Glycemic Index Chart for Common Foods (2022)

The glycemic index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood sugar. When you have type 2 diabetes, one of the best ways to control your glucose levels is to eat foods that don't cause major blood sugar (glucose) spikes.

Knowing the glycemic index of the carbohydrates you eat can help you fine-tune your meals to keep your blood sugar within a normal range.

Glycemic Index Chart for Common Foods (1)

What Isthe Glycemic Index?

The GI is a rating system where foods are ranked on a scale of 1 to 100 based on how much they raise blood sugar.

Processed foods such as candy, breads, cake,and cookies have a high GI, while whole foods such as unrefined grains, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits tend to have a lower GI.

Carbohydrates with a low GI value are digested, absorbed, and metabolized more slowly than their high-GI counterparts. They typically cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, subsequently, insulin levels as well.

Gl and CarbCount of Common Foods

FoodGrams of CarbsGI RangeAverage GI
White potato (medium)3456-111High 80s
Sweet potato (medium)2444-7861
Carrots (1/2 cup)616-9247
Green peas (1/2 cup)1139-5448
Chickpeas (1 cup)5431-3634
Soy beans (1/2 cup)1315-2017
Apple (medium)1528-4440
Banana (medium)2746-7058
White bread (1 slice)1464-8372
Whole wheat bread (1 slice)1252-8771
Bread w/cracked wheat kernels (1 slice)1248-5853
Oatmeal, not instant (1/2 cup dry)2742-7558
Brown rice (1 cup)4539-8766
White rice (1 cup)4543-9472
Pasta (1 cup)4340-6050

How the Glycemic Index Is Measured

The index values are created by a rigorous testing process. Ten or more people each eat 50 grams of the same digestible carbohydrate (the test food), then researchers measure each individual's glucose response two hours after consumption, plot the points on a graph, and measure the area under the curve (AUC) of their glucose response.

At a separate date, the same 10 people consume 50 grams of pure glucose (the reference food), and researchers again measure each person's glucose response AUC two hours after consumption.

The GI value of the test food is then calculated by dividing the glucose AUC for the test food by that of the reference food for each person. The final GI value is an average of those 10 numbers.

Ultimately, the GI value is the average person's blood sugar response to a specific carbohydrate. Note that individual responses may vary based on other factors.

Glycemic Index Values

The GI values can be broken down into three ranges. Remember that a low GI is a food that won't raise your blood sugar as much as a food with a medium or high GI.

  • Low GI: 55 or less
  • Medium GI: 56 to 69
  • High GI: 70 to 100

For example, rice milk (a processed food without any fiber) has a high GI of 86, while brown rice (plenty of fiber) has a medium GI of 66.

Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load

Critics of the GI system state that the index doesn't take into account how much food is being eaten or its other nutritional qualities (or lack thereof), such as protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As the GI looks strictly at the carb count, basing a diet around these numbers means you would be ignoring a lot of other helpful information to determine the true health value of a food.

To counteract the quantity issue, researchers developed the glycemic load (GL) measurement, which accounts for the quantity of the food being eaten. The glycemic load looks at both the quality and the quantity of the carb.

Glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the GI value by the number of carbohydrates (in grams), then dividing that number by 100.

(Video) What is Glycemic Index? High & Low G I foods - Ms. Ranjani Raman

For example, an apple has a GI of 40 and contains 15 grams of carbs. (40 x 15)/100 = 6, so the glycemic load of an apple is 6.

Glycemic Load Values

Like GI values, GL values can also be broken down into three ranges:

  • Low GL: 10 or less
  • Medium GL: 11 to 19
  • High GL: 20 or more

Benefits of Referring to the Glycemic Index

Since it's the carbohydratesin food that raise blood sugar, understanding GI can help you figure out which foods are best for glucose management.

Among the benefits of following the GI list when planning your meals:

  • It helps you be more mindful of your carb choices without fully restricting or severely limiting your intake.
  • If you aim for a low-GI diet, you'll naturally be focusing on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, as opposed to the higher-GI end of the spectrum, which includes more processed foods.
  • Depending on your health goals, following a GI-based diet might mean you'll be able to rely less on standard dieting measures, such as calorie counting or regimented portion control.
  • Simply being more mindful of your carb choices rather than severely limiting them can also be more sustainable in the long run, as compared to more restrictive diets.

Easy Low Glycemic Index Dinner Ideas

Where the Glycemic Index Falls Short

The GI of foods can actually change depending on a number of factors, which can make the measure unreliable in certain cases.

The composition of a meal can change the effect of blood sugar rise. For example, eating an apple on its own may result in a different blood glucose response than if you ate it with some peanut butter. Protein and fat can delay carbohydrate metabolism and, therefore, result in a slower blood sugar rise.

But this brings us to a broader point: The glycemic index is still just a list of numbers. How a food specifically affects someone's unique makeup and blood sugar varies by individual.

The Best Way to Test a Food's Impact

The American Diabetes Association states that carbohydrate amount (grams of carbohydrates) and available insulin may be the most importantfactors influencing blood sugar response after eating and should beconsidered when developing an eating plan.

The most reliable way to assess how your body is affected by certain foods is to test your blood sugar two hours after a meal.

For most people, an ideal blood sugar result is less than 180mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. If you are not sure of what your target blood sugar should be, discuss it with your physician.

What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level?

A Word From Verywell

Referencing the GI of foods can useful, but it shouldn't be the only tool you use to help control blood sugars.

The glycemic index should be used as an adjunct to carb counting and lifestyle changes, such as eating an overall balanced diet, practicing good portion control, and exercising regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are foods like meat and butter not on the glycemic index?

    (Video) What is the Glycemic Index?

    The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how much the carbohydrates in a food affect blood sugar; since foods like meat and butter don't contain carbohydrates, they are not included.

  • What are good low-GI foods to eat?

    Some good food choices low on the glycemic index include most vegetables and fruits, nuts, minimally processed grains, and pasta (both regular and whole grain). A low GI is considered 55 or less.

  • What are some high-GI foods?

    Some foods high on the glycemic index include white bread, potatoes, and white rice. This is due to these foods containing a lot of starches, which are rapidly broken down by the body to cause a rise in blood glucose. For this reason, many processed foods or soft drinks are also high on the GI.

10 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Glycemic Index Foundation. About the glycemic index.

  2. Glycemic Index Foundation. What is low GI?

  3. The University of Sydney. About the glycemic index.

  4. Willett W, Liu S. Carbohydrate quality and health: distilling simple truths from complexity.Am J Clin Nutr. 2019;110(4):803-804. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqz215

  5. Glycemic Index Foundation. Glycemic Load.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes meal planning.

  7. American Diabetes Association. Carb counting and diabetes.

  8. American Diabetes Association. 6. Glycemic targets: Standards of medical care in diabetes—2022. Diabetes Care. 2022;45(Supplement 1): S83–S96. doi:10.2337/dc22-S006

  9. Harvard Health Publishing. A good guide to good carbs: The glycemic index.

  10. National Health Service (NHS). What is the glycaemic index (GI)?

Additional Reading

(Video) 10 Low Glycemic Index Foods to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes | Best Low GI Foods for Diabetes

By Debra Manzella, RN
Debra Manzella, MS, RN, is a corporate clinical educator at Catholic Health System in New York with extensive experience in diabetes care.

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(Video) The HUGE Problem with the Glycemic Index (GI)

FAQs

Which food would have the lowest score on the glycemic index? ›

Low GI : Green vegetables, most fruits, raw carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and bran breakfast cereals. Medium GI : Sweet corn, bananas, raw pineapple, raisins, oat breakfast cereals, and multigrain, oat bran or rye bread. High GI : White rice, white bread and potatoes.

How do you find the glycemic index of foods? ›

The GI value of a food is determined by giving people a serving of the food that contains 50 grams of carbohydrate minus the fiber, then measuring the effect on their blood glucose levels over the next two hours.

Is there a glycemic index app? ›

Glycemic Index & Load Diet Assistant is an app that lets you easily browse, search for, and display the Glycemic Index for different foods. The application also helps in keeping a body weight and blood glucose levels measurement logs (including ketone bodies and HbA1c).

Is peanut butter low glycemic? ›

Peanuts and peanut butter have a low glycemic index, which means they don't cause blood sugar to rise sharply.

What drink lowers blood sugar? ›

Whether you're at home or at a restaurant, here are the most diabetes-friendly beverage options.
  1. Water. When it comes to hydration, water is the best option for people with diabetes. ...
  2. Seltzer water. ...
  3. Tea. ...
  4. Herbal tea. ...
  5. Unsweetened coffee. ...
  6. Vegetable juice. ...
  7. Low fat milk. ...
  8. Milk alternatives.

Are eggs Low glycemic? ›

Eggs have a relatively low glycemic index and therefore do not affect blood glucose levels. In addition, eggs are a satiating food and hence can reduce caloric intake, which may consequently help to improve glycemic control.

Is Sweet Potato low glycemic? ›

When boiled, sweet potatoes are a low glycemic index (GI) food, meaning they won't spike your blood sugar as much as regular potatoes, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.

Is oatmeal low glycemic? ›

Oatmeal has a low glycemic index (GI) score, and the soluble fiber and beneficial compounds in oats may help people control markers of diabetes. There are a number of ways to add oats and oatmeal to the diet.

Is oatmeal high glycemic? ›

Although oatmeal is high in carbohydrates — which people with type 2 diabetes need to watch out for — it's a food that's low to medium on the glycemic index (GI) when it's prepared with minimal processing. Meaning: It's more slowly digested and metabolized, resulting in a lower rise in blood sugar.

Are bananas low glycemic? ›

According to the International Glycemic Index Database, ripe bananas have a low GI of 51, with slightly under-ripe bananas even lower at 42; they have a moderate GL of 13 and 11, respectively.

Are blueberries high glycemic? ›

Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries all score low on the glycemic index – so you can enjoy them as a great, healthy source of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Blueberries have a glycemic index (GI) of 53, which is classified as a low GI.

Is popcorn Low GI? ›

Air-popped popcorn has a GI of 55. It is technically a low-GI food, even though it has a higher GI than many other foods in this category. Popcorn remains a better snack option than many salty or sugary snacks for avoiding high blood sugar and diabetes complications.

What is the GI of avocado? ›

The glycemic index of avocado is 15 which falls under low GI category and the glycemic load of ½ cup of chopped avocado is 1.

What foods can diabetics eat freely? ›

What foods can I eat if I have diabetes?
  • vegetables. nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes. ...
  • fruits—includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes.
  • grains—at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains. ...
  • protein. ...
  • dairy—nonfat or low fat.

Is cheese Low GI? ›

Cheese has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning that it releases glucose slowly and will not trigger significant blood glucose spikes. People often consume cheese alongside other foods, however, and some of these may spike blood glucose.

Does coffee raise blood sugar? ›

For most young, healthy adults, caffeine doesn't appear to noticeably affect blood sugar (glucose) levels, and having up to 400 milligrams a day appears to be safe.

Can drinking a lot of water lower your blood sugar? ›

Drinking water regularly may rehydrate the blood, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce diabetes risk ( 20 , 21 ). Keep in mind that water and other zero-calorie drinks are best. Avoid sugar-sweetened options, as these can raise blood glucose, drive weight gain, and increase diabetes risk ( 22 , 23 ).

Is chicken high glycemic? ›

Chicken & the low Glycemic Index

Chicken is a perfect protein to make a fantastic low-glycemic meal. Because chicken doesn't contain any carbohydrates, it has little effect on blood sugar levels. However, be sure that the chicken recipes you make contain foods that are also low-GI!

How can I flush sugar out of my system fast? ›

Studies show that drinking plenty of water helps glucose flush out of the blood. The average person should aim for eight glasses per day. Drinking plenty of water while you are indulging your sweet tooth — and throughout the day after — will help your body get back to normal.

What can I drink before bed to lower my blood sugar? ›

A: Drinking apple cider vinegar at bedtime can help diabetic people control their blood glucose levels. A diabetic patient should take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in warm water before sleep. It can also aid in the regulation of fasting blood sugar levels in the morning.

Do apples raise blood sugar? ›

Apples score relatively low on both the glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL) scales, meaning that they should cause a minimal rise in blood sugar levels (10). Apples have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels and are unlikely to cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, even in those with diabetes.

Are tomatoes high glycemic? ›

Fresh, whole tomatoes have a low glycemic index (GI) score. Foods with a low GI score release their sugar slowly into the bloodstream and are unlikely to trigger a blood sugar spike.

Do cashews raise blood sugar? ›

The study also showed that cashew nuts did not increase blood sugars, body weight or waist size when consumed in moderate amounts. Therefore, we suggest that cashews can be included in a healthy diet for the prevention of obesity and heart disease. It is one of the best nuts for diabetes.

What kind of bread can a diabetic eat? ›

The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing whole grain bread or 100 percent whole wheat bread instead of white bread. White bread is made from highly processed white flour and added sugar. Here are some delicious and healthy breads to try: Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Wheat Pita Bread.

Is cabbage good for diabetics? ›

Broccoli, spinach, and cabbage are three diabetes-friendly veggies because they are low in starch. Filling up with vegetables is a great way to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Is Pasta high glycemic? ›

Pasta has a glycemic index of approximately 50 to 55, which is considered low. Add in other healthy low GI foods like high-fiber broccoli and chickpeas and you are sure to enjoy a great meal that not only tastes fabulous but will leave you feeling full and satisfied long after the meal is done.

Which nuts are low glycemic? ›

Low-Glycemic Nuts and Seeds
  • Peanuts.
  • Nuts (walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, etc.)
  • Peanut butter.
  • Nut butter.
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flax, etc.)

Which beans are low glycemic? ›

Black beans (GI value 20), pinto beans (GI value 45), and red kidney beans (GI value 20) are considered to be low GI foods [26, 27].

What CARB does not spike insulin? ›

According to the GI, there are two types of carbs: low and high glycemic index carbs, and carbs that fall in between. Low GI foods, like complex carbs, won't raise your blood sugar very quickly. Examples of these include oatmeal, pasta, sweet potatoes, fruits, and carrots.

Is popcorn healthy for diabetics? ›

Popcorn is a very popular and healthy whole-grain snack food. It has been deemed a suitable snack food for people with diabetes, partly because of its low calorie density. One cup (8 grams) of air-popped popcorn contains just 31 calories.

Are sweet potatoes good for diabetics? ›

Sweet potatoes have a sterling nutritional profile, making them a great food for people with diabetes. Here's how to start incorporating them into your diet. Sweet potatoes are one of the most popular foods for diabetes at Everyday Health, and with good reason.

Is honey low glycemic? ›

Honey has a lower glycemic index (GI) than sugar, too. The glycemic index measures how quickly a carbohydrate raises blood sugar levels. Honey has a GI score of 58, and sugar has a GI value of 60. That means honey (like all carbohydrates) raises blood sugar quickly, but not quite as fast as sugar.

Are carrots high glycemic? ›

Both boiled and raw carrots have a low glycemic index score. This means that they are unlikely to trigger a blood sugar spike. The GI index can help people with diabetes understand which foods are likely to raise their blood sugar levels.

Are apples low glycemic? ›

The Lowdown on Low Glycemic Diets

Foods with a number of 55 or lower, such as broccoli and apples, are considered low GI foods, and adherents of the diet can eat these at every meal.

What fruits to avoid if you are diabetic? ›

This is because fruits in cans, jars, or plastic cups may contain added sugar. And added sugar can cause a person's blood sugar to spike. This article recommends which fruits to eat and avoid for a person with diabetes.
...
High sugar fruits
  • very ripe bananas.
  • dried dates.
  • watermelons.
  • pineapples.
29 Mar 2021

Are bananas high glycemic? ›

According to the International Glycemic Index Database, ripe bananas have a low GI of 51, with slightly under-ripe bananas even lower at 42; they have a moderate GL of 13 and 11, respectively.

Are eggs Low glycemic? ›

Eggs have a relatively low glycemic index and therefore do not affect blood glucose levels. In addition, eggs are a satiating food and hence can reduce caloric intake, which may consequently help to improve glycemic control.

What is a good daily glycemic load? ›

For optimal health, the Glycemic Index Foundation recommends keeping your daily glycemic load under 100.

Is oatmeal low glycemic? ›

Oatmeal has a low glycemic index (GI) score, and the soluble fiber and beneficial compounds in oats may help people control markers of diabetes. There are a number of ways to add oats and oatmeal to the diet.

Are carrots high glycemic? ›

Both boiled and raw carrots have a low glycemic index score. This means that they are unlikely to trigger a blood sugar spike. The GI index can help people with diabetes understand which foods are likely to raise their blood sugar levels.

What drink lowers blood sugar? ›

Whether you're at home or at a restaurant, here are the most diabetes-friendly beverage options.
  1. Water. When it comes to hydration, water is the best option for people with diabetes. ...
  2. Seltzer water. ...
  3. Tea. ...
  4. Herbal tea. ...
  5. Unsweetened coffee. ...
  6. Vegetable juice. ...
  7. Low fat milk. ...
  8. Milk alternatives.

What snacks dont raise blood sugar? ›

8 Simple Snacks That Won't Spike Your Blood Sugar
  • Nuts. Due to their blend of fiber, protein and healthy fats, nuts can help stabilize blood sugar. ...
  • Apples with peanut butter. Just like the childhood favorite, apple slices with peanut butter make a great treat at any age. ...
  • Hummus. ...
  • Trail mix. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Yogurt. ...
  • Popcorn. ...
  • Avocado.
15 Sept 2021

Which foods have no impact on blood sugar? ›

8 Simple Snacks That Won't Spike Your Blood Sugar
  • Nuts. 1/8. A small handful of them -- about 1.5 ounces -- can pack a big nutritional punch with a low carb count. ...
  • Cheese. 2/8. ...
  • Hummus. 3/8. ...
  • Eggs. 4/8. ...
  • Yogurt. 5/8. ...
  • Popcorn. 6/8. ...
  • Avocado. 7/8. ...
  • Tuna. 8/8.
4 Aug 2021

Do apples raise blood sugar? ›

Apples score relatively low on both the glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL) scales, meaning that they should cause a minimal rise in blood sugar levels (10). Apples have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels and are unlikely to cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, even in those with diabetes.

Is Sweet Potato low glycemic? ›

When boiled, sweet potatoes are a low glycemic index (GI) food, meaning they won't spike your blood sugar as much as regular potatoes, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.

Is chicken high glycemic? ›

Chicken & the low Glycemic Index

Chicken is a perfect protein to make a fantastic low-glycemic meal. Because chicken doesn't contain any carbohydrates, it has little effect on blood sugar levels. However, be sure that the chicken recipes you make contain foods that are also low-GI!

Which nuts are low glycemic? ›

Low-Glycemic Nuts and Seeds
  • Peanuts.
  • Nuts (walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, etc.)
  • Peanut butter.
  • Nut butter.
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flax, etc.)

Which beans are low glycemic? ›

Black beans (GI value 20), pinto beans (GI value 45), and red kidney beans (GI value 20) are considered to be low GI foods [26, 27].

Do nuts raise blood sugar? ›

Nuts are nutrient-rich foods that are full of protein and dietary fiber and are a great option for helping to stabilize your blood sugar. They are low in the glycemic index, will fill you up, and won't cause a blood sugar spike.

Videos

1. What Is The Glycemic Index - What Is Glycemic Load - Glycemic Index Explained - Glycemic Index Diet
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2. The Glycemic Index, Explained
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3. Glycemic Index Of Indian Foods,Glycemic Index Of Indian Foods, GI Food Guide, GI Food List
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4. Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load (700 Calorie Meals) DiTuro Productions
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