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Control Cravings and Lose Weight with the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Knowing the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of foods will help you assess how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers and how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. This ultimately gives you the power to better control your weight.

Natalie discussed sugar addiction and how you can use the glycemic index (GI) to overcome those cravings once and for all and control and even lose weight.

You’re bound to be surprised by some of the foods that have a low or medium GI. And shocked at a few of the high GI foods that you may have thought were healthy choices.

Want to find out what the glycemic index is on a certain food? The University of Sydney has a handy online tool to help. Go here and click on “GI Database” in the left-hand menu.

The tool lets you plug a food into the “Food Name” field and get a handy listing back. You can also have the tool suggest foods that have a certain GI.

However, keep in mind that although some foods may have a low or medium glycemic index they may not necessarily be good for you. Use your own best judgment, you should obviously avoid foods that you may be sensitive or allergic too, and contact a nutritionist if you want more help designing a low glycemic diet for yourself.

The glycemic load (GL) is a relatively new way to assess the impact of carbohydrate consumption that takes the glycemic index into account, but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone. A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn't tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. You need to know both things to understand a food's effect on blood sugar. That is where glycemic load comes in. The carbohydrate in watermelon, for example, has a high GI. But there isn't a lot of it, so watermelon's glycemic load is relatively low. A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11 to 19 inclusive is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low.

Foods that have a low GL almost always have a low GI. Foods with an intermediate or high GL range from very low to very high GI.


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