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Jofo

Can someone clear up this glycemic load/index thing for me?

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Maybe someone can help me out here.

So I'm trying to educate myself on this GL and GI thing and what I've read seems to indicate that the glycemic load is more important than the glycemic index when choosing which foods to avoid. Is this correct? And if it is, why do I always see people advising others to stay away from things like white and whole wheat bread when they have a relatively low GL (10)?

Edited by Jofo

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Maybe someone can help me out here.

So I'm trying to educate myself on this GL and GI thing and what I've read seems to indicate that the glycemic load is more important than the glycemic index when choosing which foods to avoid. Is this correct? And if it is, why do I always see people advising others to stay away from things like white and whole wheat bread when they have a relatively low GL (10)?

I'm sure there will be some other views on this one, but here's my take on this one...firstly I think its way too tricky, as it depends on the quantity. 10 isn't really low, its just that there's loads of other really high ones out there imo! Rarely do people have one single slice of bread also, so don't forget to add them up.

Broccoli for example is typically seen as 1, beans 1, carrots 3, cabbage 3 etc. This is personally where I get my staple diet from these days.

Bread is a slightly trickier one in general as well, as typically people think there are other issues with it, rather than GL alone. So its lack of nutrients to balance it out, possible gluten issues etc. So with bread its not just GL, its generally bad for you anyway (imo).

I personally don't think of any single thing to avoid. I just think of that item in respect of its quantity. For example in a sandwich, how much of the serving (by weight) is actually bread. Especially if you look at things like bagels. So I may have one single sandwich with chicken and veg for example throughout the day and no other bread. I doubt thats going to hurt. However, someone else may have a bagel for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pizza for tea. All of a sudden the overall "bread" GL is huge (if split into lots of smaller portions it may not be so bad though, as it may give your body time to deal with it each time). That doesn't happen with really low GL foods like the healthy green veg.

I personally try and keep starch (bread/potatoes/rice etc) to a maximum of 1/4 of a meal as my own rule of thumb, some meals with none. I also try and balance it with exercise, so I don't mind having a higher GL meal if I'm going to exercise a bit later.

Bit more long winded reply than I meant to, and I'm just giving my own thoughts on how to get the most out of it.

Edited by wibble

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Maybe someone can help me out here.

So I'm trying to educate myself on this GL and GI thing and what I've read seems to indicate that the glycemic load is more important than the glycemic index when choosing which foods to avoid. Is this correct? And if it is, why do I always see people advising others to stay away from things like white and whole wheat bread when they have a relatively low GL (10)?

GL takes into account amount you eat.

And the GL of the bread will depend on the bread, density, size of the slice. Some breads, especially whole grains, or things like bagels and pretzels, are very dense.

And remember it's the meal that matters, not the individual foods. You can have some high GI foods in combination with low ones. And ideally, have high GI foods only in small amounts.

There's also the insulinemic index, btw.

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Okay, so there are a lot of factors involved. But I guess what I'm really looking for is clarification on whether GI or GL, in a strict sense, is a more accurate indicator of blood sugar response. Like, watermelon has a high GI but a low GL, so I assume the effect on blood sugar levels is negligible. Does this logic apply to all foods? Is it safe to assume that a low GL food is okay in spite of a high GI?

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