Glycemic Index Food Lists

Lists and Information about the Glycemic Index

glycemic index chart
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What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index gives us an idea of which foods raise our blood glucose fastest and highest.

Why is this important?

Many people have problems processing large increases in blood glucose and do better in many ways when our blood sugar is fairly stable.  This is especially important for people with diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. (See What is Insulin Resistance?

and The Road to Diabetes)

Also See:
What is the glycemic index?
Is the glycemic index useful?

What do the numbers mean?

Eating pure glucose is given a ranking of 100 -- all other foods are in relation to this. Food with a glycemic index of 95 raises blood sugar almost as much as pure glucose, but food with a glycemic index of 20 doesn't raise blood sugar much at all. It's important to keep in mind, though, that the glycemic index does not take portion size into account. The actual amount any food raises blood sugar has to do both with how glycemic it is, and how much of you eat. The glycemic load attempts to combine these concepts, and some diets are using the glycemic load for this reason.

Why is there such a large range of numbers on many foods?

Many factors influence how food tests, including differences between the people tested, the recipes, the laboratory techniques, and the fact that no two carrots are exactly alike.

When there is a single number after a food, that means that only one study was done with that food (it could have been a study from anywhere in the world). That number is an average of the all the individuals in the study, and so you have to think of that number as an estimate. For example, there was a study of Fruit Loops cereal, and the range of the people tested was between 60 and 78, although the result reported was a single number, 69.

When there is a range of numbers after a food, that is the highest and lowest value from different studies. In some cases, averages have been done of several studies, which are also included. But the number for each of those studies was an average of the people in the study.

Because there is so much variation between foods and between individuals, there is essentially no difference between foods that have a difference of less than at least 5 or 10 points on the glycemic scale.

Why are you telling me all this? Can't you just give me a number, like all the other sites? It's too confusing!

Although I think the concept of the glycemic index is very useful, I think it's important to educate people about the actual reality of the index if they are going to base their eating around it. And the reality is that no one number tells the tale of any one food in any given body. The only way to truly tell how  food affects you is to check your own blood glucose. That said, the glycemic index can give us some general information about carbohydrates.

Glycemic Index List

Sugars

Fructose 12-25, average 19, but please read this before using fructose

Glucose 85-111, average 100

Glucose consumed with 15-20 grams of fiber 57-85

Glucose consumed with protein and fat 56

Honey 32-87, average 55

Lactose 46

Sucrose (granulated table sugar) most 58-65, 2 studies higher, bringing the average to 68 (sucrose is half glucose and half fructose)

For the glycemic index of sugar alcohols such as maltitol, see chart on this page.

Dairy Products

Milk, regular (full fat) 11-40, average 27

Milk, skim - 32

Yogurt without added sugar - 14-23

More Lists

Breads, Grains, Pasta, Etc.

Fruits and Fruit Juice

Vegetables (includes legumes)

Nuts, Snack Foods, Candy, and Soft Drinks

More Information About the Digestibility of Carbohydrates

Bread

White bread 64-87 - averages 70 and 73

Whole wheat bread made with 100% whole wheat flour - 52-87 average 71

Wheat bread made with 50% cracked wheat kernels 58

Wheat bread made with 75% cracked wheat kernels 48

How to Find Low-Glycemic Bread

Muffins, Cakes, Pancakes, Waffles Etc.

vary widely (38-102), but most between 55 and 80

Crackers

Rice Cakes - 61-91, average 78

High fiber rye crispbread - 59-69, average64

Stoned Wheat Thins - 67

Cold Cereal

All-Bran - 30-51, average 42

Bran Buds - 58

Bran Buds with Psyllium - 47

Cornflakes 72-92, average 81 (USA cornflakes were the 92)

Corn Chex 83

Crispix 87

Fruit Loops - 69

Golden Grahams - 71

Grape Nuts 67-85 average 71

Life - 66

Puffed Wheat - 67-80

Rice Krispie type cereals - 81-95

Rice Chex - 89

Shredded Wheat - 67-83 average 75

Special K - 54-84

Total - 76

Weetabix and similar - 61-74 - average 70

Hot Cereal

Cream of Wheat - 66

Instant Cream of Wheat - 74

Oatmeal from rolled oats (not instant) 42-75, again highest was US oatmeal average 58

Quick cooking oats - 66

More About Oats and Blood Sugar Impact

Grains - Boiled Whole unless stated otherwise

Barley - 22-48

Barley, cracked - 50

Barley, rolled - 66

Buckwheat - 49-63

Cornmeal boiled in water - 69

Couscous (processed wheat) - 61-69

Millet - 71

Rice, long-grained white - 50-64, average 56

Rice, short and medium grained white - 83-93

Rice, brown - 66-87

Wheat, whole kernels - 30-48

Wheat, bulgar (cracked wheat) - 46-53, average 48

Pasta

The glycemic index of pasta made from wheat (most pasta) depends a lot upon the shape of the pasta (the thicker, the lower the GI), and the way it is cooked. When cooked as the Italians do, "al dente" - somewhat firm - it has the lowest glycemic index.

The longer you cook it, the softer it is, and the higher the GI.

With variation depending upon these factors, most of the studies of wheat pasta show GIs in the 40's to low 60's, with a few dipping into the 30's.

Rice pasta (including brown) 40-92

Mung bean noodles (bean thread) 26-39

For More Information:

Fruit

Individual fruits are linked to carbohydrate counts and other nutritional information. For more information about the sugar/carbohydrate content of fruit see the Low-Carb Fruit List.

Apples - 28-44, average 38

Apricots, raw - 57

Apricots, canned in light syrup - 64

Apricots, dried 31

Apricot fruit spread (reduced sugar) - 55

Banana, underripe - 30

Banana, overripe - 52

Banana, not specified 46-70

Cantaloupe 65

Cherries 22

Dates 103

Grapefruit 25

Grapes 46-49

Kiwi Fruit 47-58

Mangoes 41-60, average 51

Oranges 31-51, average 42

Papayas 56-60, average 59

Peaches 28-56

Pears 33-42

Pineapple 51-66

Plums 24-53

Raisins 64

Strawberries 40

Watermelon 72

 

Fruit Juice

Carrot Juice - 43

Cranberry Juice Cocktail - 52-68

Grapefruit Juice 48

Orange Juice 46-53

Pineapple Juice - 46

Tomato Juice - 38

Non-starchy Vegetables

Most non-starchy vegetables aren't tested because a person would have to eat so much to get 50 grams of carbohydrate for the test (for example, 20 cups of broccoli). And, in fact, for many of these vegetables there is so little carbohydrate encased in so much cellulose that they probably cause little or no rise in blood sugar. For this reason, some low carb diets call these "free" foods.

On the other hand, some non-starchy vegetables have more sugar than others, and some, like tomatoes, are actually fruits that will definitely cause a blood sugar rise.

Starchy Vegetables

Beets 64

Carrots 16-92 average 47

Corn 37-62, average 53

Parsnips 97

Peas, green, fresh or frozen 39-54, average 48

Potato 56-111 - most averages usually given in high 80's

Potato, instant - 74-97, average 80

Rutabaga 72

Sweet potato - 44-78, average 61*

*Sweet potatoes and yams cover a wide variety of species that are called different things in different places in the world. For example, garnet yams in the US are a type of sweet potato. Species are seldom given in the tables.

Legumes

Unless otherwise noted, this refers to dried beans or peas which are boiled. When canned beans are tested they tend to have a higher glycemic index.

Blackeyed peas 33-50

Butter beans 28-36, average 31

Chick peas (garbanzo beans) 31-36

Chick peas, canned 42

Kidney beans 13-46, average 34

Kidney beans, canned 52

Lentils 18-37

Lentils, canned 52

Navy beans (white beans, haricot) 30-39

Navy beans, pressure cooked 29-59

Peas, dried, split 32

Pinto beans 39

Pinto beans, canned 45

Soy beans 15-20

Soy beans, canned 14

Nuts and Snack Foods

Cashews 22

Corn chips 72

Ice Cream - 37-80

Peanuts 7-23, average 14

Popcorn 55-89

Pop Tarts 70

Potato chips 51-57

Candy

Jelly Beans 76-80

Kudos Chocolate Chip Snack Bar 62

Life Savers 70

Mars Bar 62-68

Skittles 70

Snickers average 55

Soft Drinks

Coca Cola - 53-63 average 58

Gatorade - 78

Orange Soda - 68

Source:

Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002)

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