What Are the Best Low GI Foods?

Reviewed on 6/23/2021

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly foods cause blood sugar levels to rise after they are consumed on a scale of zero to 100. Foods are ranked as either low (good) = 55 or less, medium = 56 to 69, or high (bad) = 70 or higher.
The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly foods cause blood sugar levels to rise after they are consumed on a scale of zero to 100. Foods are ranked as either low (good) = 55 or less, medium = 56 to 69, or high (bad) = 70 or higher.

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly foods cause blood sugar levels to rise after they are consumed.

Foods are ranked on a scale of zero to 100:

  • Low (good) = 55 or less 
    • Foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed at a slower rate, resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar levels
    • Low GI foods tend to be rich in fiber, protein, and/or fat
  • Medium = 56 to 69
  • High (bad) = 70 or higher
    • Foods with a high GI are quickly digested and absorbed, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar  
    • High GI foods tend to be high in processed carbohydrates and sugars

Examples of the best low GI foods (55 or less) to eat include: 

  • Soybeans (16)
  • Peanuts (18)
  • Kidney beans (24)
  • Cashews (25)
  • Chickpeas (28)
  • Barley (28)
  • Lentils (32)
  • Soy milk (34)
  • Apple, raw (36)
  • Milk, skim (37)
  • Pear, raw (38)
  • Milk, full fat (39)
  • Carrots, boiled (39)
  • Yogurt, fruit (41)
  • Apple juice (41)
  • Dates, raw (42)
  • Orange, raw (43)
  • Peaches, canned (43)
  • Spaghetti, white, boiled (46) 
  • Whole-grain pumpernickel bread (46)
  • Corn tortilla (46)
  • Vegetable soup (48)
  • Strawberry jam/jelly (49)
  • Brown rice, boiled (50)
  • Orange juice (50)
  • Mango, raw (51)
  • Banana, raw (51)
  • Sweet corn (52)

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Reviewed on 6/23/2021
References
https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/what-is-glycemic-index

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/glycemic-index-range.html