Glycemic Index

01 | Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of food is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. Their blood sugar response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes.

What is the significance of a Glycemic Index?

  • Low GI means a smaller rise in blood sugar and can help control established diabetes
  • Low GI diets can help people lose weight and lower blood lipids
  • Low GI diets can improve the body's sensitivity to insulin
  • High GI foods can help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise

How to switch to a low GI diet

  • Breakfast cereals based on wheat bran, barley and oats
  • "Grainy" breads made with whole seeds
  • Vinegar and lemon juice dressings

In short, the goal should be to build a good plan including the low Glycemic Index foods. This way, hunger is minimized, and there is less of a tendency to "cheat" or overeat. Consequently, you can continue to lose body fat or maintain your weight - once the excess pounds have been lost.

Even for those whose main objective is not fat loss, foods that are low on the glycemic index will help alleviate mood swings and regulate energy levels.

Some points to ponder:

  • Foods that stimulate insulin surges can cause people to eat 60-70% more calories at the following meal.
  • People who consume foods relatively high in glucose (such as white bread, most commercial whole wheat bread, and raisins) eat an average or 200 calories more at the next meal than those who eat fructose (a sugar found in fruits).

Low glycemic index foods can be mixed with modest quantities of high glycemic foods without losing their hunger reducing effect.

The purpose of the chart is not to have you eliminate those nutritious choices from your diet. Instead, balance the foods that are "less desirable" by eating them with foods that are "desirable."

High glycemic foods:

  • Elevate insulin and blood glucose
  • Stimulate fat-storage
  • Exacerbate hyperactivity
  • Reduce sports performance

A low glycemic food plan is beneficial for:

  • Helping balance blood glucose and insulin levels
  • Reducing excess body fat levels
  • Increasing sports performance
  • Helps to regain the insulin sensitivity to glucose (repairs insulin resistance)

Low glycemic food plans focus on reducing ingestion of foods that elevate insulin and stimulate fat-storage. We can't totally eliminate high glycemic foods from our diet, but we can be aware of the glycemic reaction that foods have so we can make better choices.

Low glycemic food plans have been proven to reduce incidence of Type II diabetes and to help control Type I and II diabetes, hypoglycemia and hypertension. Low glycemic foods do not stimulate food-craving hormones like Neuropeptide Y and Lipoprotein Lipase. Stimulation of these hormones can cause chemically-triggered cravings for food and uncontrolled eating binges.

Obviously, low glycemic food plans can be followed for more than 7 days. You can create your own low glycemic food plan with many variations. Be sure to ingest enough calories per day to meet the needs of your own body. For optimum health, select a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods daily. This helps assure an adequate intake of Phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.

02 | List of GI Foods



GI Value

Cherries 22
Grapefruit 25
Prunes 29
Apricots, dried 30
Apple 38
Peach, canned in juice 38
Pear, fresh 38
Plum 39
Strawberries 40
Orange, Navel 42
Peach, fresh 42
Pear, canned 43
Grapes 46
Papaya 56
Banana 52
Kiwi 58
Fruit Cocktail 55
Mango 51
Apricots, fresh 57
Figs, dried 61
Apricots, canned 64
Raisins 56
Cantaloupe 65
Pineapple, fresh 66
Watermelon 72
Dates 103


Food GI Value
Pancakes 67
Waffles 76
All Bran with Fiber 38
Bran Buds 47
Oatmeal 49
Muesli 43
Oat Bran 55
Bran Chex 58
Raisin Bran 61
Cream of Wheat 66
Quick (One Minute) Oats 66
Puffed Wheat 67
Special K 69
Bran Flakes 74
Cheerios 74
Cream of Wheat Instant 74
Shredded Wheat 75
Grapenuts 71
Corn Chex 83
Corn Flakes 92


Food GI Value
Broccoli 10
Cabbage 10
Lettuce 10
Mushrooms 10
Onions 10
Red Peppers 10
Carrots 49
Green peas 48
Corn, fresh 60
Beets 64
Pumpkin 75
Parsnips 97


Food GI Value
Spaghetti, whole wheat 37
Star Pastina 38
Fettuccini (egg) 32
Spaghetti, white 38
Spiral Pasta 43
Capellini 45
Linguine 46
Macaroni 47
Rice vermicelli 58

Rice & Grains

Food GI Value
Converted, White 38
Brown 55
Long grain, White 44
Wild rice 87
Basmati 58
Aborio 69
Short grain, White 72
Instant, White 87
Glutinous (Sticky) 98
Barley, pearled 25
Buckwheat 54
Couscous 65
Cornmeal 68

Dairy Foods

Food GI Value
Yogurt, artificially sweetened 14
Skim milk 32
Yogurt, sweetened 33
Whole milk 31
Ice cream, low fat 43
Ice cream, premium 38


Food GI Value
Tomato 38
Apple 40
Pineapple 46
Grapefuit 48
Orange 53
Cranberry Juice Cocktail 68


Food GI Value
Pumpernickel 41
Sourdough 53
Stone Ground whole wheat 53
Pita, whole wheat 57
Whole Meal Rye 58
Hamburger bun 61
Whole wheat (100%) 77
Croissant 67
Taco Shell 68
Bagel 72
White 70
Kaiser roll 73
Bread stuffing 74
French Baguette 95


Food GI Value
Yam 37
Sweet 44
New 57
Canned 65
White skinned mashed 70
French Fries 75
Instant Mashed 86
Red Skinned, boiled 88
Baked 85


Food GI Value
Tomato 38
Minestrone 39
Lentil 44
Black Bean 64
Pea 66

Beans & Peas

Food GI Value
Chana Dal 8
Chickpeas, dried 28
Kidney Beans, dried 28
Lentils 29
Lima Beans (frozen) 32
Yellow Split Peas 32
Chickpeas, canned 42
Blackeyed Peas, canned 42
Baked Beans 48
Kidney Beans, canned 52


*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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