Know These Terms: Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load

Know These Terms: Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load

For those who are particular about blood sugar, both Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load provide figures that will affect the sugar level in our blood for each food intake. Let’s find out the difference between these two values.

Glycaemic Index (G.I.)

The G.I. checks out how much glucose a particular food with carbohydrates will add to your blood. The highest G.I. value is usually 100. A higher G.I. for a particular food means that this food has a tendency to increase the blood sugar higher than those with a low G.I. Nuts, fruits and vegetables tend to have a lower G.I. as compared to potatoes, rice and white bread. The former category will usually transfer carbohydrates into glucose slower than the latter ones.

LOW: 55 and below Apple, carrots (raw or peeled), orange, peanuts
MEDIUM: 56 to 69 Banana, muesli, sweet corn
HIGH: 70 and above Potatoes, rice, white bread

The G.I. has been popularly issued in weight management, especially in the form of low G.I. meals in order to get the maximum benefit.


The figures are usually for each individual food category and may not include food that comes from more than one food source. The index does not account for food that has been processed (cooking, boiling) which could affect the G.I. value.

The index also does not consider each food’s nutritional values. For example, watermelon has a G.I. value of about 80, which means that it is supposed to be something you should eat less. However, watermelon has vitamins A, B6 and C and many other nutrients that we cannot afford to ignore.

Glycaemic Load (G.L.)

The glycaemic load eliminates the problem of generalisation of blood sugar increment by accounting the amount of food intake, providing more precise information on how the food item that we eat will affect our blood sugar.

A higher G.l. value means that the particular food item will raise the blood sugar level higher than the lower ones.

The calculation of G.L. is as follows, according to scientists from Harvard University:

G.L. = Carbohydrate content in grams x G.I. / 100

LOW 0 to 100
MEDIUM 11 to 19
HIGH 20 and over

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