The 4 Minute Max Outs | Eat Well | Glycemic Index & Load
The 4 Minute Max Outs
shareclose share

Glycemic Index & Load



The 4 Minute Max Outs. Burn calories not a hole in your wallet.
What is glycemic load and what is it for?

The 4 Minute Max Outs app is available from the Apple App Store for iOS. The 4 Minute Max Outs app is available from Google Play for Android. The 4 Minute Max Outs app is available from the Amazon App Store for Kinlde and supported Blackberry devices.


Glycemic Index & Load.


Why do I need the glycemic load?

For most people, the glycemic index and load is possibly a step too far down the analysing food for healthy eating route. Especially seeing as just doing The 4 Minute Max Outs, cutting down on processed foods, ensuring you get the right amount of protein, spacing your food intake into 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day, whilst watching your calorie goal and maintaining a good balance of foods, will probably be more than enough to achieve most peoples goals and actually practically cover all the theory to boot! Practice will get you results, not theory. However, it's worth being mindful of the theory behind how carbohydrates effect blood sugar, and how this in turn may effect your health. Or, if you've hit a weight loss plateau, maybe it's something you haven't yet considered and might want to look into before adjusting your diet in your quest for optimal results.


Glycemic Index (GI).

A foods Glycemic Index(GI) indicates the rate at which it breaks down into blood sugar. High Glycemic foods rapidly break down into blood sugar. Low glycemic foods break down into blood sugar slowly. Why does blood sugar matter? Because it is what stimulates an insulin response from your pancreas. Be sure to read the insulin section to see why this is important.

Traditionally it was thought simply that complex carbohydrate foods broke down into blood sugar slowly and simple carbohydrate foods broke down into blood sugar quickly. However, although generally the complex and simple carbohydrate rule holds true, there are some surprises, as it would seem the entire structure of the food plays a part in dictating the rate at which a food is broken down into blood sugar, rather than just the relative complexity of the sugars in the food. Also, when protein and fats are consumed with any carbohydrate food, its GI becomes lower. When starchy foods such as potatoes are refrigerated, their GI becomes lower. When eating several types of carbohydrate together, the GI of the meal is often an average of them all rather than the sum of each. The cooking method can also effect the GI, as can it's ripeness, and the amount of fibre a person has consumed. In other words, there are a lot of factors that affect whether a carbohydrate is slow or fast burning, not just the type of sugar it contains. With this in mind, it's obvious that the GI has it's weaknesses and is not an accurate predictor of blood sugar levels, rather a relative guide, to give you an indication of how fast the sugar in different foods is broken down into blood sugar.


  advertisement




Glycemic Load (GL).

Knowing how fast a food breaks down into blood sugar is one thing, but that doesn't mean on its own that consuming that food will have adverse effects on blood sugar levels. The GI is only really useful in practical terms when used to calculate the glycemic load (GL) as this also takes into account the quantity of carbohydrates eaten. If looking just at the GI in isolation, you would wrongfully assume that a slice of bread (almost high GI but low GL) raised your blood sugar more than a Mars Bar (lower GI than bread but much higher GL).

So the GL improves on and supersedes the GI as it takes into consideration the amount of carbohydrates consumed as well as the rate at which they break down into blood sugar. In other words it helps to indicate by how much your blood sugar will actually be raised overall. This is useful, as it's the amount of excess blood sugar in your body above normal levels and how long it stays above normal for, that may give rise to future health issues. This is what may cause you to put on weight, or make it harder for you to lose weight, or even become diabetic. Even though the GL, as it is worked out using the GI, has the same limitations as the GI, it is still a much more useful relative guide than the GI alone.

The GL is worked out as follows :-

Glycemic Load = (Glycemic Index rating/100) X grams of carbohydrates in portion size

Each GL unit has the same effect on blood sugar as 1 gram of glucose.

GL's of 10 or below are considered low.
GL's of 11 to 19 are considered mid.
GL's of 20 or above are considered high.

GL's of 80 or below per day are considered low.
GL's of 80 to 120 per day are considered medium.
GL's of 120 and above per day are considered high.

So using our Mars Bar and slice of bread example,

Wholemeal Bread = (69 GI / 100) X 14g carbohydrates per slice = 9.66 GL
Mars Bar = (68 GI / 100) X 40g carbohydrates per slice = 27.2 GL

So as you can see, despite similar GI ratings, a slice of bread has a low GL and a Mars Bars has a very high GL. Meaning a Mars Bars will raise your blood sugar levels much more than a slice of bread.

A lower glycemic load is more desirable than a high as it means you will have less sugar in your blood after eating and therefore less insulin needs to be produced to deal with it. This may help to further assist weight loss. The table at the bottom of the page has the GI of many common foods to use for working out the GL.


  advertisement




Limitations.

As already said, the GI and GL have their weaknesses, as there are so many variables that can alter a foods GI ranking, but the GL in particular still serves as a handy relative guide, to give you an indication of what might happen to your blood sugar when consuming certain foods. The variability in values at the very least, show that it's best to consume carbohydrates with fats and protein if you want to reduce the GI and GL of a meal. And maybe think about refrigerating potatoes, or switching to new potatoes or sweet potatoes, if you are worried about the impact of their high GL on your body.

It's important to note, the glycemic index and load do not indicate whether one food is healthier than another, just the rate at which it converts to blood sugar and how much it will increase your blood sugar respectively. This is not the only concern with regards health. It cannot indicate amounts of added fructose, preservatives, flavourings, colorings, fibre, minerals, vitamins, calories etc in a food. A potatoes high GI and GL for instance doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't eat them. They are a highly nutritious food packed full of minerals and protein, as well as carbohydrates, and make for part of a great post workout meal. And if you are insulin sensitive with a low insulin resistance, the effect on your insulin levels will be far less dramatic than someone who is not particularly insulin sensitive, who may prefer to avoid them.

Also, although a lot of foods have been tested for their GI rankings, a great deal more haven't. For more specific information, and to search for GI and GL rankings of all current listed foods, go to www.glycemicindex.com.


  advertisement




Glycemic Index (the rate food breaks down into blood sugar)

(For more specific information, including searching for GI's and GL's of all listed foods go to www.glycemicindex.com.)


Low Glycemic (<55)
14 Yoghurt unsweetened
20 Soya beans
22 Cashews
22 Cherries
22 Peanuts
25 Gapefruit
27 Milk full fat
28 Kidney beans
28 Lentils
29 Peanut butter
30 Apricot dried
30 Banana unripe
31 Butter Beans
32 Milk Skimmed
32 Plums
32 Split peas
32 Strawberry
33 Chickpeas
33 Hazelnuts
33 Yoghurt sweetened
36 Pear
37 Apple
38 Tomato juice
39 Spaghetti wholemeal
40 Pinto beans
42 Peach
42 Spaghetti white
43 Soy milk
43 All bran
44 Apple juice
44 Orange
46 Baked beans tinned
46 Fructose
46 Pineapple juice
46 Porridge
47 Carrots
48 Grapes
48 Peas
49 Chocolate
49 Mixed grain
50 Oat bran
51 Carrots
52 Basmati rice
53 Kiwi fruit
54 Potato crisps
54 Special K
54 Sweet potato
55 Apricot jam
55 Orange juice
55 Popcorn
55 Sweetcorn
55 Brown rice
55 Snickers Bar

Mid Glycemic (56 - 69)
56 Long grain white rice
56 Mango
57 Rich tea biscuits
57 Sourdough
57 Sultanas
58 Banana ripe
58 Muesli
58 Pitta bread
60 Digstive biscuit
61 Ice cream
62 Potato new
64 Apricot tinned
64 Beetroot
64 Raisins
65 Mars bar
65 Rye bread
65 Table sugar
66 Pineapple
68 French baguette
68 Parsnips
68 Sugar(sucrose)
69 Croissant
69 Wholemeal bread

High Glycemic (70-100)
70 Shredded wheat
70 White bread
72 Dates dried
72 Potato baked
72 Short grain white rice
72 Swede
74 Potato boiled or mashed
76 Dark rye bread
76 Doughnut
80 Jelly beans
80 Puffed wheat
81 Cornflakes
83 Rice crisps
100 Glucose

Glycemic Load (estimates the actual effect on blood sugar levels)

(For more specific information, including searching for GI's and GL's of all listed foods go to www.glycemicindex.com.)


Glycemic Load = (Glycemic Index rating/100) X grams of carbs in portion size

Each GL unit has the same effect on blood sugar as 1 gram of glucose.

GL's of 10 or below are considered low.
GL's of 11 to 19 are considered medium.
GL's of 20 or above are considered high.

GL's of 80 or below per day are considered low.
GL's of 80 to 120 per day are considered medium.
GL's of 120 and above per day are considered high.


  advertisement





The 4 Minute Max Outs. The ultimate portable bodyweight HIIT workout.