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Glycemic Index Foods

What is the Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index, GI, is a scale that ranks carbohydrate-rich foods in order of how they affect body’s blood sugar levels( glucose) compared to glucose or white bread. The GI of glucose is 100.

Not all the carbs have the same effect on body. After we eat, foods that contain carbohydrates, our blood glucose level rises with a speed called ” Glycemic Response”. Glycemic response is influenced by the amount of the food we eat, type of the food, and how the food is processed or prepared. When we eat a boiled potato, glucose levels spike in milliseconds. With legumes or fruits and vegetables, they go up in about 30 minutes. In general, the lower the glycemic response the better the quality of food. Foods that have lower Glycemic Response,Glycemic Index, cause only small fluctuations in blood sugar levels or insulin levels reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes in the long term and helping the body to maintain a healthy weight.

Glycemic Index Range

Carbs, based on their GI rank, are categorized to three groups, Low, Medium and High GI Foods.

What do the numbers mean?

  • Low GI foods are foods with a GI less than 55. They cause a slower and lower rise in blood glucose levels. Examples are Porridge, Apple and Sweet Potato.
  • Intermediate GI foods are foods with a GI between 55 and 70. They cause blood glucose levels to go up at a moderate rate. Examples are Pineapple, New Potato and Mango.
  • High GI foods are foods with a GI greater than 70. They cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Examples are Jasmine rice, Cornflake and Watermelon.

How is the GI measured?

Firstly, a small group of volunteers are each given a serve of food that contains 50 grams of carbohydrate. Their blood glucose levels are measured every 15 minutes, for the next 2 – 3 hours. The results are then plotted on a graph and a computer program measures the size of the graph. The average response of the group to each food is then compared to the response to the standard (glucose) to create the GI.


Glycemic Index Food List – High Medium and Low

Breads, Grains & Pasta

baguette – 95
rice pasta,brown – 92
instant rice – 91
kaiser roll – 73
bagel – 72
white bread – 70

wholemeal bread – 69
rye flour bread – 64
macaroni cheese – 64
hamburger bun – 61
pita bread – 57
white rice – 56
brown rice – 55
sourdough bread – 52

linguine – 50
multigrain bread – 48
bulgur – 48
converted rice – 47
macaroni – 45
spaghetti, white – 41
ravioli, meat filled – 39
spaghetti, whole wheat – 37
spaghetti, protein enriched – 27
barley – 25

Fruits

dates,dried – 103
watermelon – 72

pineapple – 66
raisins – 64
apricots – 57
mangoes – 56
fruit cocktail – 55

banana – 53
kiwi fruit – 53
grapes – 52
canned peach – 47
orange – 43
peaches – 42
plums – 39
pear – 36
apple – 36
dried apricots – 30
grapefruit – 25
cherries – 22

Snacks

rice cakes – 82
pretzels – 81
jelly beans – 80
waffles – 76
doughnut – 76
soda crackers – 74
corn chips – 72

*mars bars – 68
ryvita – 67

wheat crackers – 67
rye crisp bread – 63
power bar – 57
popcorn – 55
oatmeal cookies – 55

*potato chips/crisps – 54
*chocolate – 49
banana cake – 47
peanuts – 14

Cereals

Rice Krispies – 82
Grapenut flakes – 80
Cornflakes – 77
Weetabix – 77
Total – 76
Puffed wheat – 74
Cheerios – 74

Shredded Wheat – 69
Oatmeal – 61
Mini Wheats (wholemeal) – 57
Museli – 56
Oatbran – 55

Porridge, non instant – 49
All Bran – 42

Cakes/biscuits

Rice cakes – 82
Wafer biscuits – 77
Doughnut – 76
Waffles – 76

Ryvita – 67
Croissant – 67
Shortbread – 64
Muffin (unsweetened) – 62
Danish pastry – 59

Potatoes, root crop

parsnips – 97
**baked potatoes – 83
instant potatoes – 83
chips – 75
mashed potatoes – 73

beetroot – 64
new potatoes – 57

boiled potatoes – 56
sweet potatoes – 54
yam – 51

Vegetables

sweet corn – 55

green peas – 48
carrots,cooked – 39
green beans – 15
peppers – 15
spinach – 15
tomatoes – 15
artichoke – 15
asparagus – 15
broccoli – 15
cauliflower – 15
celery – 15
cucumber – 15
lettuce – 15

Legumes

Baked Beans – 48
Chickpean,tinned – 42
Haricot Beans – 38
Chick peas – 33
Butter beans – 31
Lentils – 29
Kidney Beans – 27
Soy Beans – 18

Dairy

*Ice cream – 61

*Ice cream (low fat) – 50

Milk, semi-skimmed – 34
Chocolate milk – 34
Fruit yogurt, low fat – 33
Milk-Skim – 32
Milk -Fat-free – 32
Soy Milk – 31
Milk, full fat – 27
Yogurt-low fat – 14

Sugars

Maltose – 105
Glucose – 100
Honey – 73

Sucrose – 65
Table sugar – 65

Lactose – 46
Fructose – 23

Beverages

Gatorade – 78

Soft drinks,fanta – 68
Colas – 65
Orange juice – 57

Grapefruit juice – 48
Pineapple juice – 46
Apple Juice,unsweetened – 41

Amounts based on 50 grammes of carbohydrate per serving

High Glycemic Index Food GI (more than 70)

Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are considered intermediate

Low Glycemic Index Food (less than 55)

**low in calorie and nutritious foods
*high in empty calories

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