The glycemic index is a more well known term than the glycemic load. With the rise in diabetes and the subsequent need to control insulin, the glycemic index was created to study the speed at which food converts to glucose in the blood.
The more glucose is created the greater the need for insulin.
Prior to the use of the glycemic index, carbs were evaluated based on their chemical structure and so were divided into, simple carbs and complex carbs. The idea was that the ‘complex’ carbs would break down to sugar slower in the body and provide more ‘even’ energy. ‘Simple’ carbs were carbs that converted to glucose very quickly and caused a sugar spike.
This led to the use of ‘simple and complex carbs’ being questioned as a valid use of evaluating food.
What this meant for weight loss was that the slower the carb converted to sugar, the less fat would be formed.
The problem was that some complex carbs were found to raise blood sugar as fast as simple carbs or faster.
The glycemic index and the glycemic index chart was then developed. It was better than the ‘simple and complex carbs’ because it directly measured the actual glucose levels of the blood after ingesting various carbohydrates.
This was seen as a more direct measure of the effects of various carbohydrates rather than looking only at the chemical structure of the carbohydrate. In fact, an entire diet was created called the ‘Glycemic Index Diet.’
It also showed that some ‘Complex Carbs’ would cause higher blood glucose levels in the blood than the ‘Simple Carbs.’
This meant that if you ate low glycemic index foods you would have weight loss.
However, the glycemic index also has its own problems in usability.
The first flaw is that it does not take into account what happens to blood levels when the carb is mixed with something. That has not been studied. If a food is eaten with something else the result can be a much lower, or even higher blood glucose level than what the GI level of the original food was listed as.
The second flaw is that it does not take into account the variable nature of the serving portion of the carb.
This second flaw is what caused the glycemic load to be created.
A New Glycemic Measure
The glycemic load is a system of measuring the impact of blood glucose to carbs based on the AMOUNT eaten. A similar glycemic load index was created as well.
What was discovered was that a low GI carb eaten in high quantity has the same or greater rise in blood sugar as a high GI carb eaten in small quantity.
Conversely, when a high GI Carb like watermelon is eaten in a small amount, it will have a very low rise in blood sugar when compared to eating a large amount of a low GI carb, such as Fruit Rollups. When eating the same amount of grams of fruit rollups as a watermellon, it will create a much higher rise in blood sugar.
So the Glycemic Load looks for the actual amount of carbohydrate in the food and multiplies that with the GI of that food and then divides the product by 100. The quotient is the Glycemic Load.
This makes a significant difference because in foods like the watermellon, in one cup of watermellon there is such a small amount of actual carbohydrate in it! Most of it is water and fiber!
But one cup of Fruit Rollup has much more actual carbohydrates, no fiber and no water.
Some organic supplements can naturally lower your blood sugar levels. A few of these supplements include Mormordica, cinnamon, alpha lipoic acid, organic forskolin, & chromium
What does this mean for weight loss?
Based on the Glycemic Load alone, the idea is that by eating low GL foods you will win your battle with the bulge.
But I want to tell you the bigger view. For someone who has eaten poorly for a long time, using the GL will help lose weight. But there WILL be a plateau.
The GL index still does not take into account micronutirent content (vitamins, minerals and enzymes), it does not take into account the added chemical preservatives and toxic substances in foods that cause fat storage.
The thing it is helpful for is to teach a person to watch the portions of the starches they eat and how to make generally better choices. It should not be used as the single method for choosing food.
I will modify using the GL food index to limit it to raw food, organic and unprocessed carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic load index.
Keeping the diet high in raw and fresh phytonutrients (plants) sidesteps the entire issue because it simply delivers the most basic element needed at a cellular level – nutrition in every form and hydration, and the absence of toxic reactions to it.
I use the moisture level of foods to determine their weight loss worth. The more moisture it contains, assuming it is raw and uncooked, the better it will be as a weight loss food.
This glycemic load index is just another step towards the diet I am telling you to eat! It is kind of funny how science works. It is kind of like this big lumbering and clumsy giant that slowly gets closer to discovering that the answer was right in front of us all along.
Keep it unprocessed, alkalize your body, keep it hydrated, this is the essence of eating healthy for real. It addresses the need of your cells at the most fundamental and basic levels. When your cells are happy, they will take care of you.