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To Track Carbs, Tap Into the Glycemic Index … and Its Cousin

Posted on December 20, 2018


By Len Canter, HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Rather than just counting carbs, you might want to get familiar with the glycemic index and the glycemic load, numeric weighting systems that rank carb-based foods based on how much they raise blood sugar.

While monitoring these indicators might be especially helpful for those with diabetes, they also can be useful tools to keep others from developing diabetes and even lower the risk of heart disease, especially for women and for people who are overweight.

The glycemic index is the better known of the two. It's a measure of the blood glucose-raising potential of carbohydrate foods compared to a reference food, like pure glucose or a slice of white bread.


The glycemic load goes one step further. It takes into account both the types of carbs in a food and the amount of carbs in a serving. The lower a food's glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.

A food's glycemic load gives you a more exact measurement than the glycemic index alone because even though most healthy foods are both low-glycemic index and low-glycemic load, a few higher glycemic index foods -- like bananas, pineapples and watermelon -- actually have low-to-moderate glycemic loads and can fit into many diets. That's important because those three fruits in particular deliver many important nutrients.

Lowering the glycemic load of your diet happens naturally when you increase your intake of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and non-starchy vegetables, and decrease foods like potatoes, white bread
and sugary treats.

Using the glycemic indexes will help you refine your choices as you take steps to improve your diet.


More information: To help you further understand the impact of foods on blood sugar, check out the glycemic index and glycemic load page on the website of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.

Here are some questions and conversations from myPCOSteam:

I've been trying to cut out all these different food dairy, bread, eggs sugar. I want to stop bloating and feeling like crap from these foods. What are some of your diets like?

Have any lf you ladies tried going gluten and dairy free and eating a low glycemic index diet? Did it help the symptoms of your PCOS?

Just curious as to what type of “diets” anyone is trying and if it’s working?

"Let's get on the attack. As you all know the best thing for PCOS as far as diet is low Glycemic index(GI). Time to grab the bull by the horns. Bye bye donuts, pasta, candies, and junk food."

"I was very happy to see that in the past month and a half of being diagnosed, that I was able to lose 12 pounds! I've been following a low carb, low sugar diet with some light exercising."

"Last month eating low carb led to me getting my period for the first time in a long time. Kinda anxious to see if it was a one time thing or if it’ll be ongoing."


How do you maintain a 'PCOS-friendly' diet?
Share in the comments below or directly on myPCOSteam.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

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