Research Corner

Question

I was wondering if you had a list/reference showing the glycemic index of popular food choices?

Answer:

Following are tables (Table 1;Table 2) showing the glycemic index (GI) of several foods1,2. In addition to the GI, a newer measure called the glycemic load (GL) is included in Table 1. The GI essentially tells one how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns is converted to glucose and causes blood sugar (BS) to rise. This leads to an incomplete picture of the impact of some foods. The GL reflects the carbohydrate content of a particular food. It is derived by taking the glycemic index of a food and multiplying it by its grams of carbohydrate per serving, then expressed as a percentage. This helps to put food choices into perspective. A carrot, certainly an evil food if judged solely on its GI, has a low GL; there isnít much carbohydrate or sugar in it (per serving). I am sure no sane person wishes to go on record saying that carrots lead to obesity. The idea is to strive to consume a diet that is lower in glycemic load, not just glycemic index. GL then, gives us a better idea of how foods, and oneís diet, affect the body and ultimately/potentially oneís health. 

 Scott Pullen

Nutrition Specialist

Senior National Lecturer

Apex Fitness Group, Inc.

 

Table 1. Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Representative Foods

FOOD

GLYCEMIC INDEX

GLYCEMIC LOAD

Instant Rice

91

24.8 (110g)

Baked Potato

85

20.3 (110g)

Corn Flakes

84

21 (225ml)

Carrot

71

3.8 (55g)

White Bread

70

21 (2 slices)

Rye Bread

65

19.5 (2 slices)

Muesli

56

16.8 (110ml)

Banana

53

13.3 (170g)

Spaghetti

41

16.4 (55g)

Apple

36

8.1 (170g)

Lentil Beans

29

5.7 (110ml)

Milk

27

3.2 (225ml)

Peanuts

14

.7 (30g)

* GI based upon glucose at 100.

** Numbers in parentheses represents serving size

Table 2. Foods and their Glycemic Index

FOOD

GLYCEMIC INDEX

All-Bran Cereal

42

Bagel (plain, frozen)

72

Black-eyed-peas

42

Brown Rice

55

Bulgur

48

Chocolate

49

Corn chips

73

Corn Flakes

84

Couscous

65

Fructose

23

Garbanzo Beans

33

Grapefruit

25

Grape-Nuts

67

Grapes

43

Honey

73

Ice Cream

61

Jelly Beans

80

Kidney Beans

27

Melba Toast Crackers

70

Oatmeal Cookie

55

Orange

43

Orange Juice

57

Peas

48

Popcorn

55

Potato (baked)

85

Puffed Wheat

74

Rice Cakes (plain)

82

Shredded Wheat

69

Skim Milk

32

Sucrose

65

Sweet potato

54

Vanilla Wafers

77

Waffle

76

Watermelon

72

White Rice (not instant)

56-88 (depends on starch content)

Whole Milk

27

Yogurt, fruit, sugar sweetened

33

 

*GI based upon glu

 

 1 Ludwig, DS. The Glycemic Index: Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA 2002; 287 (18): 2414-2423

2 Foster-Powell, K, Miller, JB. International Tables of Glycemic Index. AJCN, 1995; 62: 871S-893S.


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