Dietary Glycemic Index/Load And Disease Risk

In General, Nutrition by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that low glycemic index (GI) and low glycemic load (GL) diets are associated with a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases. These diseases include type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease and breast cancer.

Researchers, at the Mayo Clinic, noted that there have been inconsistent findings on the effects of GI/GL in the diet. So they used a meta-analysis (a review of published studies) to determine the association between GI and GL and chronic disease risk.

They found that “Low-GI and/or low-GL diets are independently associated with a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases … The findings support the hypothesis that higher postprandial [which means after eating a meal] glycemia is a universal mechanism for disease progression.”

For a listing of the GI and GL of 750 foods worldwide, go to

According to Mendosa, “The glycemic index (GI) is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers—the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike.

The glycemic load (GL) is a relatively new way to assess the impact of carbohydrate consumption that takes the glycemic index into account, but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone. A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn’t tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. You need to know both things to understand a food’s effect on blood sugar.

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