Glycemic Load vs Glycemic Index

This post is all about watermelon!  

(Well, it's actually about glycemic load and index, but watermelon is the example that I will be using).

When people talk about "high glycemic foods", they are really talking about foods that raise blood sugar, fast!  However, there is often misconception between foods that have a high glycemic index versus those with a high glycemic load. A food can initially spike blood sugar levels, but that overall doesn't burden your body with too many carbohydrates as its total carbohydrate content is low. Well that was confusing.  How about an example:  

The glycemic index (GI) of watermelon is very high (it's high up there (in blood sugar spiking carbs) like a white potato or a bowl of pasta!) because it raises blood sugar fast, however the glycemic load (GL) of watermelon is extremely low because per serving because it actually does not contain a lot of carbohydrates. GI = how fast sugar enters blood.  GL = how much sugar in food.  Just because watermelon's sugar enters the blood fast, it doesn't actually contain much sugar, so by knowing the GL you know that it's not bad for you even though it has a high GI.

Summary: just because fruits have high GIs (along with unhealthy foods like chocolate bars and white bread) doesn't mean we must shy away from them. It appears that using GL may be a better way to determine the nutritional profile of a food anyway.

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