The glycemic index & load calculator shows you the two most important indicators- glycemic index value and glycemic load value for the most popular food products . For a diabetic person, what food is good for him , is decided by these two important numbers .
The simple rule is lower the Glycemic load, the better it is for a diabetic person. However, the American Diabetes Association, on the other hand, says that the total amount of carbohydrate in a food, rather than its glycemic index or load, is a stronger predictor of what will happen to blood sugar.[source Harvard medical health]
Glycemic Index & Load Calculator
What is Glycemic Index ?
Most foods contain carbohydrate which is converted in glucose after digestion. Glucose converts to sugar and mix in our blood. In simple words,
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a value of a scale from 0 to 100, assigned to foods containing carbohydrate, to represent how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels.
The glycemic index definition was introduced in 1981 and scientists found that the glycemic index of a food depends on:
- The quantity and type of carbohydrate in the food;
- How many carbohydrate molecules are within the meal;
- The protein and fat content of the meal;
- How many organic acids present in food; and
- The thermal treatment of the meal.
Based on Glycemic Index value, foods are grouped in Low GI ,Medium GI and High GI.
- low GI (less than 55) –soy products, beans, fruit, milk, pasta, grainy bread, porridge (oats) and lentils
- medium GI (55 to 70) – orange juice, honey, basmati rice and wholemeal bread
- high GI (greater than 70) –potatoes, white bread and short-grain rice.
Diabetic patients are advised to minimse high GI foods and include more of low GI foods.
What is Glycemic Load ?
1981 introduced glycemic index and doctors and nutritionists were advising diabetic people to consume foods that have a low glycemic index. But strange results were noted -some foods having low glycemic index value were spiking the blood sugar level in comparison to some food were having high G.I. value, but raising sugar level in blood much less. For example,
Potato vs Apple which is good for diabetic person?
Without applying the science behind the indexing GI or GL value, a person can say that apple being sweeter than potato, apple is not good in comparison to potato.Both when we put scientific studies of GI and GL, it can be seen why apple is far better food than potato.
Both apple and potato -contain the same amount of carbohydrate but their GIs are different.
A small baked potato has GI of 80 and 15 g carbohydrate. Glycemic Load of potato is = 80 x 15/100 = 12g
whereas an apple has a GI = 40, and 15g of carbohydrate .so, Glycemic load apple is = 40 x 15/100 = 6g
Since GL of potato is double of apple,if you eat the apple, the sugar level will be half of the amount if you eat the same quantity of baked potato.
1997-birth of Glycemic Load
It was found that one can not base selection of food merely on the basis of the glycemic index because the amount of the carbohydrate-containing food you eat affects your blood glucose levels. For example, even though pasta has a low GI, a large serving can spike blood glucose levels than a smaller serving. Based on this observation, a new value was invented to categorise foods containing carb.
In 1997 the concept of Glycemic Load was introduced by researchers at Harvard University to quantify the overall glycemic effect of a portion of food. Thus, the GL of a typical serving of food is the product of the amount of available carbohydrate in that serving and the Glycemic index of the food. The formula for finding Glycemic Load is
Glycemic Index of food x Amount of Carbohydrate divided by 100
Another example is watermelon. The Watermelon does not increase blood sugar very high even though it is sweeter and having a high GI value (80 because a serving of watermelon has so little carbohydrate that its glycemic load is only 5.
The University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) defines glycemic load values as:
- Low GL: 10 or less
- Medium GL: 11 to 19
- High GL: 20 or higher
As a rule of thumb, a law Glycemic Load (below 10 ) food is better food for diabetic persons.
Why Glycemic Load value is more important than Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic Load value takes into consideration both the Glycemic index and the quantity of carbohydrate in a serving, this value gives a much better picture of a food’s real impact on the blood sugar level.
However, it should also be noted that various other factors like how much time you cooked the food or temperature on which it was cooked can change the glycemic index. For example, some foods with carbs become easier to digest after a longer cooking time, which can subsequently raise their glycemic load, says the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research.
Calculator Values & Formula
The glycemic index of specific food products needs to be determined experimentally in a research setting; however, tables and lists with GI values for many types of foods are widely available. Our glycemic index calculator uses data from the official glycemic index website and the international GI database from the University of Sydney.