Whether you are training for fat loss, strength or hypertrophy, we can all agree that a sound nutritional program is king for achieving optimal health and improving performance in the gym. In terms of body composition, what you eat, how much and how you combine foods, has huge hormonal implications. This is especially critical in terms of carbohydrate consumption.
I anticipate by now that as a result of the recent rise in popularity of low carb diets, you are already familiar with the terms ‘glycemic index’ or ‘GI.’ To recap, a food’s Glycemic Index is a score given to a food that helps us gauge the effect said foods would have on our blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin being that fat storing hormone that is responsible for regulating our blood sugar by glucose disposal in the form of replenishing our energy cells primarily, then sending the remaining glucose to the liver to be stored as fat.
WHAT IS GLYCEMIC LOAD?
Glycemic Load (GL) measures both the GI value and quantity of a carbohydrate in a meal. This is calculated by multiplying a foods glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate in a serve then dividing it by 100.
To prevent unwanted fat gain, pay particular attention to the glycemic load of the foods that you are including in your meals, as well as your meal timing. For stabilised slow release energy, you want foods with a low GI AND low GL.
As a general rule, remember this:
“Insulin stimulates both fat storage AND muscle growth/repair.To prioritise the uptake of carbohydrates in the body to be used to replenish energy stores and promote muscle protein synthesis, ONLY eat foods with a high glycemic load PWO.”
Have a look over the following table to see examples of high and low GI foods and their corresponding GI load; this system is actually used in the revolutionary nutritional program design software created by Clean Health Fitness Institute Founder Daine McDonald and Education Manager Stefan Ianev, iNutritionPro which our personal trainers in our Sydney CBD and Chatswood gym’s use with all of our clients daily. For more information on iNutritionPro click here!
Moving on to be able to use the GI Index code to help decipher suitable low GI meal options see below…
|FOOD||Glycemic index||Serving size (grams)||Glycemic load|
|CEREALS & GRAINS|
|Instant oatmeal, average||83||250||30|
|Sweet corn on the cob, average||60||150||20|
|White rice, average||89||150||43|
|Quick cooking white basmati||67||150||28|
|Brown rice, average||50||150||16|
|Rice cakes, average||82||25||17|
|Peach, canned in light syrup||40||120||5|
|Pear, canned in pear juice||43||120||5|
|Green peas, average||51||80||4|
|Baked russet potato, average||111||150||33|
|Boiled white potato, average||82||150||21|
|Sweet potato, average||70||150||22|
HOW TO MAKE USE OF THIS TABLE
Although elevated insulin levels will increase fat storage, glycemic load helps to paint a more accurate picture of exactly how food affects your blood sugar.
Compare the difference between the following two foods:
MARS BAR – Glycemic Index: 65 Glycemic Load: 24
Now, compare the Mars Bar to the following:
RICE CAKE – Glycemic Index: 82 Glycemic Load: 17
In conclusion, you can see above that although a Mars bar has a lower glycemic index, its glycemic load is much higher, therefore it will result in a dramatically higher insulin response then the rice cake. This is why it is more important that you take in to account the glycemic load of the foods that you are eating, as opposed to the glycemic index in order to more effectively control your blood sugar levels and stay leaner with less effort.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions, feel free to reply email or ask me in our next session together.
Yours in health,
The Clean Health Fitness Institute
Editors note: To learn more about how to optimise your nutritional programs CONTACT US today to speak with one of our personal trainers online or in our Sydney CBD or Chatswood gym’s.
- International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Kaye Foster-Powell, Susanna HA Holt, & Janette C Brand-Miller. Retrieved from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/1/5.full.pdf