Glycemic Index Chart and Effects of Low and High GI Foods

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By : dLife Editors

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale often used to classify and rank carbohydrate-rich foods based on how fast they affect blood sugar levels in a window of 2-3 hours after a meal.

While the foods high in glycemic index break down quickly to raise your blood sugar rapidly, foods with low GI take a longer time to be digested and absorbed.

This results in a gradual and slower change in blood sugar levels. When it comes to managing diabetes, it’s a great benefit to building your diet around the glycemic index of such foods involved in the diet.

Carbohydrates having a high GI will cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, whereas diet based and built around low GI are low in sugar but considerably high in fiber. Because the low GI foods cause a slow rise in blood sugar they are, therefore, considered to be more ideally suited for people living with diabetes.

Effects of eating low GI foods

  • It enhances natural weight loss
  • It increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • Help keep cholesterol level under check
  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases
  • Help refuel carbs stores after intense exercise

Effect of eating high GI foods

  • It could cause cell dysfunction
  • Increase the production of insulin
  • Encourages the accumulation of free fatty acid in the body
  • Raises the risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity

Glycemic Index Chart

As already explained, foods with low GI tends to be less stressful on the body compared to high GI foods, especially for people with diabetes. Below is a glycemic index chart to help you tell the GI number of that your favorite food. The chart is courtesy of Healthiack.

Grains

FoodsGlycemic index
(glucose = 100)
Serving size (grams)Glycemic load per serving
Quinoa5315013
Brown rice, average5015016
Whole wheat kernels, average305011
Sweet corn on the cob, average6015020
White rice, average8915043
Pearled barley, average2815012
Bulgur, average4815012

Dairy Products

FoodsGlycemic index
(glucose = 100)
Serving size (grams)Glycemic load per serving
Milk, full fat41250 ml5
Ice cream, regular57506
Milk, skim32250 ml4
Ice cream, premium38503
Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average3320011

Bakery Products & Breads

FoodsGlycemic index
(glucose = 100)
Serving size (grams)Glycemic load per serving
Banana cake, made without sugar556012
Banana cake, made with sugar 476014
Apple, made without sugar48609
Apple, made with sugar446013
Hamburger bun61309
Pumpernickel bread56307
Whole wheat bread, average 71309
White wheat flour bread713010
Pita bread, white683010
Coarse barley bread, 75-80% kernels, average34307
Kaiser roll733012

Cookies & Crackers

FoodsGlycemic index
(glucose = 100)
Serving size (grams)Glycemic load per serving
Vanilla wafers772514
Shortbread642510
Graham crackers742514
Soda crackers742512
Rye crisps, average642511
Rice cakes, average822517

Fruits

FoodsGlycemic index
(glucose = 100)
Serving size (grams)Glycemic load per serving
Apple, average391296
Banana, ripe6212016
Dates, dried426018
Grapefruit251203
Grapes, average5912011
Orange, average401204
Peach, average421205
Peach, canned in light syrup401205
Pear, average381204
Pear, canned in pear juice431205
Prunes, pitted296010
Raisins646028
Watermelon721204

Pasta & Noodles

FoodsGlycemic index
(glucose = 100)
Serving size (grams)Glycemic load per serving
Fettucini, average3218015
Macaroni, average4718023
Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft)6418032
Spaghetti, white, boiled, average4618022
Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min, average5818026
Spaghetti, whole meal, boiled, average4218017

Vegetables

FoodsGlycemic index
(glucose = 100)
Serving size (grams)Glycemic load per serving
Green peas, average51804
Carrots, average35802
Parsnips97804
Baked russet potato, average11115033
Boiled white potato, average8215021
Instant mashed potato, average8715017
Sweet potato, average7015022
Yam, average5415020

Knowing the Glycemic Index of your foods is a great way to manage diabetes. You need to know that low GI foods are foods with 55 or less glycemic index, 56 to 69 signifies the food is a medium GI food, and foods with 70 and above glycemic index are high GI foods and should be avoided with all consciousness.

Read more about whether you should follow a low glycemic index diet.  You can also take our quiz to measure your knowledge about the Glycemic Index.

Sources:

1. Frank, M., Sacks, Vincent, J., Carey, Cheryl, A. M. Anderson, Edgar, R., Miller, Trisha, C. Jeanne, C. Benjamin, J., Harshfield, Nancy, L. (2014, Dec 17). Effects of High vs Low Glycemic Index of Dietary Carbohydrate on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Insulin Sensitivity; The OmniCarb Randomized Clinical Trial. Health and Human Services. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4370345/

2. Glycemic Index Chart. Retrieved from https://healthiack.com/health/glycemic-index-chart

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