Sugar, Starch, and Diabetes; Demystifying Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for Blood Sugar Management

What is glycemic load and its role in diabetes

Do you have a friend or family member who is suffering from diabetes? Or maybe you’re pre-diabetic and looking to make changes in your lifestyle to get back on the right track. Regardless, when it comes to managing diabetes, one of the key things to know more about is the glycemic load. If you’re unsure of what is the importance of glycemic load in diabetes, here’s handy guide to help you out.  

What Is Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index In Diabetes? 

Since diabetes is a disease related to the levels of blood sugar, it is important to keep an eye on this metric for effective management. Normally, management of diabetes involves the glycemic index, a scale that assigns a numeric score to food on the basis of how much it can make your blood sugar levels rise. So, the lower a food’s glycemic index is, the slower it takes for your blood sugar levels to rise and vice versa. However, the glycemic index paints only a partial picture.  

To get a complete idea of what your blood sugar looks like after you consume a food, you also must consider its glycemic load. Glycemic load can be arrived at by multiplying the glycemic index of a food with the amount of carbohydrates it carries. 2 Glycemic load tells you a food item’s total effect on blood sugar, including how fast it causes glucose to enter your bloodstream and how much glucose per serving it delivers. An example that illustrates the difference between the two markers is watermelon. While watermelon has a relatively high glycemic index, it has very little carbohydrate content which means that its glycemic load is only 5. 1 

How to Calculate Glycemic Load? 

To understand how to calculate glycemic load, you can refer to the formula and example given below: 

  • Glycemic Load = Glycemic Index x Carbohydrates/100

Say, you want to know the glycemic load of a slice of bread, the calculations would be as follows: 

  • Glycemic Load = 45 x 18/100 (a slice of bread’s glycemic index is 45 and it contains 18 g of carbohydrates) 

If you do the math, you’ll find that the glycemic load of a slice of bread is around 8.1. 

Glycemic Load List of Food for Diabetes 

If you’re interested in adopting a low-glycemic diet, then here are some tips you can follow. 2 

Try to consume foods with low glycemic load (10 or under) such as: 
  • Fruits like apples and oranges. 
  • Eat more bran cereal, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and so on. 
  • Consume dry fruits like cashews and peanuts. 
  • Switch to skim milk. 
Enjoy foods with medium glycemic load (11-20) occasionally including: 
  • Grains like pearled barley, brown rice, bulgur, and so on. 
  • Healthier snacks like oatmeal and rice cakes. 
  • Whole grain breads and pasta. 
Avoid foods with a high glycemic load (over 20) like: 
  • Baked potatoes and fries. 
  • Desserts like sugary beverages and candy bars. 
  • White basmati rice, white-flour pasta, and refined cereals.  
Prohance D for Effective Management of Diabetes 

If you’re looking to manage your blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, then Prohance D is what you’ve been looking for. Prohance D is full of slow-releasing carbohydrate – Isomaltulose that gets absorbed by the body slowly to prevent the rise of postprandial hyperglycemia (PPHG). Additionally, the fibres in Prohance D create a layer in the stomach to prevent absorption of cholesterol and help with weight loss. Crafted using evidence-based scientific formula, Prohance D can help you effectively manage your diabetes.

Enhancing lives of people with diabetes through nutrition.


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