Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load
Helping clients determine both types and quantity of foods for daily menu planning is critical to overall weight management. In particular, carbohydrate choices pose a challenge for many clients due to a general lack of understanding related to a foods rating on the GLYCEMIC INDEX and load charts. In brief, both Glycemic Index and Glycemic load of carbohydrate containing foods, should be used simultaneously when designing menus.
While Glycemic Index compares a foods carbohydrate breakdown and absorption rate into glucose, to the ingestion of pure glucose, itself, Glycemic Load completes the PICTURE by providing the total amount of carbohydrates available, per unit quantity of the food item; i.e. carbohydrate “density” of the food. Often, clients will shy away from a “high” glycemic index food, such as watermelon, only to find it has a rather “low” glycemic load due to the relatively low concentration of carbohydrates per unit serving (there’s a reason it’s called watermelon). The key “takeaway” here is that glycemic load, in conjunction with glycemic index, can assist clients in healthy and effective food choices.