Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

What is the Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic index of a food is an indication of how fast and how high a particular food is likely to raise a person's blood sugar.

The Glycemic Index is a measure of how fast the body converts a food to glucose, as compared to pure glucose, which is assigned the value of 100.  (Older scales use white bread as the reference.)  Foods with higher values cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar.

What is the Glycemic Load?

The Glycemic Index does not provide a complete picture, because it doesn't take into account the serving size, so the Glycemic Load, proposed by researchers at Harvard University, is used.  A GL below 10 is considered to be low, and above 20 to be high.


GL =  GI/100 x Net Carbohydrates.  (Net carbs = Total carbs - fiber)


Keeping track of your GL is a great aid in weight management, since your level of carbohydrate consumption is a major player in body weight.

For a diabetic, or for someone with hypoglycemia, a total glycemic load of 100/day is recommended.


For a more detailed explanation, look here