index as the glycemic load of food is a crucial factor to take into account. In this article, we will explore what is glycemic loadits relationship with the glycemic index and why it is important to consider both when planning a balanced diet.
What is the glycemic index?
He glycemic index (GI) It is a scale that ranks foods based on their effect on blood sugar levels. The low GI foods (55 or less) they are slowly digested and absorbed, which prevents a sharp increase in glucose levels. On the other hand, the foods with a high GI (70 or higher) they break down quickly, resulting in a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
What is glycemic load?
The glycemic load is a measure that combines the glycemic index of a food with amount of carbohydrates containing a typical serving. The glycemic index assesses how quickly carbohydrate-rich foods raise blood sugar levels, while the glycemic load goes a step further by considering both quality and quantity of carbohydrates.
Relationship between glycemic index and glycemic load
Glycemic index and glycemic load are closely related, but they are not the same. The glycemic index focuses on how quickly blood sugar levels rise, while the glycemic load takes into account both the glycemic index and the amount of carbohydrates in a serving. The glycemic load offers a more complete and accurate view of how food affects our blood sugar levels.
The quality and quantity of carbohydrates in the glycemic load
It is important to note that not all carbohydrates are created equal. Foods with simple carbohydratesLike refined sugars, they have a high glycemic index, meaning they break down quickly into blood sugar. On the other hand, foods with complex carbohydrateslike whole grains and legumes, have a lower glycemic index, since they are digested more slowly.
However, the glycemic index alone can be misleading, since it does not consider the amount of carbohydrates we consume. This is where the glycemic load comes into play.
How is glycemic load calculated?
The glycemic load It is calculated by multiplying a food’s glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrates in a typical serving and dividing the result by 100. This gives us a more accurate measure of how that specific food will affect our blood sugar levels.
It is important to note that the values considered low, moderate, or high in glycemic load may vary according to different sources and studies. However, in general, the following is considered:
- Low glycemic load: Less than or equal to 10
- Moderate glycemic load: Between 11 and 19
- High glycemic load: Greater than or equal to 20
These values are useful in guiding food choices and designing a diet with a balanced glycemic load.
We give you three examples so you can see how to calculate the glycemic load of a food:
- Example: Apple
- Apple glycemic index: 38
- Amount of carbohydrates in a typical serving of apple: 15 grams
- Apple glycemic load: (38 x 15) / 100 = 5.7
- Glycemic Load Value: Low
- Example: Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat bread glycemic index: 45
- Amount of carbohydrates in a typical serving of whole wheat bread: 20 grams
- Glycemic load of whole wheat bread: (45 x 20) / 100 = 9
- Glycemic Load Value: Moderate
- Example: White rice
- White rice glycemic index: 73
- Amount of carbohydrates in a typical serving of white rice: 30 grams
- Glycemic load of white rice: (73 x 30) / 100 = 21.9
- Glycemic Load Value: High
Advantages of considering the glycemic load in a diet
Glycemic load has numerous advantages when it comes to following a healthy diet:
Stability of blood sugar levels
By choosing foods with a moderate glycemic load, we avoid sharp spikes and drops in blood sugarwhich helps maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.
Appetite control and satiety promotion
Foods with a low glycemic load tend to be richer in fiber and nutrientswhich helps keep us full for longer and controls appetite.
Prevention of cravings and mood swings
Choosing foods with a low glycemic load can help prevent cravings for sugary foods and prevent mood swings related to fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Choosing foods with a low glycemic load
Some examples of low glycemic load foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. These foods provide sustained energy and essential nutrients without causing a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, which is especially important for women. people with diabetes.
It can also help control appetite, promote weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity.
50 Foods With Low Glycemic Index And Moderate Glycemic Load
Here is a list of 50 low glycemic foods that you can incorporate into your diet:
Nuts and seeds
In summary, the glycemic load of foods is a valuable tool when planning a healthy diet. When choosing foods with a low glycemic index and a moderate glycemic loadwe can keep stable blood sugar levels, promote satiety and avoid energy spikes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
- Can I include foods with a high glycemic index in my diet? Yes, but you should eat them in moderation and combine them with low-glycemic foods to balance out the effects on blood sugar levels.
- What other benefits does a low glycemic index diet have? In addition to keeping blood sugar levels stable, a low-glycemic diet can help control weight, improve digestion, and increase energy levels.
- Can I eat high sugar fruits on a low glycemic diet? Yes, but it is advisable to choose fruits with a lower glycemic index, such as apples or pears, instead of tropical or very ripe fruits.
- Does cooking food affect its glycemic index? Yes, some foods can have a higher glycemic index when cooked, such as potatoes, compared to when eaten raw. It is important to keep this in mind when planning your meals.
Remember to consult with a health professional or nutritionist before making major changes to your diet.
The entry 50 foods with a low glycemic index (and low glycemic load) was first published on PequeRecetas