What is Glycemic load?
Glycemic Load (GL) is a measure of both the quality (the GI value) and quantity (grams per serve) of a carbohydrate in a meal. A food’s glycemic load is determined by multiplying its glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate the food contains in each serve and dividing by 100.
Similar to the glycemic index, the glycemic load of a food can be classified as low, medium, or high:
For optimal health, aim to keep your daily glycemic load under 100.
The GL of a mixed meal or diet can simply be calculated by summing together the GL values for each ingredient or component. For example, if breakfast was composed of 2 wheat biscuits (GL = 15), ½ a Cup of milk (GL = 4) and 2 teaspoons of sugar (GL = 6), its overall GL would be 25 (15 + 4 + 6).
For the whole day, a low GL diet has a GL less than 100 g/% for people consuming 8,700 kJ. Therefore, for people consuming 3 meals per day, a low GL meal would have a GL ≤ 33 g/%.
The simplest way to use the GL is to choose foods with the lowest GI within a food group or category, and to be mindful of your serve size.