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Glycemic Index

By David Mendosa

Last Update: April 16, 2003

A glycemic index is basically a classification of how high and how fast particular carbohydrate foods raise blood sugar. This index compares the way carbohydrate foods raise blood sugar with the way white bread raises it. White bread is assigned an index number of 100. (There is another glycemic index that use straight glucose as the comparison).

Generally speaking, for a person with diabetes, a low (slow-releasing) glycemic index food is preferred to a high (fast-releasing) glycemic index food. The following chart shows the glycemic index of a variety of foods that have been tested, including indigenous foods of regions around the world.

For further information on the glycemic index, see the article The Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index

BAKERY PRODUCTS
Donut 108 Waffles 109
BREADS
Bagel, white 103 Pumpernickel 71
Melba toast 100 Wheat bread, white 101
Wheat bread, wholemeal flour 99    
BREAKFAST CEREALS
All-bran 60 Cheerios 106
Cornflakes 119 Cream of Wheat 100
Grapenuts 96 Oat Bran 78
Oatmeal 87 Rice Bran 27
Rice Krispies 117 Shredded Wheat 99
Special K 77 Total 109
CEREAL GRAINS
Barley, pearled 36 Buckwheat 78
Cornmeal 98 Millet 101
Rice, brown 79 Rice, parboiled 68
Rice, white 83 Sweet corn 78
CRACKERS
Stoned Wheat Thins 96    
DAIRY PRODUCTS
Ice cream 87 Ice cream, low fat 71
Milk, full fat 39 Milk skim 46
Yogurt, low fat, artificially sweetened 20    
FRUIT AND FRUIT PRODUCTS
Apple 54 Apple juice 58
Apricots, dried 44 Apricots, fresh 82
Banana 77 Cherries 32
Dates 141 Grapefruit 36
Grapes 6 6 Orange 63
Orange juice 74 Peach, fresh 60
Pear, fresh 53 Pineapple 94
Pineapple juice 66 Plum 55
Raisins 91 Watermelon 103
LEGUMES
Black beans 43 Black-eyed beans 59
Broad beans (fava beans) 113 Chick peas (garbanzo beans) 47
Kidney beans 42 Lima beans, baby, frozen 46
Navy beans juice 54 Pinto beans 55
Soy beans 25    
PASTA
Fettuccine 46 Linguine 65
Macaroni 64 Spaghetti, wholemeal 53
ROOT VEGETABLES
Beets 91 Carrots 70
Parsnips 139 Potato, baked 121
Potatoes, french fries 107 Rutabaga 103
Sweet potato 77
SNACK FOOD AND CONFECTIONARY
Popcorn 79 Pretzels 116
SOUPS
Split pea soup 86    
SUGARS
Fructose 32 Glucose 137
Glucose tablets 146 Honey 83
Lactose 65 Maltose 150
Sucrose (table sugar) 92
VEGETABLES
Peas, dried 32 Peas, green 68

Source: Jennie Brand-Miller, et al. The Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index, The Groundbreaking Medical Discovery (New York: Marlowe & Company). Used with permission.


This article appeared originally on the DiabetesWebSite.com, which is no longer on-line.

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