Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Using Glycemic Load To Manage Postprandial Glucose

One part of controlling your blood sugar is managing how much and what type of carbohydrate you consume at any given time, since it is primarily carbohydrate, as opposed to fat and protein, that affects blood glucose (BG).

Figuring out how much carbohydrate is in a food is the easier of the two. Just look on the Nutrition Facts label posted on most packaged products.

Figuring out what types of carbohydrate to eat is a little more difficult. Foods that are made from flour, even whole grain flour, tend to increase BG higher and faster than less processed carbohydrates such as pearl barley. The Glycemic Index of a food is a measurement used to reflect this quality.

The Glycemic Load (GL) of a food is simply the combination of the two aspects above - quantity and type of carbohydrate.

Let's say you've found that keeping the Glycemic Load of a meal below 20 keeps your after-meal sugars from rising too high. The site has made figuring all this easy! Just look up the foods in your meal and add up their GLs:



1 scrambled egg: GL = 1
1 slice toasted whole wheat bread: GL = 6
1 pat butter: GL = 0
8 ounces orange juice: GL = 9
8 ounces black coffee: GL = 0
Total GL for meal = 16


1/2 cup brown rice: GL = 10
1 pat butter: GL = 0
4 ounces roasted pork tenderloin GL = 0
2 tablespoons prepared meat gravy: GL = 2
1/2 cup chopped broccoli: GL = 1
1 small dinner roll (2" by 2"): GL = 8
1 pat butter: GL = 0
5 ounces red table wine: GL = 0
Total GL for meal = 21


1 Starbucks plain bagel: GL = 58
2 tablespoons cream cheese: GL = 0
Total GL for meal = 58

These are estimates but they can be one tool that helps you manage your blood sugars. I didn't post the calories, fat content, etc. for the foods above, but they are listed along with a thorough nutritional breakdown on's site.

Give it a try!