Glycemic Index of Foods

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

The glycemic index of foods varies according to the rate at which they release simple sugars like glucose into the bloodstream after a meal.

Classification GI range Examples
Low GI 55 or less most fruits and vegetables (except potatoes, watermelon), grainy breads, pasta, legumes/pulses, milk, yoghurt, products extremely low in carbohydrates (some cheeses, nuts, cooking oil)
Medium GI 56 - 69 whole wheat products, basmati rice, sweet potato, table sugar
High GI 70 and above corn flakes, rice krispies, baked potatoes, watermelon, croissants, white bread, extruded breakfast cereals, most white rices (e.g. jasmine), straight glucose (100)

It is calculated as the incremental area under the two-hour blood glucose response curve (AUC) that is achieved after fasting for 12 hours and then eating a fixed amount of carbohydrate (usually 50 g). This area value is divided by the AUC of the standard defining food, which is pure glucose, and multiplied by 100. The average glycemic indexa  value for a particular food is based on the values obtained for 10 humans. Both the standard and test food have to contain equal amounts of available carbohydrate.

Some of the examples of low and high glycemic index foods include:

  • Foods with a low glycemic index include wholegrain bread, pulses and legumes, wheat pasta, nuts and oatmeal crackers.
  • Foods with medium glycemic index include basmati rice, baked potatoes, mango, pineapple, digestives, and beans in tomato sauce.
  • Foods with a high glycemic index include fresh mashed potatoes, watermelon, white rice, tapioca, corn flakes, rice krispies, weetabix, donuts, scones, rice cakes, white bread, baguette, pumpkin and parsnips.

The glycemic index of a food also depends on several other factors including:

  • The entrapment of the starch molecules within the food
  • The type of starch, whether amylase or amylopectin
  • The fat and protein content of the food
  • The presence of organic acids and their salts in the diet. For example, if vinegar is added to a meal, it lowers the glycemic index.
  • The presence of fat or soluble dietary fibers can also slow the gastric emptying rate and therefore lower the glycemic index of the meal.



Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, July 14). Glycemic Index of Foods. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 21, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Glycemic Index of Foods". News-Medical. 21 April 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Glycemic Index of Foods". News-Medical. (accessed April 21, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Glycemic Index of Foods. News-Medical, viewed 21 April 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Study finds low and high GI diets boost endurance performance over low-carb diets