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Glycemic Load, Not Carb Content, Is A Better Predictor Of After-Meal Blood Sugar Levels

February 16, 2011: 11:40 AM EST
In a study involving healthy people who sampled 120 different kinds of foods, each with the same number of calories, Australian researchers found that the glycemic load – not just carbohydrate content – of food is a more reliable indicator of blood sugar and insulin levels after eating. The findings have special meaning for diabetics, who are sensitive to how quickly sugar levels in the blood rise or fall. Glycemic load takes into account not only carbohydrate content and portion sizes of food, but the glycemic index (impact on blood sugar). The researchers concluded that glycemic load is “a more powerful predictor of postprandial glycemia (glucose levels in the blood)  and insulinemia (abnormally high levels of insulin the blood) than carbohydrate content.”
Jiansong Bao,et al. , "Prediction of postprandial glycemia and insulinemia in lean, young, healthy adults: glycemic load compared with carbohydrate content alone", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 16, 2011, © American Society for Nutrition
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