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Effective Weight Management – Part 2

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Glycemic Matrix Guide to Low GI and GL Eating

by Richard Price

Chapter 1: Effective Weight Management (Part 2)


Is there a way of combining energy density and glycemic impact? I developed an approach to this synthesis which I called Glycemic Density (GD). I was thinking about the principle of energy density, when I wondered if there would be any value to a “carbohydrate calorie density” which would measure carbohydrate calories per gram of food. This would give a value that ranged from zero to four, because of the four calories that are found in a gram of carbohydrate. Then a thought flashed through my mind. Why not apply the glycemic index to this carbohydrate measurement? This would measure the glycemic impact in a gram of food. Thus was the concept of glycemic density born.

My previous book Glycemic Density – Continuing the Glucose Revolution used carbohydrate calories as a basis of calculation. I did this because I came at it from the direction of energy density. I took the carbohydrate calories per gram and multiplied it by the glycemic index (expressed as a decimal) to come up with the result. This also yielded a value which ranged from zero to four. A value of four would be pure glucose. Now, instead of carbohydrate calories, I have decided to use carbohydrate grams as a basis of calculation. This will yield a result that is one fourth of the prior value. The value range is now zero to one. Pure glucose would have a value of one.

Glycemic Density =
(Net-Carbohydrate-Grams * Glycemic-Index / 100) / Total-Grams-in-Serving

The reason for this change is that the first part of the formula is also the formula for glycemic load. To calculate the glycemic density, all that is needed is to divide the total glycemic load in the serving by the total grams. Since this is already listed in many instances, it will make our calculations much simpler. The glycemic density now becomes equal to the glycemic load in a gram of food.


This book introduces a further refinement of the glycemic index and glycemic density principles. The glycemic density and glycemic index represent the two ways that hunger can be satisfied. Glycemic density deals with the weight volume of food contained in a serving, while the glycemic index deals with how rapidly the foods are digested and metabolized into blood sugar. So I came up with the scheme represented below which I call the Glycemic Matrix.

Glycemic Matrix

Glycemic Matrix

The foods in the upper left corner are those that would have the lowest impact on blood sugar levels along with the most bulk satisfaction. They will satisfy hunger the most, both in the short term and in the long term. The foods in the lower right corner are those that would have the highest impact on blood sugar levels along with the least bulk satisfaction. They will satisfy short term and long term hunger the least.

For those of you who read my prior book, here is how the old and new glycemic density values compare. Remember that the new method is always one forth the value of the old method. They can easily be converted into one another.

Methods of Calculating Glycemic Density

Methods of Calculating Glycemic Density


Chapter two lists the Glycemic Matrix of various food groups including non-starchy vegetables, fruits, bread, cereal, other grains and starchy vegetables, legumes, soups, dairy, sugars, fats and indulgences.

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 21st, 2008 at 5:28 pm and is filed under Health Food Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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