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The glycemic index chart: good and bad carbohydrates

The following glycemic index chart illustrates how your blood sugar levels rise after consuming a certain type of food. The general consensus is that a GI of 55 or less is beneficial, and the lower the GI, the better. For example, stevia extract has a glycemic index of zero, which means you'll be hard-pressed to find a healthier product.


Sucrose (table sugar) however, has a GI of 100. Recent developments in the treatment of diabetes have pointed out that diabetes is most probably caused not by sugar itself, but predominantly by the fact that it contains a lot of carbohydrates. Therefore, if you're diabetic, you should avoid all food and drinks with a GI of over 55.

Please keep in mind that the glycemic index chart found below certainly is in no way exhaustive, and that it is only meant to be informative. Please consult your doctor or dietician if you plan on changing your eating habits.

In order to fully understand how to use this chart, let's first examine the difference between so-called "good" and "bad" carbs (short for carbohydrates).   

  • glycemic-index-chart Good carbs:
 Good carbs are absorbed by the human body slowly, or not at all. They only cause a minor change in blood sugar levels. Their GI is below 55. Examples of "good carbs" are wholemeal bread, rye bread, legumes, mushrooms, and certain types of fruit. For more detailed information on the GI of fruit, please visit the sugar free diet page.   
  • Bad carbs:
Bad carbs are absorbed by the human body at a fast rate and heighten the risk of causing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). Their GI is above 55 and the higher the number, the higher the risks! Examples of "bad carbs" are sugar, maple syrup, corn, beetroots and potatoes. Refrain from consuming these as much as possible when you're diabetic or showing beginning signs of diabetes.

GI Good carbohydrates GI Bad carbohydrates
10 Greens, tomatoes 110 Maltose (beer)
10 Zucchini, eggplants 103 Date syrup
10 Onion, garlic 100 Sugar, glucose, dextrose
15 Celeriac, fresh apricots, tofu 95 Oven baked potatoes, french fries
15 Walnuts, unsalted peanuts 95 Rice flour, modified starch
20 Cooked soybeans, fructose 90 Mashed potatoes, potato chips
22 Split peas, green lentils 85 Honey, grape juice, dried dates
22 Sugar free fruit jam 85 Dried carrots, roasted or minute rice
30 Green beans, chickpeas 85 Burger buns, corn flakes, popcorn
30 Yellow lentils, white beans 80 Garden beans, dried dates
30 Dairy products, raw carrots 70 Baguettes, cookies, sugary cereal
35 Wild rice, figs, dried apricots 70 Candy bars, sugary soft drinks
40 Brown beans, green peas 70 Boiled potatoes, noodles, ravioli
40 Wholemeal bread or pasta 65 Couscous, beetroots
40 Sugar free cereal, fresh OJ 65 Orange juice in box, sugary jam
45 Spaghetti al dente 60 Fresh dates, long grain rice
50 Canned peas, basmati rice 60 Semolina
50 Buckwheat flour or crepes 55 Shortcrust pastry, white pasta

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