Glycemic Index Food List Last updated: April 17, 2003

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The glycemic index is a way to rank different types of carbohydrate (such as pasta, rice, or cereal) according to their effect on blood sugar levels. Popular with people wanting to lose weight, increase their energy levels, or protect their health, use of the glycemic index has increased over the last decade.

Dr. Jenkins, a professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto, set out to establish the type of foods that were best for people suffering from diabetes. Jenkins found that foods such as potatoes - traditionally defined as a complex carbohydrate - actually led to a rapid rise in blood sugar. Some foods high in simple carbohydrates appeared to digest more slowly, leading to a gradual elevation in blood sugar. This led researchers to classify foods according to their glycemic index. The glycemic index refers to the immediate rise in blood sugar that occurs after you eat a food high in carbohydrate.

Foods that digest rapidly lead to a fast release of glucose into your blood stream. These are known as high glycemic index foods. Foods that digest more slowly release glucose into your blood gradually, and are known as low glycemic index foods.

A glycemic index list assigns a numerical value to a food. This value indicates how much and how rapidly 50 grams of its carbohydrate content will raise blood sugar levels, compared to 50 grams of a reference food (glucose or white bread). The reference food is given an arbitrary value of 100.

There are more extensive food lists available on the Internet, but this condensed list will help you avoid most high glycemic index foods. 

Vegetables

russett potatoes

98

white potatoes

70-90

parsnips

95

carrots

85

instant potatoes

80

corn/cornflakes

70-85

French fries,small

75

rutabaga

71

beets

70

red-skin potatoes

58

green peas

51

sweet potatoes

50

 

tomatoes

38

tomato soup

38

chickpeas

36

lima beans

36

black beans

30

kidney beans

29

lentils

29

soybeans

15

green vegetables

0-15


Rice & Grains

 

puffed rice

95

white bread

95

rice pasta, 1 cup

92

instant rice,1 cup

87

rice cakes (2)

82

millet

75

kaiser roll

73

corn tortilla

72

white rice

70

whole wheat bread

70

 

arborio risotto

69

corn meal (1/3 cup)

68

taco shells (2)

68

refined pasta

65

couscous (1/3 cup)

61

bran muffin

60

brown rice

55

popcorn(2 cups)

55

whole rice

50

tortellini,cheese

50

whole grain bread

40-50

bulgur(1/3 cup, cooked)

48

wheat grains

45

whole grain pasta

45

whole grain rye

42

pumpernickel (1 slice)

41


Fruit

 

dates(5)

103

raisins

65

figs, dried (3)

61

banana

60

mango (1 small)

55

kiwi (1)

52

grapes

50

pears

45

orange

40

 

apple

40

dried apricots

35

figs

35

strawberries

32

peaches

30

prunes (6)

29

grapefruit

26

plums

25

cherries

23

fresh apricots

20

prickly pear

7


Breakfast Cereal

 

puffed rice

95

Rice Chex

89

Cheerios

74

Grape Nuts

71

Shredded wheat

70

Swiss Museli

67

Just Right

60

Bran Buds

58

All Bran

55

Special K (1 cup)

54

Oatmeal(not instant)

40


Crackers & Snacks

 

pretzels

83

water crackers(5)

78

saltines (3)

74

corn chips

71

popcorn (2 cups)

55

potato chips

51

peanuts

10


Sweet Treats

 

tofu frozen dessert

115

vanilla wafers (6)

77

lifesavers (5,peppermint)

70

tapioca

70

Mars bar

68

Angel food cake (1 slice)

67

shortbread (2 cookies)

64

pound cake (1 slice)

54

strawberry jam (1 tbsp.)

51

sponge cake (1 slice)

45

marmalade (1 tbsp)

48

Twix cookie bar (59 g.)

44

ice cream, 2 scoops

36-61

dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

22


Sweeteners

 

maltose

105

glucose

100

honey

90

sucrose (table sugar)

75

fructose

20

agave nectar (1 tbsp)

11


Juice & Drinks

 

gatorade (1 cup)

78

cranberry juice cocktail

52

pineapple juice

48

grapefruit juice

48

orange juice

46

apple juice

40

tomato juice

37


Dairy

 

sweetened condensed milk(1/2 cup)

61

yogurt

35

skim milk (1 cup)

32

whole milk (1 cup)

27

ice cream

37 61