The glycemic index is “a numerical ranking of carbohydrate foods based on their potential to raise blood sugar levels, according to Sandra Woodruff, a University of Florida dietitian. Obesity and diseases such as diabetes are directly linked to high levels of blood sugar and insulin. However, this index does not indicates how many carbohydrates are in a serving of food. A newer, more meaningful measurement is the glycemic load (GL).
glycemic load factors in glycemic index and amount of carbohydrates in a given food. Foods with a high glycemic index, but very little carbohydrates usually do not have much impact on insulin and blood sugar. However, foods that rank high in glycemic index and carbohydrate is considered to have a high glycemic load, and should be avoided or limited by those trying to control their blood sugar.
A glycemic load of 10 or less is considered low, 11 to 19 medium, and 20 or more is high, according to Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, professor and diabetes researcher at the University of Sydney (Australia).
Baked Goods and Pasta
Harvard Medical School’s list of glycemic load of various foods brought surprises. For example, the food with the highest glycemic load on its list of bread a white bagel (70-gram serving), with a GL 25. In comparison, even a 111-gram portion vanilla cake with vanilla frosting GL of 24 years.
A 180-gram serving of cooked spaghetti considered a GL of 27, and the same size serving of macaroni and cheese was the highest of all, at 32.
Good options are whole-grain bread (50-gram serving), with a GL of 7, and the same size serving of a wheat tortilla, at 8.
Breakfast Cereals and Grains
All cereal listed Harvard Medical School had a fairly high glycemic load, the highest is Instant Cream of Wheat (GL of 22 for a 250-gram portion), followed by Corn Flakes (21 to 30 grams) and CoCo Puffs (20 30 gram). The best option was a 30-gram serving of All Bran, a GL 4.
Whole white rice (not converted) and couscous considered a GL of 23 for a 250-gram serving, while brown rice had a more acceptable GL of 18 for the same size serving.
This will not be good news for parents trying to get kids to eat fruit snacks instead of chocolate. A 30-gram portion Fruit rollups has a GL of 24, compared with a 60-gram Snickers bar, at 19. As usual baked potato that might seem to be a healthy snack prices GL 26 for a 150-gram serving, while 50 grams potato chips has a GL 11.
For drinks, has a 250-gram serving of Coca Cola GL of only 15, while Cranberry Juice Cocktail prices high GL of 24 years.
The best snack option may be a 30-gram serving of hummus (GL of 0) with raw vegetables, most of which have extremely low glycemic load.