Glycemic load refers to a number assigned to different carbohydrates based on the impacts they have on blood glucose levels when consumed in certain quantities.
The index number is assigned based on a measurement of those effects on sugar levels in the blood. The higher the load number, the more likely it is a food will cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
The lower the number, the easier it is for the body to break down the carbohydrate without increasing the need for insulin.
When you're ready, take glycemic load to the next level and learn how to figure out the load of the foods you eat.
How carbohydrates affect your body
Carbohydrates turn into glucose in the body. This, in turn, requires insulin to break down. When glucose is not immediately used, it turns into fat. Increases in glucose levels can also cause problems for diabetics who must keep their blood sugar numbers within set parameters to promote good health.
Following a glycemic index diet can be useful for people with diabetes and those looking to lose some weight. Instituting a diet that includes items on the low glycemic food list can help prevent diabetes, keep weight down and promote optimal health.
Why A Low Glycemic Load Makes Sense
Sticking to a glycemic index weight loss diet makes sense for a number of reasons.
Foods that are known to contain a lot of carbohydrates that break down quickly into sugar can promote weight gain and poor health. In many cases, these foods also offer “empty calories” and might be devoid of other nutritional content.
Diabetics especially should keep up with the glycemic numbers on different foods to help control blood sugar levels.
When glycemic index load is controlled, diabetics can often prevent the disease’s more serious complications, such as heart disease, vision loss, and circulation problems.
Foods and How They Stack Up
Trying to determine what to eat and how much to eat of it on a diet that controls glycemic numbers isn’t very hard. As it is with a gestational diabetes diet or any well-rounded healthy eating plan, this is how foods stack up:
Anyone with concerns about weight or diabetes needs to know about a food's glycemic index. Glycemic numbers simply help people steer clear of foods that can have negative impacts on their bodies.