Understanding the glycemic load

In addition to glycemic index, you may want to consider the glycemic load. The glycemic load of a food is based on the glycemic index but also takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in a portion. A food that has a high glycemic index may not be that bad for your child if the portion is so small that the total grams of carbohydrate don't raise his glucose that much. An example is pumpkin, which has a high GI of 75 but few grams of carbohydrate in the small portion that's usually consumed. Another example is cantaloupe, which has a glycemic index of 65 but a low glycemic load in the typical portion size. Many foods that have low glycemic loads aren't necessarily good for your child, like ice cream and beef, so you should emphasize glycemic index rather than glycemic load in making food choices for your child.

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