Glycemic Load Chart of Indian Foods for Diabetes

Picture this: a spread of aromatic spices, hearty grains, and mouth-watering dishes, all waiting to be explored. But hold on a second—how do these tasty treats affect your blood sugar? That’s where we come in! In this guide, we’re going on a culinary adventure through the colorful realm of Indian foods. Armed with the secret weapon of glycemic load knowledge, we’ll discuss everything from the glycemic load of your favorite grains to the irresistible Indian snacks.

Whether you’re managing diabetes, aiming to boost your athletic performance, or just curious about how to balance flavor and health, we’ve got you covered. So sit tight and settle in. Let’s uncover the deliciously nutritious world of Indian cuisine together!

Define Glycemic Load

Glycemic load is a measurement that takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity of carbohydrates in a serving of food. Glycemic load is like the upgraded version of the glycemic index. It not only tells you how fast a food raises your blood sugar but also considers how much of that food you’re actually eating. It gives a more accurate picture of how a food impacts your blood sugar levels compared to just looking at the glycemic index alone. Therefore, it gives you a better idea of the overall impact of food on your blood sugar levels. The glycemic load (GL) of a food is calculated using the formula which is as follows:

Glycemic Load of a food = (Glycemic Index of that food × Amount of carbs in the food quantity consumed) ÷ 100

Read More: 7 Day Meal Plan for Prediabetes

How is Glycemic Load Different From Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index scale simply measures how fast a food spikes your blood glucose upon consumption. The GI scale rates a food between 0 to 100. The glycemic index is considered a more basic measurement scale than glycemic load when measuring blood sugar impact. The main disadvantage of the glycemic index is that it doesn’t take into account the quantity of food consumed. Therefore, sometimes, the glycemic index doesn’t accurately depict the actual glycemic impact of a food on your blood sugar level.

The glycemic index is calculated on foods having 50 grams of carbs. Therefore for foods having low carb content, you need to take such an amount of that food that accounts for 50 grams of carbs. To take such portions, a huge portion of that food is required, which is much greater than the usual serving size. Whereas the glycemic load takes into account the quantity of carbs and represents more precisely how much the food will impact your sugar levels.

Glycemic Load Categories

Glycemic load, just like the glycemic index, is distributed and categorised into three categories, i.e. high, medium and low glycemic load foods.

Low Glycemic Load Foods

  • Low glycemic load foods have a GL value less than or equal to 10.
  • Low-GL foods cause a slow and gradual spike in blood sugar levels upon consumption.

Medium Glycemic Load Foods

  • Medium GL foods have a glycemic load between 11 to 19.
  • These foods cause a moderate blood sugar spike.

High Glycemic Load Foods

  • High glycemic load foods have a GL value of 20 and higher.
  • These high-GL foods inflict a rapid rise in your blood glucose levels.

Read More: Best Vegetable with Low Glycemic Index for Diabetics. 

Glycemic Load Chart of Indian Foods,  glycemic load chart

Why knowing the Glycemic Load of Foods is Important for Diabetes Patients?

For diabetes patients, it’s very important that they know about the glycemic impact of the food they consume. Since glycemic load provides a more precise measurement of how much a portion of food impacts their blood sugar, it’s an important parameter. One of the main examples that depicts the difference between glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) is watermelon. Watermelon has a high glycemic index value of 72, which means it’ll cause high blood sugar spikes.

However, when we consume watermelon, we only consume 2 to 3 pieces, which doesn’t have many carbs. Therefore, the glycemic load of watermelon is just 2, classifying it as a low-glycemic-load food. Therefore, watermelon is a normal serving size and is completely safe to consume for diabetics. Watermelon won’t cause any significant spike in blood sugar.

Read More: What are the Glycemic Index and ways to calculate the Gi Value of Food Items? 

Glycemic Load Chart of Indian Foods

Here are some of the many common Indian foods that have a high GL value (20 or over):‍

Food Glycemic Load (GL) Value
Dosa (Appam) 58
Dosa (Rava) 54
Dosa (Plain) 40
Finger millet (Ragi) 49
Dates 48
Rice (White, boiled) 43
Rice (Basmati, boiled) 37
Apple juice (Unsweetened) 30
Laddu (Besan) 30
Bajra 29
Raisins 28
Gulab jamun 25
Chapati/Roti (Indian flatbread) 24
Cornflakes 23
Apricot (Dried) 22
Spaghetti 22

Indian Foods with Medium Glycemic Load (11 to 19):

Food Glycemic Load (GL) Value 
Banana (ripe) 13
Banana (raw) 11
Brown bread 11
Whole wheat bread 12
White bread 14
Chickpeas 12
Honey 12
Idli 12
Muesli 16
Laddu 17
Oats 11
Pasta 12
Barley 11
Potato chips 12
Quinoa 18
Sweet potato 12
Upma 15
Vada sambar 18
Vermicelli 15
Atta 12
Yogurt (fruit) 11

Read More: 7 Day Indian Diet Plan for Diabetic Patients

Here are Some Common Indian foods that have a Low GL (Glycemic Load) value (between 4 and 10):

Food Glycemic Load (GL) Value
Bread (Multigrain) 10
Black gram dal (Udad dal) 8
Kidney beans (Rajma) 8
Pistachios 8
Black beans 7
Custard (Plain) 7
Dhokla 7
Apples 6
Pineapple 6
Popcorn 6
Sugar (Brown) 6
Kiwi 5
Milk (Full fat) 5
Pumpkin seeds 5
Indian blackberries (Jamun) 4
Milk (Skimmed) 4
Orange 4

Low Glycemic Load Foods (0 to 4):

Food Glycemic Load (GL) Value
Blackberries 2
Avocado 2
Broccoli 1
Butter 0
Cabbage 1
Apricot 3
Capsicum 1
Cauliflower 1
Carrots 2
Cherries 3
Brinjal 1
Cucumber 1
Garlic 0
Gooseberry 2
Grapes 3
Green beans 1
Lettuce 1
Lemon 2
Mushroom 1
Olives 0
Peanuts 2
Onions 2
Radish 1
Pea 2
Raspberries 3
Tur dal 3
Spinach 1
Tomato 1
Walnut 2
Pumpkin 3
Zucchini 1
Pecan 0

Read More: Vegetarian Diabetes Diet Plan With Indian Foods

Glycemic Load Drawbacks

Glycemic load can be a useful tool for managing and regulating blood sugar levels. However, here are some drawbacks to consider:

  1. Complexity: Calculating the glycemic load of a meal can be complex and time-consuming. It requires knowledge of the glycemic index of each individual food component and the portion sizes consumed.
  2. Variability: The glycemic load of a food can vary depending on factors. These include ripeness, cooking methods, and food combinations, making it challenging to estimate accurately.
  3. Individual Differences: Glycemic response to foods can vary widely among individuals due to factors. These include genetics, metabolism, and gut microbiota composition. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be effective.
  4. Focus on Quantity Over Quality: Glycemic load focuses primarily on the quantity of carbohydrates consumed rather than the overall nutritional quality. This may lead to overlooking important factors, including fiber content, micronutrient density, and the presence of healthy fats and proteins.
  5. Limited Scope: Glycemic load does not account for other important aspects of diet, such as glycemic response to non-carbohydrate nutrients, overall dietary patterns, or individual health goals.
  6. Potential Misinterpretation: Relying solely on glycemic load may lead to misconceptions about healthful eating. Such as the belief that all low-glycemic-load foods are healthy and all high-glycemic-load foods are unhealthy, ignoring other nutritional considerations.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What Indian food is low GI?

Indian food, such as lentils, beans, some fruits, nuts, and unsweetened curd/yogurt, has a low glycemic profile.

What is a safe glycemic load?

For any food serving size, having more than 20 is considered a high glycemic load and should be avoided. Foods with a glycemic load between 11 and 19 are considered a medium glycemic load and should be consumed in moderate amounts. Low glycemic load foods with a GL value under 10 are safe and can be consumed more than the rest.

What is the glycemic load of roti?

The glycemic load of roti is 24. The GL value of roti categorises it as a high GL food and should be consumed as part of a full meal.

How do I calculate glycemic load?

The glycemic load of any food is calculated using the following formula:
Glycemic Load = (Glycemic Index x Amount of carbs in the serving consumed)/ 100

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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