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The Glycemic Index tells us how quickly a food that you eat raises your blood sugar, and therefore causes a surge in insulin release from your pancreas. Insulin is what tells our bodies to store the extra calories as fat.

Foods with a low glycemic index don't cause such a huge rise in blood sugar, thereby limiting insulin release and limits storing calories as fat.

Further, foods with a high glycemic index will cause you to feel extremely hungry later on. In about 3-4 hours you will start to feel extremely hungry and want to eat anything and everything in sight. Why?

If you eat a large, high glycemic index food now, like beer or white bread, your blood sugar will rise to very high levels, very quickly. This causes a subsequent rise in the amount of insulin your pancreas releases. Insulin lasts longer in your blood stream and your sugar will eventually fall to lower levels than your baseline. This lower sugar (hypoglycemia) will cause your body to go into distress mode and it will make you feel very hungry. You will have to satisfy this craving and will mostly likely reach for something very sweet that has a high glycemic index. This starts the viscious cycle all over again.

We have to try and avoid this situation by eating foods that have a low glycemic index. Take a look at the charts and tables on this page and the following pages for a look at which foods in each category have the lowest and highest glycemic index.

You will notice that beer (maltose) is the worst of all, while most vegetables are very low. Foods with a GI (Glycemic Index) lower than 55 are considered Low. Foods with a GI of 55-70 are considered Medium. Foods with a GI over 70 are considered High.

 

Food List Rating Food Glycemic Index 

Baked Goods

*Pound cake Low 54
Danish pastry Medium 59
Muffin (unsweetened) Medium 62
Cake , tart Medium 65
Cake, angel Medium 67
Croissant Medium 67
Waffles High 76
Doughnut High 76

Beverages

Soya milk Low 30
Apple juice Low 41
Carrot juice Low 45
Pineapple juice Low 46
Grapefruit juice Low 48
Orange juice Low 52

Biscuits

Digestives Medium 58
Shortbread Medium 64
Water biscuits Medium 65
Ryvita Medium 67
Wafer biscuits High 77
**Rice cakes High 77

Breads

Multi grain bread Low 48
Whole grain Low 50
Pita bread, white Medium 57
Pizza, cheese Medium 60
Hamburger bun Medium 61
Rye-flour bread Medium 64
Whole meal bread Medium 69
White bread High 71
White rolls High 73
Baguette High 95

Breakfast Cereals

All-Bran Low 42
Porridge, non instant Low 49
Oat bran Medium 55
Muesli Medium 56
Mini Wheats (wholemeal) Medium 57
Shredded  Wheat Medium 69
Golden Grahams High 71
Puffed wheat High 74
Weetabix High 77
Rice Krispies High 82
Cornflakes High 83

Cereal Grains

Pearl barley Low 25
Rye Low 34
Wheat kernels Low 41
Rice, instant Low 46
Rice, parboiled Low 48
Barley, cracked Low 50
Rice, brown Medium 55
Rice, wild Medium 57
Rice, white Medium 58
Barley, flakes Medium 66
Taco Shell Medium 68
Millet High 71

Dairy Foods

Yogurt low- fat (sweetened) Low 14
Milk, chocolate Low 24
Milk, whole Low 27
Milk, Fat-free Low 32
Milk ,skimmed Low 32
Milk, semi-skimmed Low 34
*Ice-cream (low- fat) Low 50
*Ice-cream Medium 61

Fruits

Cherries Low 22
Grapefruit Low 25
Apricots  (dried) Low 31
Apples Low 38
Pears Low 38
Plums Low 39
Peaches Low 42
Oranges Low 44
Grapes Low 46
Kiwi fruit Low 53
Bananas Low 54
Fruit cocktail Medium 55
Mangoes Medium 56
Apricots Medium 57
Apricots  (tinned in syrup) Medium 64
Raisins Medium 64
Pineapple Medium 66
**Watermelon High 72

Pasta

Spaghetti, protein enriched Low 27
Fettuccine Low 32
Vermicelli Low 35
Spaghetti, whole wheat Low 37
Ravioli, meat filled Low 39
Spaghetti, white Low 41
Macaroni Low 45
Spaghetti, durum wheat Medium 55
Macaroni cheese Medium 64
Rice pasta, brown High 92

Root Crop

Carrots, cooked Low 39
Yam Low 51
Sweet potato Low 54
Potato, boiled Medium 56
Potato, new Medium 57
Potato, tinned Medium 61
Beetroot Medium 64
Potato, steamed Medium 65
Potato, mashed Medium 70
Chips High 75
Potato, micro waved High 82
Potato, instant High 83
**Potato, baked High 85
Parsnips High 97

Snack Food and Sweets

Peanuts Low 15
*M&Ms (peanut) Low 32
*Snickers bar Low 40
*Chocolate bar; 30g Low 49
Jams and marmalades Low 49
*Crisps Low 54
Popcorn Medium 55
Mars bar Medium 64
*Table sugar (sucrose) Medium 65
Corn chips High 74
Jelly beans High 80
Pretzels High 81
Dates High 103

Soups

Tomato soup, tinned Low 38
Lentil soup, tinned Low 44
Black bean soup, tinned Medium 64
Green pea soup, tinned Medium 66

Vegetable and Beans

Artichoke Low 15
Asparagus Low 15
Broccoli Low 15
Cauliflower Low 15
Celery Low 15
Cucumber Low 15
Eggplant Low 15
Green beans Low 15
Lettuce, all varieties Low 15
Low-fat yogurt, artificially sweetened Low 15
Peppers, all varieties Low 15
Snow peas Low 15
Spinach Low 15
Young summer squash Low 15
Tomatoes Low 15
Zucchini Low 15
Soya beans, boiled Low 16
Peas, dried Low 22
Kidney beans, boiled Low 29
Lentils green, boiled Low 29
Chickpeas Low 33
Haricot beans, boiled Low 38
Black-eyed beans Low 41
Chickpeas, tinned Low 42
Baked beans, tinned Low 48
Kidney beans, tinned Low 52
Lentils green, tinned Low 52
Broad beans High 79

 

Notes:
*high in empty calories
**low-calorie and nutritious foods

If you want a more detailed list or if you'd like to search for specific foods that aren't listed here, go to the Official Glycemic Index Website: http://www.glycemicindex.com/