Glycemic Index Foods List | Lark Health

Glycemic Index Foods List

Glycemic Index Foods List

There are also many GI Foods Lists available online. You can use a glycemic index chart to quickly see the GI and often the GL values for different foods. Often, a GI Foods List is organized by food group or by low, medium, and high GI foods.

Low Glycemic Index Foods

Low-GI foods are often less processed, and higher in protein, fiber, fat, and/or complex rather than refined carbohydrates. Examples include:

  • Non-starchy vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms.

  • Cherries, grapefruit, and pears.

  • Legumes, such as beans, split peas, and lentils.

  • Nuts and peanuts.

  • Whole grain pasta, oatmeal, and barley.

Medium Glycemic Index Foods

Medium-GI foods are somewhere between low and high-GI foods. Examples include:

  • Sweet corn and winter squash.

  • Bananas, kiwi fruit, and mangos.

  • Bran cereal, Total, muesli, and Cheerios.

  • Whole grain pasta.

  • Potato chips.

  • Pizza, burgers, and chicken and turkey sandwiches on white bread.

  • Ice cream.

High Glycemic Index Foods

High-GI foods are often more refined, cooked, or otherwise processed, higher in simple sugars and/or refined starches, and lower in protein, fiber, and fat. Examples include:

  • Baked and boiled potatoes.

  • Cornflakes and sugar-sweetened breakfast cereals.

  • Watermelon.

  • White bread, pasta, and rice.

  • White crackers and pretzels.

  • Soft drinks.


Glycemic Index of Fruits

Many people believe that they should avoid eating fruit because of its sugar, but fruits are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They not only have nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and a range of antioxidants, but are linked to lower risk for many diseases. 

The best low GI fruits include:

  • Grapefruits and oranges.

  • Strawberries and other berries.

  • Apples and pears.

  • Peaches, plums, and nectarines.

  • Sour cherries.


The Glycemic Diet

The glycemic diet is, as it sounds, a diet based on the GI. Following a low GI diet means that when you eat foods with carbohydrates, you select those foods with a low GI. There are several potential benefits of a low GI diet.

  • Weight loss: When you choose lower-GI foods, you may be getting more fiber, fat, and protein compared to fast-acting carbs such as sugars and refined starches. The result may be that you feel full for longer after you eat, so you tend to eat less at your next meal. That can help you lose weight.

  • Better energy: A lower-GI diet means fewer and less dramatic spikes in blood sugar. At the same time, you do not get the subsequent dramatic drops in blood sugar and energy levels. This means your energy levels are more stable, and you may feel better.

  • Lower blood sugar: Your blood sugar does not spike as much, and the response demands less insulin, when you choose low-GI foods. Better blood sugar control is especially good news if you have prediabetes or diabetes.

  • Cardiovascular benefits: Lower-glycemic carbs tend to have more heart-healthy nutrients, such as fiber, which lowers cholesterol, and potassium, which lowers blood pressure. Plus, limiting simple sugars may help keep blood triglycerides in check.


Following a Low-Glycemic Diet with Lark

Following a low-glycemic diet may seem challenging if you have to look up the GI of each food you eat, but help is available. In addition to using apps that can tell you the GI of foods, you can use Lark Health Coach as another aid. Lark guides you to naturally choosing lower-GI foods and meals by:

  • Encouraging whole, less processed foods.

  • Supporting high-fiber carbohydrate foods.

  • Assisting you with portion control, especially of high-carb foods.

  • Reminding you to include GI-lowering nutrients, such as healthy fats and lean proteins, in your meals and snacks.


Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Assistant Professor of Public Health

Ready to Calculate your Glycemic Index?

Ready to Calculate your Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index Definition

The glycemic index of a food is a number. This numeric value indicates how fast the carbohydrates in that food are broken down into glucose compared to a reference value, usually the GI of glucose or white bread, which is another fast carbohydrate. Only foods with carbohydrates have a GI; fat and protein do not have a GI.

You cannot know the GI of a food without looking it up, but you can make a good guess about which foods might have a higher or lower GI than other foods. Here are some general patterns.

  •  Protein and fat tend to lower the GI.

  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate, but your body cannot digest it, and fiber tends to lower the GI.

  • Processes such as cooking, mashing, and juicing tend to raise the GI.

  • Less processed foods, such as whole grains, tend to be lower-GI than more processed foods, such as refined grains like white bread and pasta.

Glycemic Load Definition

The GI of a food considers how fast the carbs in the food break down, but it fails to consider another important factor: how many carbs there are. To see intuitively why the amount of carbs is important, compare cooked carrots, with a high GI of 70, to peanut M&Ms, with a moderate GI of 47. Based on that information alone, you would think that the candy is a better choice. 

However, when you consider theamountof carbs in each food, you get a more accurate picture. The glycemic load, or GL, multiples the GI by the amount of carbs in the food. The GL carrots is only 21, while the GL of a 2-ounce package of M&Ms is 110! 


Glycemic Index Calculator

The GI of many foods have been determined through experiments to see what the effect of that food is on people’s blood glucose levels. You can find the GI of these foods and estimates of the GI of other foods using a GI calculator. 


Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Assistant Professor of Public Health