Time and preparation matters on how foods rank on the index
by Sarah’s Skinny Sweets
First off, what Is the Glycemic Index?
Glycemic index is a number. It gives you an idea about how fast your body converts the carbs in a food into glucose. Two foods with the same amount of carbohydrates can have different glycemic index numbers.
The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar.
55 or less = Low (good)
56- 69 = Medium
70 or higher = High (bad)
Sadly, the glycemic index is not on the labels of packaged foods, but you can also find glycemic index lists for common foods below.
Foods that are close to how they’re found in nature tend to have a lower glycemic index than refined and processed foods.
Glycemic Index Can Change
That number is a starting point on paper. It could be different on your plate, depending on several things.
Preparation. Fat, fiber, and acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar) lower the glycemic index. The longer you cook starches like pasta, the higher their glycemic index will be.
Ripeness. The glycemic index of fruits like bananas goes up as they ripen.
Other foods eaten at the same time. Bring down the overall glycemic index of a meal by combining a high-glycemic index food with foods that have lower ones.
Your age, how active you are, and how fast you digest food also affect how your body reacts to carbs. If you have a diabetes complication called gastroparesis, which delays your stomach from emptying, your body will absorb food much more slowly.
The glycemic index shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when making choices about what to eat. The fact a food has a low glycemic index doesn’t mean it’s super-healthy, or that you should eat a lot of it. Calories, vitamins, and minerals are still important.
For example, potato chips have a lower glycemic index than oatmeal and about the same as green peas. But oatmeal and green peas have more nutrients.
Portion sizes matter, too. The more of whatever kind of carbs you eat, the more they’ll affect your blood sugar. That’s what the glycemic load tells you. It’s a number you may see along with the glycemic index in lists. Think of it as the glycemic index for a specific amount of that food.
Glycemic load helps you account for both the quantity and the quality of your carbs at the same time. Less than 10 is low; more than 20 is high.
For a diet with a lower glycemic load, eat:
More whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables without starch, and other foods with a low glycemic index
Fewer foods with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, white rice, and white bread.
Less of sugary foods, including candy, cookies, cakes, and sweet drinks. You can still eat foods with a high glycemic index. Just enjoy them in smaller portions, and offset them with nutritious, low-glycemic index foods when you do.
Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods
Glycemic index and glycemic load offer information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin. The lower a food’s glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels. Here is a list of the glycemic index and glycemic load for more than 100 common foods.
|FOOD||Glycemic index (glucose = 100)||Serving size (grams)||Glycemic load per serving|
|BAKERY PRODUCTS AND BREADS|
|Banana cake, made with sugar||47||60||14|
|Banana cake, made without sugar||55||60||12|
|Sponge cake, plain||46||63||17|
|Vanilla cake made from packet mix with vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker)||42||111||24|
|Apple, made with sugar||44||60||13|
|Apple, made without sugar||48||60||9|
|Waffles, Aunt Jemima (Quaker Oats)||76||35||10|
|Bagel, white, frozen||72||70||25|
|Baguette, white, plain||95||30||15|
|Coarse barley bread, 75-80% kernels, average||34||30||7|
|50% cracked wheat kernel bread||58||30||12|
|White wheat flour bread||71||30||10|
|Wonderâ¢ bread, average||73||30||10|
|Whole wheat bread, average||71||30||9|
|100% Whole Grainâ¢ bread (Natural Ovens)||51||30||7|
|Pita bread, white||68||30||10|
|Coca ColaÂ®, average||63||250 mL||16|
|FantaÂ®, orange soft drink||68||250 mL||23|
|LucozadeÂ®, original (sparkling glucose drink)||95Â±10||250 mL||40|
|Apple juice, unsweetened, average||44||250 mL||30|
|Cranberry juice cocktail (Ocean SprayÂ®)||68||250 mL||24|
|Orange juice, unsweetened||50||250 mL||12|
|Tomato juice, canned||38||250 mL||4|
|BREAKFAST CEREALS AND RELATEDPRODUCTS|
|Coco Popsâ¢, average||77||30||20|
|Cream of Wheatâ¢ (Nabisco)||66||250||17|
|Cream of Wheatâ¢, Instant (Nabisco)||74||250||22|
|Instant oatmeal, average||83||250||30|
|Puffed wheat, average||80||30||17|
|Raisin Branâ¢ (Kellogg’s)||61||30||12|
|Special Kâ¢ (Kellogg’s)||69||30||14|
|Pearled barley, average||28||150||12|
|Sweet corn on the cob, average||60||150||20|
|White rice, average||89||150||43|
|Quick cooking white basmati||67||150||28|
|Brown rice, average||50||150||16|
|Converted, white rice (Uncle Ben’sÂ®)||38||150||14|
|Whole wheat kernels, average||30||50||11|
|COOKIES AND CRACKERS|
|Rice cakes, average||82||25||17|
|Rye crisps, average||64||25||11|
|DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ALTERNATIVES|
|Ice cream, regular||57||50||6|
|Ice cream, premium||38||50||3|
|Milk, full fat||41||250mL||5|
|Milk, skim||32||250 mL||4|
|Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average||33||200||11|
|Peach, canned in light syrup||40||120||5|
|Pear, canned in pear juice||43||120||5|
|BEANS AND NUTS|
|Baked beans, average||40||150||6|
|Blackeye peas, average||33||150||10|
|Chickpeas, canned in brine||38||150||9|
|Navy beans, average||31||150||9|
|Kidney beans, average||29||150||7|
|Soy beans, average||15||150||1|
|PASTA and NOODLES|
|Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft)||64||180||32|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled, average||46||180||22|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min, average||58||180||26|
|Spaghetti, wholemeal, boiled, average||42||180||17|
|Corn chips, plain, salted, average||42||50||11|
|M & M’sÂ®, peanut||33||30||6|
|Microwave popcorn, plain, average||55||20||6|
|Potato chips, average||51||50||12|
|Green peas, average||51||80||4|
|Baked russet potato, average||111||150||33|
|Boiled white potato, average||82||150||21|
|Instant mashed potato, average||87||150||17|
|Sweet potato, average||70||150||22|
|Hummus (chickpea salad dip)||6||30||0|
|Chicken nuggets, frozen, reheated in microwave oven 5 min||46||100||7|
|Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce||80||100||22|
|Pizza, Super Supreme (Pizza Hut)||36||100||9|
Harvard University Health and WebMD Medical Reference. View Article Sources. Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on September 26, 2014