To Track Carbs, Tap Into the Glycemic Index … and Its Cousin

Posted on December 20, 2018


By Len Canter, HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Rather than just counting carbs, you might want to get familiar with the glycemic index and the glycemic load, numeric weighting systems that rank carb-based foods based on how much they raise blood sugar.

While monitoring these indicators might be especially helpful for those with diabetes, they also can be useful tools to keep others from developing diabetes and even lower the risk of heart disease, especially for women and for people who are overweight.

The glycemic index is the better known of the two. It's a measure of the blood glucose-raising potential of carbohydrate foods compared to a reference food, like pure glucose or a slice of white bread.

The glycemic load goes one step further. It takes into account both the types of carbs in a food and the amount of carbs in a serving. The lower a food's glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.

A food's glycemic load gives you a more exact measurement than the glycemic index alone because even though most healthy foods are both low-glycemic index and low-glycemic load, a few higher glycemic index foods -- like bananas, pineapples and watermelon -- actually have low-to-moderate glycemic loads and can fit into many diets. That's important because those three fruits in particular deliver many important nutrients.

Lowering the glycemic load of your diet happens naturally when you increase your intake of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and non-starchy vegetables, and decrease foods like potatoes, white bread
and sugary treats.

Using the glycemic indexes will help you refine your choices as you take steps to improve your diet.


More information: To help you further understand the impact of foods on blood sugar, check out the glycemic index and glycemic load page on the website of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
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Here are some questions and conversations from MyObesityTeam:

I try to watch my carb intake, which is very hard for me cause i love my pasta. Any suggestions?

How you keep the weight off?? They say count your calories, and sugar intake. I never learn the right way of keeping up with the information.

How do you go about weight loss when your medicine makes it hard to lose weight?

"I was looking through the file cabinet at work where we hide the snacks, but my co teacher removed them without saying anything, so I had to pout, but then I thought you don't need those chips and instead made a cup of tea."

"I don't eat rice on this plan, so I sub grated or pearl cauliflower for rice. Instead of bread crumbs, I use crushed up pork rinds. They are also low calorie and low carb to just eat as a snack."

"Eating this time of year is hard for many of us. The parties, family get togethers, and just the busy time of year when we tend to grab fast foods or make a lot of prepackaged things at home. We know they aren't good choices but its that time of year we all do it."


What has helped you reach your diet goals?
Share in the comments below or directly on MyObesityTeam.

A MyObesityTeam Member said:

A good app for that is to download from Google Play..Glycemic Index, it will have the picture of bananas on it.

posted 11 months ago

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