Glycemic index vs. Glycemic load – important tools of the mediterranean diet

Together with GI, the carbohydrate classification as per Glycemic Load determines at what speed certain food release glucose into the blood stream.
Glycemic index classifies foods according to the rate of glucose release in the blood, thus acknowledging that certain food will release glucose into the blood at high, mid or slow speed. Food of low glycemic index has GI 1-50, food of medium glycemic index has GI 51-75, and food of high glycemic index has GI 76-100.

Glycemic load classifies food according to the rate glucose release into the blood but taking into account 2 elements, both GI and amount of the carbohydrate. Specifically a food of high GI consumed in a small quantity may have a same effect to the rate glucose release to the blood, as a food of low GI consumed in large amount. As an example, a slice of white bread that has high GI of 70 will have low GL of 10, which means that 1 slice of white bread will not release glucose in the blood quickly, but more than one slice will. I believe that this classification as per GL is rather complicated for people on reduction diets, but for people with diabetes has high importance as it allows them to consume food of high GI. Knowing GL of food people with diabetes will be able to enjoy majority of foods making sure to closely monitor intake quantity and calories. If they feel like having one candy they can go for it, although candy has high GI, but due to small content of carbohydrate will not release glucose into the blood quickly. If they take more than one candy, this will mean more carbohydrates which will result in increase in higher increase of glucose into the blood. To clarify, one candy is allowed, not more.
To calculate GL you need to take GI of a food divide it with 100 and multiple with number of grams of carbohydrates in the meal.
GL = GI / 100 x Netgr
Low GL food has GL 1-10 and has slow release of glucose into the blood, medium GL food has GL 11-19, and high GL food has GL 20+, which means fast release of glucose into the blood.

GI and GL TABLE

If you find GL calculation rather time consuming and un-practical it is good to make your own table with already calculated GL values for the food you consume regularly.

FOODS

GI – glycemic index

Weight in grams

Carbohydrate in grams

GL – glycemic load

Wholegrain muffin

46

50

23

11

Brown rice

66

150

33

22

Chickpeas

36

150

30

11

Green lentils

37

150

18

5

Red lentils

18

150

18

3

Beans cooked

26

150

20

5

Apple

39

120

16

6

Apple dried

29

60

36

11

Apple juice no sugar added

44

250 ml

30

13

Watermelon

80

120

6

5

Pear

42

120

11

5

Pear canned Delmonte

44

120

11

5

White pasta

39

180

46

18

Wholegrain pasta

32

180

44

14

Rye bread

50

30

12

7

Rye bread with flexseeds and soya

55

30

9

5

White bread

69

30

14

10

Bread with seeds

49

30

14

6

Special K Kellog’s

69

30

21

14

Oats cereal cacao and skimmed milk

40

155

23

9

Icecreme chocolate and vanila mix

57

50

10

6

Cherry

63

120

14

9

Pineapple fresh

66

120

10

6

Strawberry jam

51

30

20

10

Mellon

65

120

17

9

Popcorn

55

20

10

6

Carrot

92

80

6

6

Yoghurt low fat

35

200

35

12

Mango

51

120

15

8

Oats biscuit

54

25

17

9

Ravioli filled with meat

39

180

38

15

Tortellini with cheese

50

180

21

10

Pizza with cheese and tommato

80

100

27

22

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