Monday July 23, 2018

The Glycemic Load

LAST week, we talked about the Glycemic Index (GI), your measure of quality in terms of sustainable availability of glucose in your blood at lower levels. Always remember that high GI foods are usually fiber-rich foods.

This week, we will discuss the Glycemic Load (GL), which is your carbohydrate content per serving of your food, adjusted for the carbohydrate’s GI value. Thus, it is a measure of the quality (GI value) of the carbohydrate in your meals in a day and their carbohydrate quantity.

Mathematically, the GL value is the product of the GI value and the weight of carbohydrate (in gram) per food portion, divided by 100. Thus, a typical apple, which has a GI value of 38 (low) and a carbohydrate content of 15 grams per serving, will have a GL value of six. Foods with low GL load have less than GL 11 value, while those with high GL load have at least GL 20 value. Medium GL runs between 11 to 19 GL values.

According to the Glycemic Index Foundation, optimum health can be achieved by keeping a total Glycemic Load of less than GL 100 every day. Simply add all your foods’ GL values to get your daily values.

Polish researchers K. Dudziak and B. Requilska-Ilow explained that high GL values increase risk for cancer development, while low GL values can help, even those with cancer, stabilize the disease, while improving their tolerance of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Italian researchers Gabriele Riccardi, Angela Rivellese and Rosalba Giacco of the Institute of Food Science in Avellino (Italy) observed, however, that not all foods with low GI values have high fiber content. Nevertheless, foods with low-GI, high-fiber profiles improve your lipid profile, reduce insulin resistance and lower post-meal glucose level (and therefore insulin response).

For healthy individuals, these foods can protect against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Thus, low-GI and high-fiber foods are your best solution against these diseases as a preventive dietary approach.

Charles Schulz was quoted as saying, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” The key words and phrases, however, are “little” and “now and then,” not “chocolate” or “hurt.”