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What Is the Glycemic Index? Best Low Glycemic Index Foods – GoodneessNature.com


A wooden spoon full of oats. Foods like hummus, carrots, quinoa, and oats are ranked low in the glycemic index food chart.

The glycemic index (GI) is a technique to measure the affect that carbohydrate-containing meals have on blood sugar, or blood glucose.[1] Individuals are keen on understanding the glycemic index (and the glycemic load) of meals to allow them to assemble a more healthy weight loss program. Blood sugar impacts many points of well being, together with the chance of getting most cancers, heart problems, and diabetes, so watching the GI of meals in your weight loss program can enhance your general well being prospects.

GI values vary from zero to 1 hundred. The glycemic index was designed to measure how equal quantities of carbohydrates elevate blood sugar in comparison with pure glucose – which is a 100 on the GI scale. Meals with a excessive GI worth will make blood sugar ranges rise (and fall) rapidly, whereas meals with a low GI worth has a gradual and regular impact on blood sugar.

A GI worth beneath 55 is low. Meals which have a low GI worth embrace beans, cruciferous greens, grapefruit, and tomatoes. A GI worth between 56-69 is average. Average GI meals embrace pasta, inexperienced peas, candy potatoes, orange juice, and blueberries. A GI worth over 70 is excessive.[2] Examples of excessive GI meals embrace refined sugar, potatoes, white bread, dried fruit, and watermelon. Nevertheless, the glycemic index worth of meals must be used together with its glycemic load worth, defined beneath, which gives a extra correct understanding of how a single serving will have an effect on your blood sugar.

Meals with a excessive GI worth will make blood sugar ranges rise (and subsequently fall) rapidly, whereas meals with a low GI worth has a gradual and regular impact on blood sugar.

Elements That Have an effect on Glycemic Index Values

A GI worth may be affected by a number of elements. Processing and refining, for instance, will lead to the next GI worth for a similar meals. An entire baked potato has a decrease GI worth than on the spot mashed potatoes. Processed orange juice has the next GI worth than contemporary squeezed.

Consuming totally different meals collectively can even have an effect on GI values. Analysis has proven that whenever you eat a high fiber diet – significantly soluble fiber – it will possibly counter some unfavourable results of a high-carbohydrate weight loss program.[3] (Simply to make sure there’s no confusion – no, consuming a pound of lettuce gained’t cancel out consuming a pound of sugar.) The riper a fruit or vegetable, the upper its GI worth. Additionally, your physiology, age, metabolism, and well being circumstances all affect how meals have an effect on blood sugar.

The Relationship Between Sorts of Carbs & Glycemic Index

Carbohydrates are a main source of energy for the human body, and there are two primary varieties: easy carbohydrates and complicated carbohydrates.

Easy carbohydrates, chemically generally known as monosaccharides or disaccharides, are digested rapidly and have a right away impact on blood sugar. Frequent examples embrace refined sugar (sucrose) or excessive fructose corn syrup, as found in soft drinks. Typically, meals excessive in easy carbohydrates have excessive GI values. Easy carbs trigger blood sugar to rise quickly. When blood sugar rises, the pancreas secretes insulin, which makes cells soak up glucose. As cells soak up the circulating glucose, its stage within the blood falls.

Most complicated carbohydrates, also referred to as polysaccharides, are metabolized slowly and don’t have such a dramatic impact on blood sugar. Meals excessive in complicated carbohydrates embrace complete grain bread, greens, and legumes. Advanced carbohydrates usually have a low GI worth and often present different vitamins, equivalent to fiber, vitamins, and minerals, that gradual digestion time.

Usually, consuming complicated carbs ends in a extra regular stage of blood glucose, versus the spike and drop that comes from easy carbs. Nevertheless, not all complicated carbs have a low GI, and it depends upon the kind of fiber current. Meals excessive in soluble fiber are inclined to have decrease GI values, however meals with insoluble fiber have larger GI values. Insoluble fiber doesn’t decelerate digestion in the way in which soluble fiber does. The starch in potatoes can also be a fancy carbohydrate with a excessive GI worth. Starchy meals can act like easy carbs as a result of they’re damaged down into glucose molecules throughout digestion.

Curiously, should you eat a meal with low-GI meals, it lowers your physique’s blood sugar after consuming (postprandial glycemic response) not just for that meal but additionally for the one after. That is known as the second meal impact, and scientists have studied how this influences illness threat for well being circumstances associated to blood sugar.[4]

What Is Glycemic Load?

You is likely to be tempted to keep away from all high-GI worth meals since excessive blood sugar is linked with so many well being issues. Nevertheless, the portion measurement for every meals interacts with and impacts blood sugar. You possibly can eat high-GI meals like carrots as a result of the serving parts are comparatively small (solely 6 grams of carbs per serving) and you would need to eat a whole lot of carrots to spike your blood sugar. Due to this, researchers developed the glycemic load (GL) index, which extra totally represents the affect meals has on blood sugar. GL takes into consideration not solely the GI worth but additionally the grams of carbohydrates in a serving of meals.[5]

Calculating Glycemic Load

To calculate glycemic load, you must know the glycemic index of a meals in addition to the variety of carbohydrates present in a serving, usually in grams. You calculate Gl as follows:

GL = (GI x grams of carbohydrate per serving) / 100

In different phrases, the glycemic load for any explicit meals is the same as the glycemic index for that meals multiplied by the variety of carbohydrates in a single serving, divided by 100.

Meals Glycemic Load
Low-GL Meals 0-10
Medium-GL Meals 11-19
Excessive GL-Meals 20

To offer an instance, watermelon has a glycemic index of 72 however since a typical serving solely gives 6 grams of carbohydrates a fast calculation reveals a glycemic load of lower than 5.

A can of soda, then again, could have a GI worth of 65 but when it gives 40 grams of carbohydrates, which means the glycemic load is 26, which may be very excessive.

The Finest Low Glycemic Index Meals

Beneath is a listing of meals and their GI worth, in addition to their glycemic load worth, which is one thing we’ll cowl shortly.[6]

Meals Glycemic Index (glucose = 100) Complete Serving Dimension (grams) Carbs Per Serving (grams) Glycemic Load Per Serving
Potato, Cooked 83 150 27 26
Brown Rice, Cooked 48 150 42 20
Quinoa, Cooked 53 150 25 13
Banana, Uncooked 47 120 24 11
Candy Potato, Cooked 61 150 18 11
Oatmeal, Cooked 49 250 21 11
Prune, Pitted 29 60 33 10
Kidney Beans 36 150 25 9
Couscous, Cooked 65 150 14 9
Wheat Tortilla 30 50 26 8
Black Beans 30 150 23 7
Plain Popcorn, Cooked 55 20 10 6
Apple, Uncooked 40 120 16 6
Orange, Uncooked 40 120 11 4
Pear, Uncooked 41 120 8 3
Carrots, Uncooked 33 80 5 2
Peanuts 13 50 7 1
Hummus 6 30 5 1
Strawberries, Uncooked 40 120 3 1

Tips on how to Discover GI for Different Meals

The College of Sydney hosts the official web site for the worldwide glycemic index database.[6] You possibly can search the database for numerous meals in several states – uncooked, cooked, with added margarine, and so forth. Some meals have a number of listings with totally different values; this happens when a number of research have reported a glycemic index for a meals, and the database incorporates all of them. The glycemic load worth tends to remain extra constant than the glycemic index amongst totally different entries. Additionally needless to say should you improve your serving measurement, the GL will change.

Bear in mind these details when utilizing the GL and GI to information your consuming.

  • Meats and fats don’t have a GI as a result of they don’t include carbohydrates.
  • Fats and fiber are inclined to decrease the GI of meals.
  • As a basic guideline, the extra cooked or processed a meals, the upper the GI, however this isn’t at all times the case.
  • Ripe fruits and vegetables are inclined to have the next glycemic index than unripe ones.
  • The bodily type of meals adjustments its GI. For instance, the glycemic index of white rice is larger than brown rice attributable to processing.

Who Ought to Use the GI Index

  • Diabetics
  • Individuals liable to creating diabetes
  • Individuals trying to drop some pounds

The glycemic index was created particularly to assist diabetics know which meals will assist stabilize their blood sugar. The glycemic index, in addition to glycemic load values, are additionally really useful for folks attempting to drop some pounds, these liable to diabetes (equivalent to folks with metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes) to regulate blood sugar, or athletes. Based on the Worldwide Glycemic Index, consuming low-GI meals is right for pregnant and nursing moms.[7]

Advantages of Utilizing the Glycemic Index

Incorporating extra low-GI and fewer high-GI meals into your weight loss program can profit most individuals, not simply diabetics. Being attentive to the GI and GL values of meals permits you to exert a stage of management over your blood sugar; there are a lot of the explanation why that is fascinating.

Maintains Wholesome Ldl cholesterol Ranges

Research have linked consuming low-GI diets with larger HDL (good) cholesterol concentrations, in addition to a decreased threat of creating diabetes and heart problems.[8]

Reduces the Threat of Growing or Worsening Diabetes

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. As of 2015, over 30 million Individuals have diabetes whereas one other 84 million are prediabetic.[9] A weight loss program centered round meals with a low GI worth can assist hold blood sugar beneath management and hold diabetes, significantly kind 2, at bay.[10].

Lowers the Threat of Growing Coronary heart Illness

Consuming low-GI meals could assist stop heart problems and most cancers.[9] In distinction, high-GI diets are linked to elevated threat of heart problems[11, 12] in addition to depression.[13]

Incorporating a Low-Glycemic Food plan Into Your Life

When developing your weight loss program, glycemic index and glycemic load values are nice instruments for steering. Eating low-GI foods (and significantly these with low glycemic masses) is right for pregnant girls, nursing moms, diabetics, obese people, and all folks trying to enhance their well being, so long as you additionally use essentially sound ideas of vitamin:


  • Eat a wide range of actual, complete, organic food.
  • Keep away from junk meals, refined sugar, and empty energy.
  • Keep away from refined, closely processed carbohydrates like white rice and white bread.
  • Quench your thirst with purified water.
  • Eat average portion sizes in your meals.
  • Eat a weight loss program low in ldl cholesterol and saturated fat.

The Key Necessities

The glycemic index measures how numerous meals containing carbohydrates affect your blood sugar; it ranges from 0 to 100. Meals with excessive GI values usually spike blood sugar, whereas these with decrease ones present a extra gradual launch of sugar. Nevertheless, as a result of the quantity of good and bad carbohydrates in a given serving can range, glycemic load extra totally represents the affect meals has on blood sugar and is thus a greater indicator to make use of. The identical meals can have a excessive glycemic index however a decrease glycemic load, indicating which may be a greater dietary selection than it seems from its GI alone.

Incorporating an understanding of the glycemic index and glycemic values into your weight loss program is sensible for diabetics, folks wanting to lose weight, and anybody trying to enhance their well being and wellness, as long as it’s balanced with sound dietary ideas.

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References (13)
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  2. Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load.” Oregon State College Micronutrient Middle, Linus Pauling Institute. Oregonstate.edu. Accessed 17 Jul. 2018.
  3. Riccardi G, Rivellese AA. “Effects of dietary fiber and carbohydrate on glucose and lipoprotein metabolism in diabetic patients.” Diabetes Care. 1991;14(12):1115-25.
  4. Fletcher JA, et al. “The Second Meal Effect and Its Influence on Glycemia.” J Nutr Disord Ther. 1012;2:108.
  5. Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods.” Harvard Well being Publications. Harvard Medical College. 14 Mar. 2018. Accessed 17 Jul. 2018.
  6. International Glycemic Index Database..” The College of Sydney. Up to date 2 Might 2017. Accessed 17 Jul. 2018.
  7. International Glycemic Index Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).” The College of Sydney. Up to date 2 Might 2017. Accessed 17 Jul. 2018.
  8. Jenkins DJA et al. “Glycemic index: overview of implications in health and disease.” Am J Clin Nutr, 2002;76:1(1),266S–273S.
  9. New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes [press release].” U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. 18 Jul. 2017.
  10. Livesey G, Taylor R, Livesey H, Liu S. “Is there a dose-response relation of dietary glycemic load to risk of type 2 diabetes? Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar;97(3):584-96.
  11. Ma XY, et al. “Glycemic load, glycemic index and risk of cardiovascular diseases: meta-analyses of prospective studies.” Atherosclerosis. 2012;223(2),491-496.
  12. Dong JY, et al. “Meta-analysis of dietary glycemic load and glycemic index in relation to risk of coronary heart disease.” Am J Cardiol. 2012;109(11),1608-1613.
  13. Haghighatdoost F, et al. “Glycemic index, glycemic load, and common psychological disorders.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(1),201-209.

†Outcomes could range. Data and statements made are for training functions and are usually not meant to interchange the recommendation of your physician. When you have a extreme medical situation or well being concern, see your doctor.