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  • Glycemic Load / Glycemic Index

    Essential knowledge for the
    struggle against sugar addiction

    Glycemic Load / Index

    Who hasn’t been through this before? For lunch, there is a plate of pasta, a stuffed whole-grain baguette or a rice dish, and two hours later you can barely tolerate your longing for a snack. Why? Because food rich in carbohydrates passes through the stomach to reach the small intestines, where it is split into sugar that then passes through the intestinal wall to enter the bloodstream. The blood sugar level soars and the pancreas, alarmed, reacts by dispensing a big shot of insulin, for it is only with the help of insulin that sugar can be directed into the cells. This pushes the blood sugar level down so fast, and so far, that it does not take long to feel hungry again. The consequence is an addiction to carbohydrates or sugar. And: a pancreas that never comes to rest.

    For this reason the metabolism program dr.reinwald metabolic regulation® with a very low consumption of carbohydrates (low carb) aims to keep the blood glucose response and therefore the insulin reaction as low as possible. This raises the question of which foods are conducive to achievement of this objective and which should be avoided.

    A question not only of quantity - but above all of quality.

    When searching for an answer to this question for a particular foodstuff, one can consider its glycemic load (GL) for basic guidance. This number lets one judge how many grams of carbohydrates are contained in 100g of the foodstuff and the strength of extent to which its specific carbohydrates will exert an effect on the blood sugar level.

    Glycemic Index (GI): insufficient for comparisons.

    The concept of the GI, which was developed in the 1980’s, was the forerunner of the GL, mentioned above. The GI is defined so that a foodstuff with GI of 50 leads to a blood sugar level that is only half as high as that of glucose, with a GI of 100. But there is a difficulty here. The GI describes the blood sugar reaction to intake of 100g of carbohydrates from the foodstuff, rather than the reaction to intake of 100g of the foodstuff itself. Hence foodstuffs cannot be compared by using just the GI. 

    Who eats 1kg of carrots all at once?

    Take, for example, carrots. They have a relatively high GI, so that would be a negative indicator for inclusion of carrots in a weight reduction diet or diabetic metabolism situation. This thinking ignores the fact that carrots have extremely few carbohydrates - so few that one would have to eat 1kg (2.2 lbs) of carrots to achieve the GI of 90g of white bread. The reality here is that it is not a problem for a diabetic to eat 100g of carrots, or 9g of white bread once in a while.

    Glycemic load: a good way to compare foodstuffs

    There are various types of carbohydrates, such as, for example, starch, fruit sugar, grape sugar, milk sugar and many more. Each of these has a different biological availability and duration for cleavage in glucose  in the intestinal tract. This is expressed with the glycemic index GI. At the same time, each foodstuff has a different carbohydrate content: It is easy to see that the percentage quantity influences the total mass of carbohydrates in a foodstuff (e.g. potatoes 15%, bananas 20%, pasta 30%) and consequently also influences the blood sugar level. Combining this percentage value of a foodstuff with the foodstuff’s GI yields its GL, that means its effect on the blood sugar. So it is that foodstuffs are easy to compare, and also easy to enjoy without any ifs or buts.

    Looking for foodstuffs with a low GL? Our tables help.

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