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Glycemic Index in Some Common Foods

Glycaemic IndexCarbohydrates (i.e. breads, cereals and fruit) are broken down to glucose, which provides energy for our bodies.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale which ranks carbohydrate by there glycemic response, which is the amount and speed they raise blood sugar levels. The reference food is compared to either glucose or white bread. The lower the glycemic index, the lower the rise in blood sugar.

Why Should I Choose Foods Low in Glycemic Index?
Eating foods with a low glycemic index may help to:

  • control your blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels
  • control your appetite
  • lower your risk for developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Glycaemic Index

Foods with a higher glycemic index break down faster during digestion. High glycemic foods are useful for some groups of people, including athletes, who need a fast supply of glucose to fuel their muscles during and after competition.

Most starchy foods have a high Glycemic Index. Foods with high fibre content typically have a lower GI. Choose medium and low GI foods more often.

 

Table 1: Glycemic Index of Some Common Foods

Low GI (55 or less)*

Medium GI (56-69)*

High GI (70 or more)*

Breads:
100% stone ground whole wheat
Heavy mixed grain
Pumpernickel
Breads:
Whole wheat
Rye
Pita
Breads:
White bread
Kaiser roll
Bagel, white
Cereal:
Bran cereal
Oat bran cereal
Cereal:
Puffed wheat
Oatmeal, Quick oats
Cereal:
Corn cereal
Rice cereal
Grains:
Barley, Bulgur
Pasta/noodles
Parboiled rice
Grains:
Basmati rice, Brown rice
Couscous
Grains:
Short-grain rice
Other:
Sweet potato, Yams
Legumes, Lentils
Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Split peas, Soy beans, Baked beans
Other:
Potato (white)
Sweet corn, Popcorn
Black bean soup
Green pea soup
Other:
Potato, baking (Russet)
French fries
Pretzels
Rice cakes
Soda crackers

*Expressed as a percentage of the value for glucose

Ref: Diabetes of Canada website, 2008