Type 2 Diabetes Nutrition & Weight Loss Glycemic Index Chart for Common Foods Using the Glycemic Index for Managing Blood Sugar Print By Debra Manzella, RN Updated November 14, 2018 Maximilian Stock Ltd./Photographer's Choice/Getty Images More in Type 2 Diabetes Nutrition & Weight Loss Carbohydrate Counting Meal Planning Causes & Risk Factors Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment Living With A1c Test Analyzer If you have diabetes, you've probably heard of the glycemic index, a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood sugar. When you have type 2 diabetes, one of the best ways to control blood sugar is to eat foods that don't cause major blood sugar spikes. Counting carbohydrates and portion controlling carbohydrates are ways to keep good control of your numbers. In addition, knowing the glycemic index of the carbohydrates you eat, can help you fine-tune your meals to keep your blood glucose closer to a normal range. What Is the Glycemic Index? The glycemic index (GI) rates foods by how much they raise blood glucose. Candy, sugar, cake, and cookies have a high GI, while whole-grains, certain starchy vegetables and fruits, have a lower GI. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolised. They typically cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Since it's the carbohydrates in food that raise blood sugar, the glycemic index can help when trying to figure out which foods are the best for you. Since all carbohydrates don't affect blood glucose levels the same way, knowing which carbohydrates have a lower glycemic index can help you plan your meals more effectively. Most foods have a range of GI numbers, depending on many factors, Sometimes how long a food is cooked can influence the GI. For example, when pasta is cooked "al dente," the GI is lower than if it is cooked longer. The numbers offered in this chart are averages of the GI range for these foods. In addition, the composistion of meal can change the affect of blood sugar rise. For example, eating an apple on it's own may result in a different blood glucose response, as opposed to eating an apple with peanut butter. Protein and fat can delay carbohydrate metabolism and therefore result in a slower blood sugar rise. Lastly, there is some evidence to suggest that the order in which you eat a meal may affect your blood sugar. Some studies suggest that eating protein, and fat before carbohydrates may help to reduce post meal blood sugars. A Good Way to Determine Which Foods Work Best For You A good ways to assess how your body is affected by certain foods is to test your blood sugar two hours after a meal. For most people, an ideal blood sugar result will be less than 180mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. If you are not sure of what your target blood sugar should be, discuss it with your physician. Glycemic Index and Carbohydrate Count for Common Foods FOOD Grams Carbs GI range Average GI White Potato (medium) 34 56-111 high 80s Sweet Potato (medium) 24 44-78 61 Carrots (1/2 cup) 6 16-92 47 Green Peas (1/2 cup) 11 39-54 48 Chick Peas (1 cup) 54 31-36 34 Soy Beans (1/2 cup) 13 15-20 17 Apple (medium) 19 28-44 38 Banana (medium) 27 46-70 58 White Bread (1 slice) 14 64-83 72 Whole Wheat Bread (1 slice) 12 52-87 71 Bread w/ Cracked Wheat Kernels (1 slice) 12 48-58 53 Oatmeal (not instant - 1/2 cup dry) 27 42-75 58 White Rice (1 cup long grain) 45 50-64 56 Brown Rice (1 cup long grain) 45 66-87 77 Pasta (1 cup) 43 40s-60s 50s A Note from Verywell Understanding the GI of foods can be a good tool to use in addition to carbohydrate counting to help control blood sugars. Familiarize yourself with this chart and the GI concept, but note that the GI should be used as an adjunct to carbohydrate counting and portion control. The American Diabetes Association states that carbohydrate amount and available insulin may be the most important factors influencing blood sugar response after eating and should be considered when developing an eating plan. For the most accurate results, test your blood sugar two hours after a start of a meal to see how your body responds to certain foods. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! We know healthy eating is key to help manage diabetes, but that doesn't make it easy. Our free nutrition guide is here to help. Sign up and receive your free copy! Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2015. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan; 38 (Suppl 1): S1-90. Shukla A, Iliescu R, Thomas C, Aronne L. "Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Levels." Diabetes Care. 2015; 38(7):e98-e99. Accessed on-line. September 17, 2015: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/38/7/e98.full.pdf+html Continue Reading Article Is the Glycemic Index Helpful for People With Diabetes? Article Hidden Sugar in Common Foods List These Foods Fall on the Do Not Eat List If You Have Diabetes Article What Are the Best Fruit Choices for People With Diabetes? Article Is It Better to Eat Brown Rice or White Rice If You Have Diabetes? Article How the Order of Foods You Eat Can Affect Your Blood Sugar Article What to Know About Carbohydrate Counting Article Quick Facts to Know About Eating and Diabetes Article How Do Carbohydrates Affect Blood Sugar? 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