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Elevating Your Nutrition: The Power of Glycemic Load (GL) Over Glycemic Index (GI)

As your online fitness coach, I'm always on the lookout for the latest science-backed strategies to optimise your nutrition and fuel your performance. Today, I want to dive into a topic that's often overlooked but holds significant importance in your dietary decisions: Glycemic Load (GL) versus Glycemic Index (GI).

Understanding the Difference:

Glycemic Index (GI): GI measures how quickly 50g of carbohydrates in a particular food raise blood sugar levels compared to a reference food. While valuable, GI doesn't account for portion sizes or the actual amount of carbohydrates consumed.

Glycemic Load (GL):GL takes into consideration both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a serving of food. By factoring in portion sizes, GL provides a more accurate reflection of a food's impact on blood sugar levels.

Glycemic Load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the amount of available carbohydrates 50g of that food, then dividing by 100. The formula is as follows:

GL = (GI × Carbohydrate grams per serving) / 100

Thus if a food has a lot of fibre its GL with be much lower.

Why GL Takes the Lead:

1. Precision in Predicting Blood Sugar Response: GL offers a more precise indication of how a food will affect your blood sugar levels. Unlike GI, which may not reflect the real-world impact of portion sizes, GL accounts for both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates consumed.

2. Relevance for Health Goals:Research suggests that GL may be a better predictor of health outcomes, such as diabetes risk and cardiovascular health, compared to GI alone. By focusing on foods with a lower GL, you can better manage blood sugar levels and support your long-term health goals.

3. Practicality in Food Choices: When it comes to making dietary decisions, GL provides practical guidance for meal planning and blood sugar management. By choosing foods with a lower GL, you can prioritise options that promote stable energy levels and overall well-being.

Applying GL to Your Diet:

Incorporating low-GL foods into your nutrition plan is simpler than you might think. Focus on whole, minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Pairing carbohydrates with protein, fibre, and healthy fats can also help reduce their GL and support your fitness goals.

As your coach, my goal is to empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to make informed dietary choices that fuel your fitness journey. By understanding the importance of Glycemic Load and prioritising foods with a lower GL, you can optimise your nutrition for better blood sugar control, energy levels, and overall health.

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