Glycemic Index (GI)

Author: Rod Ferris CPT (YMCA, ACE), CPAFLA

Introduction

The glycemic index is a tool that measures the effect of a specific food digesting into the bloodstream to create insulin.

Along with a myriad of health problems caused by an over-secretion of insulin, one of the major problems of excess insulin is that it triggers the extra storage of fat. In a nutshell, extra insulin equals extra fat stored fat.

Should I Avoid All High GI Foods?

No, there is a time and place for certain foods which will raise your insulin levels. Before, during and after exercise is the perfect time to enjoy your high glycemic foods which contain a high sugar content.

Why should eat high glycemic index foods after a workout?
After exercise your body will react to the excess sugars and create the hormone 'insulin' this hormone helps your body build muscle during this time.

Does Low Carb Mean Low Glycemic Index?

No, low carbohydrate foods do not mean that they have a low glycemic index value.

What does that mean for you?


Well, if you have are at risk for diabetes it means that you should be aware of what categories of foods to eat. That is where we come in. Below we have created a list of categories and their average glycemic index (GI).

 

Printable Food Logs

Charts are a great way to help yourself become accountable. Get yours to print now.

Why are High-Fiber Foods High in GI?

The high fiber foods that are referred to as high in GI have a lot of insoluble fiber. Some samples of high fiber high GI foods include whole wheat breads, whole wheat pastas, etc.

Understanding the Food Chart

You will notice the food chart below has either low, moderate or high. Those corresponding to the values below:

Low GI= Under 55
Moderate GI = 56 -69
High GI = Greater than 70

About This Chart

Think you know your stuff? Try the Glycemic Index Test!

Outside Resources

Canadian Diabetes Association of Canada

Updated: May 16th, 2014

Printable GI Chart

To print, copy and paste this into 'word'.
Recommended Food Categories
Glycemic Index Average (GI)
Apples
Low
Beans
Low
Vegetables
Low
Dairy
Low
Oatmeal and other oats
Low
Sweet Potato
Low to Moderate
Meats and Proteins
None
Legumes
Low
Cereals very low in Sugar
Low to Moderate
Beverages  
Beer
Moderate
Coffee
No effect
Gatorade and other Sports Drinks
High
Breads
White Bread
High
Pumpernikel Bread
Low
Rye Bread
High
Flaxseed
Low
Oat Bran
Low
Pita Bread
Med
Wonder White Bread
High
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Med
Sourdough
Low
Breakfast Breads
All Bran
Low
Bran Flakes
High
Coco Pops
High
Froot Loops
Med
Frosted Flakes
Med
Muesli
Low
Nutri-Grain
Med
Instant Oatmeal
High
Steel Cut Oats
Low
Puffed Rice
High
Raisin Bran
High
Rice Krispies
High
Shredded Wheat
High
Special K
Med
Muffins and Cakes
Angel Food Cake
Med
Banana Bread
Low
Blueberry Muffin
Med
Carrot Muffin
Med
Croissant, plain
Med
Cupcake
High
Pancakes from premade package
Med to High
Waffles
High
Cereal Grains
Buckwheat
Low
Millet
High
Quinoa
Low
Bulgur
Low
Polenta
Med
ALL DAIRY PRODUCTS
Low
Fruit Dried
Apples
Low
Apricots
Low
Cranberries, sweetened
Med
Dates
Low to Med
Figs
Med
Prunes
Low
Raisins
Med
Fresh Fruit
Apples
Low
Apricots
Med
Avocados
VERY Low
Banana
Low
Canteloupe
Med
Cherries
Med
Grapefruit
Low
Grapes
Low
Kiwi
Low
Mango
Low
Orange
Low
Papaya
Med
Peach
Low
Pear
Low
Pineapple
Med
Strawberries
Low
Watermelon
High
Meat
Bacon
None
Beef Lean
None
Calamari
None
All Fish
None
Chicken Nugguts Breaded
Low
Seafood
None
Fish Sticks
None
Ham
None
Lamb
None
Lobster
None
Turkey
None
Tuna
None
Sushi
Low
Pastas
Fettuccine egg noodles cooked
Low
Gnocchi, cooked
Med
Instant noodles
Med
Linguine
Low
Macaroni and Cheese
Med
Rice
Basmati Rice
Med
Brown Rice
Med
Instant Rice
High
Jasmine Rice
High
Long Grain
Low
Wild Rice
Med
Candy
Jelly Beans
High
Licorice, soft
High
Life Savers
High
Corn Chips, Plain, Salted
Low
Dark Chocolate
Low
Spreads
Honey
Low
Agave
Low
Jam (100% fruit)
Low
Nutella, hazlenut spread
Med
Vegetables
Most vegetables have a low GI, we will show you the others
Beets, red, canned
Med
Broad Beans (fava)
High
Carrots (cooked)
Low to Med
Parsnips
High
Potato
High
Peas
Low

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