Rather than look at the effect on blood sugar levels that foods have in isolation, i.e., the glycemic index, the glycemic load looks at the total effect of an entire meal, both in terms of the type of carbohydrate eaten and the amount consumed. This is particularly useful since the glycemic index of individual foods will change when they are eaten in combination with other foods.

The amounts used in calculating the glycemic load are typical portion sizes, though any portion size is possible, not the standardized 100 gram amount used to calculate the glycemic index of a food. By combining foods in the right proportions, we can optimize glycemic load to our advantage.

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