Here’s How The Glycemic Index Ratings Of Your Favorite Foods Stack Up

foods with high glycemic index

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It’s probably been a minute since you last heard the buzzy health words “glycemic index,” but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less important. Simply put, the glycemic index (or GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food causes your blood sugar levels to spike. As a rule of thumb, foods with a GI of 55 or lower are considered low-glycemic foods, those with a GI between 56 and 69 are considered medium-glycemic foods and those with a GI of 70 or higher are considered high-glycemic foods.

High-Glycemic Foods

Foods that have a high GI rating are quickly digested and absorbed, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. When your blood sugar spikes, you’re more likely to crash later in the day and you may even have more sugar cravings than you would typically experience otherwise. Foods that have a high GI rating are often (but not always) also high in processed carbohydrates and sugars.

Low-Glycemic Foods

Foods that are lower on the Gl scale are absorbed at slower rates by your digestive system and, therefore, cause less of a spike in your blood sugar. These foods are typically rich in fiber, protein and/or fat, so they also tend to keep you feeling full for longer.

Why The GI Rating Of Your Food Matters

Eating a diet that’s rich in foods with low-glycemic index ratings and moderate in those with medium GI ratings (as well as avoiding or limiting your intake of foods high on the glycemic index) can help you be healthier. It generally helps you steer clear of overly processed foods, keeps your heart in top shape and can even help prevent the onset of diabetes. Below is a list of popular foods with the highest and lowest GI ratings from every carb-containing food group, based on a scale from zero to 100, where zero is lowest and 100 is highest. Use this information to plan your meals and make smart, blood sugar-regulating food choices.


foods with high glycemic index
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Note that some fruits (like bananas) have a higher glycemic index as they ripen due to a higher sugar concentration.

  • Cherries — 22
  • Blueberries — 25
  • Grapefruit — 25
  • Apples — 40
  • Grapes — 46
  • Mango — 51
  • Bananas — 42-62 (depending on the ripeness of the banana)
  • Pineapple — 59
  • Cantaloupe — 65
  • Watermelon — 76

Fruit-Derived Products

foods with high glycemic index

Fruit products like jams, juices and dried fruit tend to have a high sugar concentration, but they don’t all affect your blood sugar in the same way.

  • Prunes — 29
  • Dried Apricots — 30-32
  • Apple Juice — 41-43
  • Canned Peaches — 43-48
  • Strawberry Jam — 49-52
  • Orange Juice — 50-52
  • Dates — 46-55
  • Raisins — 54-66
  • Figs — 61
  • Cranberry Juice — 52-68


foods with high glycemic index
Pexels / Daria Shevtsova

Some vegetables (especially the deep green-colored ones) have a negligible glycemic index rating that’s not significant enough to report. But others hit surprisingly high on the GI.

  • Raw Tomatoes — 15
  • Boiled Carrots — 49
  • Sweet Corn — 52-57
  • Beets — 64
  • Boiled Sweet Potatoes — 63-69
  • Boiled White Potatoes — 78-82
  • Boiled Pumpkin — 64-71
  • Parsnips — 97

Grains, Bread, Legumes And Cereals

foods with high glycemic index
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Processed grains and breads tend to have a higher glycemic index rating. That’s why following a low-glycemic diet can help you avoid highly-processed foods and stick to carbs that are higher in fiber.

  • Barely — 22
  • Chickpeas — 36
  • Rye Bread — 41-55
  • Brown Rice — 50
  • Whole Wheat Bread — 52-58
  • White Spaghetti — 49-51
  • Rolled Oats Oatmeal — 55-57
  • Plain White Bagel — 72
  • White Rice — 73-78
  • Instant Oatmeal — 79-82
  • Cornflakes — 81-87

Dairy Products (And Alternatives)

foods with high glycemic index
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Dairy products generally have a low-to-medium glycemic rating, but there are a few exeptions.

  • Almond Milk — 21
  • Soy Milk — 34-39
  • Skim Cow Milk — 42
  • Full Fat Cow Milk — 39-42
  • Fruit Yogurt — 41-43
  • Ice Cream — 51-54
  • Rice Milk — 86-93


foods with high glycemic index

If you’re looking to indulge in a tasty snack, know that some popular snack products will spike your blood sugar, likely creating more cravings later in the day, while others will have less of an effect. Here are some popular snack products on both ends of the spectrum.

  • Dark Chocolate — 23
  • Milk Chocolate — 34-49
  • Potato Chips — 56-59
  • Popcorn — 65-70
  • Rice Crackers/Chips — 87-89


foods with high glycemic index
Unsplash / Sylvanus Urban

Just because the sugar in your protein bar is “natural” doesn’t mean that it won’t spike your blood sugar. Know the glycemic index rating for the sugar used in your fave snacks and drinks.

  • Fructose — 15-19
  • Honey — 61-64
  • Sucrose (Table Sugar) — 65-69
  • Glucose — 103-106

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