Glycemic Index Chart: How to use GI index effectively?

Glycemic index chart or GI value is a method to identify food which raises your blood glucose or blood sugar levels. Glycemic index is a very useful tool to plan your meals when fighting diabetes. It is specifically based on calculation of carbohydrates amount and rise in blood glucose level. According to glycemic index, high GI value food raises your blood glucose level more than a low GI value food.

glycemic index chart

Glycemic index helps us to understand how fast our body breaks down the particular carbohydrates in a food. And how much our blood glucose level rises after eating that particular food based on the carbohydrates.

Glycemic index is useful to create a diabetes diet plan based on food’s GI value. By using glycemic index you can create a well balanced meal which includes right amount and right type of of carbs which your body needs and at the same time, does not raise your blood glucose to high levels.

What is Glycemic Index or GI value?

Glycemic index or GI value is a ratio, measured by comparing the rise in blood glucose levels when eating a carbohydrate and the same amount of pure glucose.

For example: An average size apple has GI value of 38. It means if you eat 120 grams apple, your blood glucose level will be only rise 38 percent when comparing to same amount of pure glucose drinking.

Glycemic index is generally divided into three categories based on the GI values of foods:

Low GI: 55 or less

Medium GI: 56 to 69

High GI: 70 and above


Accuracy and limitation of Glycemic Index:

Glycemic index only represents a value for a single food. But the food can have various values based on its variety, ripeness, methods used for cooking, processing and storage.

For example:
More ripe fruits = contains more sugar which means High GI
Processed grains = no bran, less fiber and High GI

However, glycemic index values don’t take in account how the food is being eaten. When eating a food alone or eating with other food as well both values will be different. Other food nutrients like fiber, proteins and fats significantly decrease the digestion rate of carbohydrates. It means more time it takes to digest, lower your blood glucose will be, hence will create low GI.

That’s why, a low GI food converts into glucose slowly which helps maintaining after meal blood sugar test readings. While a high GI food converts into glucose comparatively fast and this raises your blood glucose readings after the meal.

Here it is very important to keep in mind that glycemic index does not take proteins and fats into account for its calculation. So, what other foods you eat with that particular carbohydrate rich food can change the GI value of the food as well.

So, glycemic index is not completely accurate, practically. But it gives a good general idea how a food will affect your blood glucose levels. As It is solely based on digestion of the carbohydrates and following rise in blood glucose level.

But, it is always better to stick to the Low to Medium GI foods as much as possible to maintain steady blood glucose levels and prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.

However, High GI foods can help you in a hypoglycemia situation when you require fast reacting carbohydrates to recover.

Here is the glycemic index list including some of the very common daily food types we consume:

Glycemic Index List

FOOD CATEGORYGlycemic Index (GI)
Carrots, average47±16
French Fries, baked54
Green peas, average48±5
Instant mashed potato, average85±3
Lettuce, all varieties16±3
Potato, Boiled white average50±9
Potato, Baked russet average85±12
Peppers, all varieties15±2
Snow peas18
Sweet potato, average61±7
Yam, average37±8
Young summer squash18±2
Apple, average38±2
Banana, ripe51
Dates, dried103±21
Grapes, average46±3
Orange, average42±3
Peach, average42±14
Peach, canned in light syrup52
Pear, average38±2
Pear, canned in pear juice44
Prunes, pitted29±4
Baked beans, average48±8
Black beans30
Blackeye peas, average42±9
Cashews, salted22±5
Chickpeas, average28±6
Chickpeas, canned in brine42
Kidney beans, average27±4
Lentils, average29±1
Lima beans32
Navy beans, average38±6
Peanuts, average14±8
Soy beans, average18±3
Barley, pearled25
Bulgur, average48±2
Brown rice, average55±5
Brown rice (boiled)72
Brown rice (steamed)50
Instant rice – white (boiled)87
Short grain rice, white72
Converted, white rice38
White rice, average64±7
Couscous, average65±4
Pearled barley, average25±1
Quick cooking white basmati60±5
Sweet corn on the cob, average53±4
Whole wheat kernels, average41±3
Fettucini, average40±8
Lasagna, beef47
Macaroni, average47±2
Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft)64
Ravioli, meat39
Spaghetti, wholemeal, boiled, average – wheat37±5
Spaghetti, white, boiled 5 min, average38±3
Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min, average61±3
Meats & Chicken
Sweet & Sour Chicken w/ Noodles41
Lean Cuisine, French style Chicken36
Beef casserole54
Chicken Nuggets, frozen46
Hamburger with bun66
All-Bran, average42±5
Coco Pops, average77
Cornflakes, average81±3
Cream of Wheat66
Cream of Wheat74
Frosted Flakes55
Fruit Loops69
Frosted Mini Wheats58
Grapenuts, average71±4
Instant oatmeal, average66±1
Muesli, average66±9
Oatmeal, average58±4
Pancakes, from mix67
Puffed wheat, average74±7
Raisin Bran Kellogg's61±5
Raisin Bran73
Special K Kellogg's69±5
Corn chips, plain, salted, average63±10
Doritos Corn chips72
French Fries75
Fruit Roll-Ups99±12
Graham crackers74
Granola Bar, chewy61
M & M's®, peanut33±3
Microwave popcorn, plain, average72±17
Potato chips, average54±3
Pretzels, oven-baked83±9
Snickers Bar55±14
Graham crackers74
Rice cakes, average78±9
Rye crisps, average64±2
Soda crackers74
Vanilla wafers77
Apple, made with sugar48±10
Apple, made without sugar44±6
Banana cake, made with sugar47±8
Banana cake, made without sugar55±10
Bagel, white, frozen72
Baguette, white, plain95±15
Hamburger bun61
Kaiser roll73
50% cracked wheat kernel bread58
100% Whole Grain™ bread (Natural Ovens)51±11
Bran Muffin65
Coarse barley bread, 75-80% kernels, average34±4
Corn tortilla52
Dark rye51
English Muffin, whole grain45
Pita bread, white57
Pita bread – whole wheat50
Pumpernickel bread50±4
Sponge cake, plain46±6
Waffles, Aunt Jemima (Quaker Oats)76
Wheat tortilla30
White wheat flour bread70±0
Whole wheat bread, average71± 2
Wonder™ bread, average73±2
Vanilla cake made from packet mix with vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker)42±4
Apple juice, unsweetened40±1
Coca Cola,58±5
Cranberry juice cocktail -Ocean Spray68±3
Fanta, orange soft drink68±6
Grapefruit juice, unsweetened48
Lemonade, sweetened54
Orange juice, average50±4
Tomato juice, canned38±4
Chocolate milk, 1%34
Ice cream, regular61±7
Ice cream, premium45±3
Milk, whole milk27±4
Milk, skim32±5
Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average27±1
Yogurt, nonfat, plain, artificial sweetener14
Chicken nuggets, frozen, reheated in microwave oven 5 min46±4
Honey, average55±5
Hummus (chickpea salad dip)6±4
Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce80
Pizza, Super Supreme (Pizza Hut)46±6

You might be wondering about the list. As you may not see some of your common foods. This may be due to the food may not contain enough carbohydrates to affect our blood glucose level.

We will keep updating this chart whenever we come across any other foods GI values, So, don’t forget to subscribe our newsletter to stay updated on diabetes and nutrition and give your life a caring push!


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