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Study of Glycemic Diet Load     
Glycemic load rates the effect of carb present in a standard serving of the food on the blood sugar levels.

Glycemic load of food is – glycemic index multiplied by the amount of (in gms) carb present in the food and divided by 100.

Glycemic load of the total diet is decided by adding glycemic loads of all the food components of that diet

By using the parameter of glycemic diet load, both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity of carb present in the diet are described at one go.

Foods with high glycemic loads quickly increase the blood glucose levels; as a result demand on insulin secretion is more. Both these factors can affect insulin-secreting capabilities of pancreatic Beta cells. Thus high glycemic diet loads can lead to type 2 diabetes mellitus.

High glycemic load foods can cause an increase in serum triglyceride concentration and a decrease in HDL cholesterol (or the good cholesterol) concentration. Both these can lead t a risk of heart disease.

When high glycemic load meals are consumed, the blood glucose levels and insulin levels increase higher than after eating a low glycemic load meal of same calorie content. (Because in case of low glycemic load meal, glucose is released slowly in blood) but because the insulin secretion levels are more, the blood glucose level come down within few hours in a high glycemic load diet. In low glycemic load meals, these levels are sustained for a period of time and so the feeling of fullness remains. Thus the hunger or food intake is less. So the low glycemic load diets help in more fat loss and also in long-term weight loss, than the high glycemic load diet.

For reducing the glycemic load of a diet:

Foods like legumes; nuts, whole grains, fruits and non-starch vegetables should be incorporated more in the diet.

The quantity of products like pastries, candy, cakes, and soft drinks should be reduced considerably.

Foods with high glycemic index, like refined flour products, rice, potatoes and such starchy foods should be consumed in less quantity.

Instead of selecting a diet according to its carb content, it is better to choose by their glycemic load. Going by only the amount of carb present wouldn’t give any idea of their effect on the blood glucose or on the person’s health. But using the glycemic load parameter, we get the glycemic index value of the food in each serving. This value gives us the idea of its effect on blood glucose levels. So low carb diets could possibly have nutrient deficiencies. Low GI diets could prove more beneficial to overall health.

Insulin monitors the use of glucose in the body. It is claimed that starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice contribute in enhancing insulin resistance. So if body becomes resistant to insulin action, it results in weight gain.

Along with glycemic diet load, a 30 – 40 minutes of walking three or four times a week is recommended. This may help in improving the insulin resistance by activating ‘slow twitch’ muscle, which is responsible for the insulin resistance.

The total glycemic load in the daily diet should be less than 500.

Glycemic load and glycemic index of some of the daily-use food products:  

Food product Size Wt/Serving GI G load
White bread ½ slice 1oz 100 100
Cookie 1 medium 1 oz 84 114
Croissant 1 medium 1-1 ½ oz 96 127
Pastry average serv. 2 oz 84 149
Waffle 7” diameter 2-2 ½ oz 109 203
Doughnut 1medium 2oz 108 205
Pancake 5” diameter 2 oz 96 340
Tortilla (wheat) 1 medium 1- 3/8 oz 43 64
Whole wheat bread 1 slice 1-1 ½ oz 101 129
Pizza crust 1 slice 3.5 oz 43 70
Hamburger bun 5” diameter 2 oz 87 213
All bran ½ cup 1 oz 54 85
Muesli 1 cup 1 oz. 69 95
Oatmeal cooked 1 cup 8 oz 94 154

Many people prefer glycemic load diet, because it eliminates the need of counting calories of each food. Only choosing foods with low glycemic loads would help in weight reduction and a healthy life style.

Advantage over GI diet: Glycemic index doesn’t relate to portion sizes of food, while glycemic load gives us amount of carbs present in a portion of product. So this is considered as more correct parameter in deciding a diet.


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