The Glycemic Index (GI)

A friend of mine, Desiree Visagie planted the seed about me incorporating a Low GI / Low Fat category to my blog, so here goes.  Thank you Des 🙂

Before we get to the yummy and healthy recipes, which I will post on occasion, below is the long and short of the whole Glycemic Index (GI).

What is the Glycemic Index?

Simply put, the glycemic index (GI) is a dietary tool that helps us differentiate between the various carbohydrate foods we eat and how our bodies use them.  The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating and are grouped into High, Medium and Low as follows: –

  • High GI :          70 and above
  • Medium GI :     56-69
  • Low GI :           55 and below

Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Foods with a low GI are the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels – the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.  Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance and have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

In summary, a healthy low GI diet: –

  • Helps to fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied for longer, avoiding over eating or too much snacking
  • Lowers your insulin levels which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored
  • Helps you to lose body fat and maintain lean muscle tissue
  • Reduces your triglycerides total and ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol
  • Increases your levels of ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol
  • Reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Helps to manage your blood glucose levels and reduces your risk of developing diabetes complications
  • Reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces your risk of developing certain eye diseases
  • Improves your skin
  • Sustain your energy levels longer, improving both mental and physical performance

 

Daily Foods GI Ranking

Bread

Low GI
Soya and Linseed 36
Wholegrain Pumpernickel 46
Heavy Mixed Grain 45
Whole Wheat 49
Sourdough Rye 48
Sourdough Wheat 54

 

Medium GI
Pita, White 57
Hamburger Bun 61
Wholemeal Rye 62
Croissant 67

 

High GI
White 71
Bagel 72
Wholewheat 100% 77
Baguette 95

 

Dairy

Low GI
Artificially Sweetened Yoghurt 23
Whole Milk 31
Skimmed Milk 32
Sweetened Yoghurt 33
Custard 35
Chocolate Milk 42
Soy Milk 44

 

Medium GI
Ice Cream 62

 

Cereal

Low GI
All Bran (UK/Aus) 30
Natural Muesli 40
All Bran (US) 50
Oat bran 50
Rolled Oats 51
Special K (UK/Aus) 54

 

Medium GI
Bran Buds 58
Mini Wheats 58
Porridge 58
Porridge Oats 63
Nutrigrain 66
Cream of Wheat 66
Quick ‘one minute’ Oats 66
Shredded Wheat 67
Special K (US) 69

 

High GI
Sultana Bran 73
All Bran 74
Weetabix 74
Cheerios 74
Coco Pops 77
Oats in Honey Bake 77
Cornflakes 80
Puffed Wheat 80
Rice Krispies 82

 

Fruit

Low GI
Cherries 22
Plums 24
Grapefruit 25
Peaches 28
Prunes 29
Peaches, Canned 30
Apricots, Dried 32
Apples 34
Plums 39
Oranges 40
Strawberries 40
Coconut Milk 41
Pears 41
Grapes 43
Coconut 45
Kiwi Fruit 47

 

Medium GI
Sultanas 56
Bananas 58
Mango 60
Papaya 60
Figs 61
Raisins 64
Apricots, Canned 64
Cantaloupe / Spanspek 65
Pineapple 66

 

High GI
Watermelon 80
Dates 100

 

Vegetables

Low GI
Broccoli 10
Cabbage 10
Chilies 10
Lettuce 10
Mushrooms 10
Onions 10
Red Peppers 10
Eggplant / Aubergine 15
Cauliflower 15
Green Beans 15
Tomatoes 15
Frozen Green Peas 39
Boiled Carrots 41
Frozen Sweet Corn 47

 

Medium GI
Beetroot 64

 

High GI
Pumpkin 75
Parsnips 97

 

Legumes

Low GI
Lentils, Red 21
Chickpeas, Dried 28
Lentils, Green 30
Haricot Beans 31
Lima Beans 32
Split Peas, Yellow 32
Butter Beans 36
Chick Peas, Canned 42
Pinto Beans 45
Black-eyed Beans 50
Kidney Beans 52

 

Medium GI
Baked Beans 56

 

Staples

Low GI
Pearled Barley 22
Wheat Tortilla 30
Egg Fettuccini 32
Spaghetti, White 32
Yam 35
Spaghetti, Wholewheat 37
Meat Ravioli 39
Pasta, Spiral 43
Luinguine 46
Instant Noodles 47
Macaroni 47
Sweet Potatoes 48
Brown Rice 50
Tortellini, Cheese 50
White long grain Rice 50
Buckwheat 51
Wheat Pasta Shapes 54
New Potatoes 54

 

Medium GI
Wild Rice 57
Basmati Rice 58
Rice Vermicelli 58
Baked Potatoes 60
Couscous 61
Cornmeal 68
Taco Shells 68
Gnocchi 68

 

High GI
Tapioca 70
Fresh Mashed Potatoes 73
French Fries 75
Instant Mashed Potatoes 80
Short Grain White Rice 83
Glutinous Rice 86
Instant White Rice 87

 

Snacks and Sweet Foods

Low GI
Hummus 6
Peanuts 13
Walnuts 15
Nuts and Raisins 21
Cashew Nuts 25
Nutella 33
Snickers Bar 41
Corn Chips 42
Milk Chocolate 42
Sponge Cake 46
Nut & Seed Muesli Bar 49
Jam 51
Oatmeal Crackers 55

 

Medium GI
Honey 58
Digestive Biscuits 59
Blueberry Muffin 59
Ryvita 63

 

High GI
Maple Flavoured Syrup 68
Donuts 76
Water Crackers 78
Puffed Crispbread 81
Pretzels 83
Rice cakes 87
Scones 92
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5 thoughts on “The Glycemic Index (GI)

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Glycemic Index (GI) « The Complete Cook Book Blog -- Topsy.com

    • Hi Tes. My husband and I don’t always eat that “healthily” so it is a nice reminder for me to use healthier ingredients. Hope you will give the Low GI recipes a try. I will post the first one tomorrow.

  2. Pingback: The Glycemic Index GI « The Complete Cook Book « About food and health…

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