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Glycemic Index Food List

Glycemic Index Food List?noresize

How can I use the Glycemic Index to help manage my prediabetes?

As you plan your meals, you will include starches and vegetables that contain carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are essential to normal body function and provide your body with its main source of energy! Pick your carbohydrate-rich foods based on their overall nutritional quality and how they will affect your blood sugar – especially if you have prediabetes.

Glycemic Index and Prediabetes Diagnosis

A prediabetes diagnosis can be alarming - this condition is marked by abnormally high blood sugar (glucose), most often caused by insulin resistance. Prediabetes is the term used to describe elevated blood sugar (glucose) that has not reached the threshold of type 2 diabetes diagnosis. The key is early intervention — to get your blood sugar out of the prediabetes range. Making a lifestyle change through diet and movement will always be the first line of treatment – so what you eat matters!

How the Glycemic Index Works

The Glycemic Index ranks foods on a scale of 0-100 depending on how fast the food will be digested, absorbed and converted into blood sugar. If you have prediabetes, it's important to maintain good blood sugar control. The key is to use the Glycemic Index to choose foods that will not cause a drastic blood sugar spike. Fiber-rich foods generally have a low glycemic index (GI), although not all foods with a low GI necessarily have high fiber content.

The lower the number, the lower the potential spike in your blood sugar levels. So, to keep your blood sugar from skyrocketing, choose foods that are categorized as "low" on the Glycemic Index. The ranking system is:

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56 - 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High ("bad")

However, the Glycemic Index of foods can change! So, foods that have a low GI are not always good and foods that have a high GI are not always off-limits.  Sound confusing?  Fear not; here are a few examples.  Some factors that can affect the GI of food are:

  • How you cook it: The GI of pasta, for example, can be significantly lowered by cooking it less (Al Dente)!
  • How refined the carbohydrates are: Refined carbohydrates have most of their fiber removed, causing them to be digested and absorbed more quickly.
  • The presence of fat, fiber, and acid: Fats, fiber and acid all help to slow the digestion of carbohydrates, prolonging the amount of time it takes for them to be converted to glucose in the body.
  • How ripe the food is (this is especially important with fruit): The more ripe a food is, the higher the GI!
  • Portion size: The more you eat of a carbohydrate-containing food at one time, the more your blood sugar will be affected.

When choosing foods based on the Glycemic Index, remember these factors to ensure your blood sugar will respond as planned! Eating a well-balanced diet, portion control and being aware of foods with high/low glycemic index are all ways to help you better manage a healthy lifestyle with prediabetes – and prevent type 2 diabetes. If you're interested in learning more and taking control of your health, talk to one of our registered dietitians.

Interested in a total overhaul to better manage your prediabetes?  Check out our comprehensive prediabetes diet recommendations.

prediabetes nutrition guide

Below is our comprehensive list of where foods rank on the Glycemic Index

Vegetables

Low Glycemic Index

(0-55)

Moderate Glycemic Index

(56-69)

High Glycemic Index

(70+)

Asparagus 

Cabbage

Mushrooms

Tomatoes

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Eggplant

Raw carrots

Lettuce

Green beans

Peppers 

Onions

Beetroot 

 

Pumpkin

Parsnips

Fruits

Low Glycemic Index

(0-55)

Moderate Glycemic Index

(56-69)

High Glycemic Index

(70+)

Cherries

Plums

Grapefruit

Peaches

Apples

Pears

Dried Apricots

Grapes

Coconut

Kiwi

Oranges 

Strawberries

Prunes

Mango

Bananas

Raisins

Papaya

Figs

Pineapple

 

 

Watermelon 

Dates

Dairy

Low Glycemic Index

(0-55)

Moderate Glycemic Index

(56-69)

High Glycemic Index

(70+)

Whole milk

Skim milk

Chocolate milk

Soy milk

Ice cream

 

Beans/Legumes

Low Glycemic Index

(0-55)

Moderate Glycemic Index

(56-69)

High Glycemic Index

(70+)

Kidney beans

Butter beans

Chickpeas

Navy beans

Red & green lentils

Pinto beans

Black eyed peas

Split peas

 

 

Starches

Low Glycemic Index

(0-55)

Moderate Glycemic Index

(56-69)

High Glycemic Index

(70+)

Spelt bread

Sour dough bread 

Whole grain tortilla

All bran cereal

Steel cut oats

Barley

Bulgur

Pasta (Al Dente)

Quinoa

Peas 

Popcorn

Sweet potato 

Squash

 

Flaxseed bread

Pita bread

Pumpernickel bread

Roti 

Pumpernickel bread

Rye bread

Instant/quick cooking oats

Basmati rice

Brown rice

Cornmeal

Couscous

Rice noodles

White rice

Wild rice

Corn

Parsnips

Rye crackers

 

White bread

Whole wheat bread

Naan bread

Corn flakes

Cream of wheat

Rice Krispies

Special K

Jasmine rice

Sticky rice

White rice

Carrots

Potato

Pretzels

Rice cakes

Soda Crackers

 

Interested in a total overhaul to better manage your prediabetes?  Check out our comprehensive prediabetes diet recommendations.

prediabetes nutrition guide

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