Measuring the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads before You Cook

By Meri Raffetto, Rosanne Rust

Part of Glycemic Index Cookbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Before you start cooking up recipes that follow the glycemic index diet, you need to know the difference between the glycemic index and the glycemic load:

  • The glycemic index (GI) places foods on a scale of 0 to 100, based on how fast they raise blood glucose (also known as blood sugar) levels. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly have higher GI numbers than foods that take longer to affect blood sugar. Here’s the range of glycemic index measurements:

    • GI of 55 or less = Low

    • GI of 56 to 69 = Medium

    • GI of 70 or more = High

  • The glycemic load (GL) goes one step further: This measurement applies the glycemic index to the amount of food you’re going to eat. You simply multiply the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbs (in grams) in the food, and then you divide by 100. Here’s the range of glycemic load measurements:

    • GL of 10 or less = Low

    • GL of 11 to 19 = Medium

    • GL of 20 or more = High