Advertisement

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index measures how fast a food is likely to raise your blood sugar. This can be helpful. For example, if your blood sugar is low and continuing to drop during exercise, you would prefer to eat a carb that will raise your blood sugar quickly. On the other hand, if you would like to keep your blood sugar from dropping during a few hours of mild activity, you may prefer to eat a carb that has a lower glycemic index and longer action time. If your blood sugar tends to spike after breakfast, you may want to select a cereal that has a lower glycemic index.

The numbers below give that food's glycemic index based on glucose, which is one of the fastest carbohydrates available. Glucose is given an arbitrary value of 100 and other carbs are given a number relative to glucose. Faster carbs (higher numbers) are great for raising low blood sugars and for covering brief periods of intense exercise. Slower carbs (lower numbers) are helpful for preventing overnight drops in the blood sugar and for long periods of exercise.

Note that these numbers are compiled from a wide range of research labs, and often from more than one study. These numbers will be close but may not be identical to other glycemic index lists. The impact a food will have on the blood sugar depends on many other factors such as ripeness, cooking time, fiber and fat content, time of day, blood insulin levels, and recent activity. Use the Glycemic Index as just one of the many tools you have available to improve your control.

Great Glycemic Index Books

Low GI HandbookLow GI Shopper's Guide to GI Values 2012New Glucose Revolution for Diabetes

For additional information on the glycemic index, Carb Counting and blood sugar control, we also recommend Using Insulin, Pumping Insulin or the Pocket Pancreas. You may also want to read about the Satiety Index, How Carbs Vary, or check out Diet Books

Glycemic Index
Cereals Snacks Pasta Beans
All Bran 51 chocolate bar 49 cheese tortellini 50 baked 44
Bran Buds + psyll 45 corn chips 72 fettucini 32 black beans, boiled 30
Bran Flakes 74 croissant 67 linguini 50 butter, boiled 33
Cheerios 74 doughnut 76 macaroni 46 cannellini beans 31
Corn Chex 83 graham crakers 74 spagh, 5 min boiled 33 garbanzo, boiled 34
Cornflakes 83 jelly beans 80 spagh, 15 min boiled 44 kidney, boiled 29
Cream of Wheat 66 Life Savers 70 spagh, prot enrich 28 kidney, canned 52
Frosted Flakes 55 oatmeal cookie 57 vermicelli 35 lentils, green, brown 30
Grapenuts 67 pizza, cheese & tom 60 Soups/Vegetables lima, boiled 32
Life 66 Pizza Hut, supreme 33 beets, canned 64 navy beans 38
muesli, natural 54 popcorn, light micro 55 black bean soup 64 pinto, boiled 39
Nutri-grain 66 potato chips 56 carrots, fresh, boil 49 red lentils, boiled 27
oatmeal, old fash 48 pound cake 54 corn, sweet 56 soy, boiled 16
Puffed Wheat 67 Power bars 58 french fries 75 Breads
Raisin Bran 73 pretzels 83 grean pea, soup 66 bagel, plain 72
Rice Chex 89 saltine crakers 74 green pea, frozen 47 baquette, Frnch 95
Shredded Wheat 67 shortbread cookies 64 lima beans, frozen 32 croissant 67
Special K 54 Snickers bar 41 parsnips 97 dark rey 76
Total 76 strawberry jam 51 peas, fresh, boil 48 hamburger bun 61
Fruit vanilla wafers 77 pot, new, boiled 59 muffins  
apple 38 Wheat Thins 67 pot, red, baked 93 apple, cin 44
apricots 57 Crackers pot, sweet 52 blueberry 59
banana 56 graham 74 pot, white, boiled 63 oat & raisin 54
cantalope 65 rice cakes 80 pot, white, mashed 70 pita 57
cherries 22 rye 68 split pea soup w/ham 66 pizza, cheese 60
dates 103 soda 72 tomato soup 38 pumpernickel 49
grapefruit 25 Wheat Thins 67 yam 54 sourdough 54
grapes 46 Cereal Grains Milk Products rye 64
kiwi 52 barley 25 chocolate milk 35 white 70
mango 55 basmati white rice 58 custard 43 wheat 68
orange 43 bulgar 48 ice cream, van 60 Drinks
papaya 58 couscous 65 ice milk, van 50 apple juice 40
peach 42 cornmeal 68 skim milk 32 colas 65
pear 58 millet 71 soy milk 31 Gatorade 78
pineapple 66 Sugars tofu frozen dessert 115 grapefruit juice 48
plums 39 fructose 22 whole milk 30 orange juice 46
prunes 15 honey 62 yogurt, fruit 36 pineapple juice 46
raisins 64 maltose 105 yogurt, plain 14    
watermelon 72 table sugar 64        

*Actually, the GI indirectly measures a food's effect on blood sugar. It actually measured the "area under the blood sugar curve" following a set intake of that carb.


To learn carb counting, these books really help: Pumping Insulin, Using Insulin, and the Carb and Fat Gram Guide. A Gram Scale for your kitchen makes it easy to accurately measure carbs in cereal, fruit, pancakes, rice, pasta, and more.

Updated date: Thu, 03/27/2014 - 15:32

  • Updated date: Thu, 03/27/2014 - 15:32

Pages