Glycemic Index – Food Rankings

Carbohydrate-rich foods are ranked from 0-10 according to how fast the sugar gets into the bloodstream. The higher the number, the quicker and more drastic rise in blood sugar levels occur 2-3 hours after a meal. Foods that raise blood sugar levels quickly are classified as high glycemic carbohydrates. The lower the number, the slower the sugar finds its way into our blood. The foods are classified as Low Glycemic foods. 

Try to consume less high glycemic foods or at least combine a small amount of high glycemic foods with lower glycemic foods to get a balance. Always stock your fridge with low glycemic foods. Remember, ’Fat-free’ doesn’t mean calorie free. When food manufacturers remove items from food, in this case fat, they need to add something back in to replace it. More often than not, fat-free means the food manufacturers have added high glycemic ingredients. Below is a list of foods that fall within the low glycemic (best), moderate glycemic (ok), and high glycemic (limit) rankings.

Low Glycemic Foods

Apples Oranges
Nectarines Peaches
Berries Pears
Cherries Plums
Grapefruit Strawberries
Adzuki beans Navy Beans
Black beans Soybeans
Black-eyed peas Split peas
Butter beans Haricot beans
Garbanzo beans Kidney beans
Artichokes Broccoli and Cauliflower
Asparagus Peppers
Celery Tomatoes
Sweet Potatoes Dark leaf lettuce
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds Sesame seeds
Peanuts Sunflower seeds
Barley Porridge Oats
All-bran cereals Red basmati whole kernel rice
Bulgur Spaghetti (whole-meal) el dente
Cooked bran Whole grain pastas (el dente)
Kamut & quinoa pasta Whole-sprouted grains
Muesli cereal (without dried fruit) Wild Rice
Low-fat cottage cheese Low-fat soy milk
Plain yogurt (no sugar added) Most (1%-whole milk)
Unsweetened pear juice Tomato juice
Unsweetened grapefruit juice Water
Green tea  Apple Juice

Moderate Glycemic Foods

Grapes Pineapples
Kiwis Raisins
Figs Bananas
Beets Peas
Carrots Potatoes (red, white) & Potato chips
Corn on the cob Yams
Lima beans Sweet Potato
Basmati rice Whole wheat bread (100% stone-ground)
Brown rice Pumpernickel bread
Buckwheat Sourdough bread
Pita bread White Spaghetti
Water biscuits Cereal (low sugar)
Oatmeal  Pasta (soft cooked)
Custard Skim milk
 Ice Cream
Black cherry juice Orange juice
Blueberry juice
Unprocessed blackstrap molasses Sucrose (table sugar)
Unrefined raw honey
Organic unrefined brown sugar

High-Glycemic Foods

Bananas (ripe) Mango
Papayas Watermelons
Cooked carrots Potato (baked)
French fries Sweet corn
Bagels Puffed rice or wheat
Breakfast cereals (refined with added sugar) Pretzels
Corn chips Rice cakes
Corn flakes Toaster waffles
Crackers and crispbread Shredded wheat
Doughnuts White rice
French bread White bread
Hamburger and hotdog buns Whole wheat bread
Muffins (commercially processed white flour) Weetabix
Cool whip
chocolate syrups
chocolate milk
Carrot juice
Soft drinks and sports drinks (added sugar)
Corn syrup solids Honey
High-fructose corn syrup Barley malt
Maltose Molasses
Jelly beans


Glucose and glucose polymers (maltodextrin-based drinks)

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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.

0 responses to “Glycemic Index – Food Rankings

  1. Nice overview, Brad.
    Are walnuts low / moderate / high glycemic?
    Sweet potatoes appear under low and moderate glycemic – what’s right?


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