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Low Glycemic Foods

Low glycemic foods are those that cause but minor changes in blood sugar levels. For many people, a diet consisting mainly of such foods has been shown to have significant overall health benefits, including easier weight loss.

Low glycemic foods can be grouped into one of two broad classes, according to carbohydrate content: "no carb" foods, and "good carb" foods.

"No carb" foods are those that consist entirely or mainly of proteins, fats, and/or water. Because carbohydrates are not present in these foods, they are inherently "low-carb".

These mainly include:


2. "Good carb" foods are those that - because of the biochemical properties of the component carbohydrates - result in relatively small increases in blood sugar when eaten in "normal" or "average" portion sizes.

Low Glycemic Food Chart

These "good carb" foods are the focus of this website, and should constitute your "go to" carbohydrate sources. The lists presented below consist ONLY of foods that - when eaten in the indicated portion sizes - are "low glycemic" in that they each deliver a low glycemic load (less than 10).


Chart 1. Low Glycemic Grains & Grain Products
Food (2/3 cup, cooked) Gly. Index Carbs Gly. Load
Barley, pearl * 22 19 g 4
Soba Noodles 35 17 g 7
Pasta* 41 17 g 7
Rice Noodles 40 20 g 8
Mung Noodles 39 21 g 8
Quinoa 51 15 g 8
Ezekiel Bread (2 slices) * 35 26 g 9
Rolled Oats (oatmeal) 45 20 g 9
Sweet Corn 47 20 g 9
Copyright © 2012-2018. All Rights reserved.

* Contains gluten



Chart 2. Low Glycemic Legumes
Food (1/2 cup, cooked) Gly. Index Carbs Gly. Load
Chana Dal 22 19 g 4
Split Peas 25 13 g 3
Lentils 21 15 g 3
Beans, all types* 30 15 g 5
Chickpeas 37 19 g 7
Copyright © 2012-2013. All Rights reserved.

NOTE: "Beans, all types*" data represents average values for the most common varieties of Phaseolus vulgaris, including black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, etc.



Chart 3. Low Glycemic Dairy Foods
Food (1 cup; NSA*) Gly. Index Carbs Gly. Load
Almond Milk N/A 0-1 g 0
Greek Yogurt 19 8 g 2
Yogurt 19 14 g 3
Dairy Milk 32 12 g 4
Soy Milk 31 17 g 5
Ice Cream 38 18 g 7
Copyright © 2012-2018. All Rights reserved.

* "NSA" = no sugar added.



Chart 4. Low Glycemic Fresh Fruits
Food Gly. Index Carbs Gly. Load
Most common berries* (1 cup) 40 8 g 3
Plums (2 whole) 24 14 g 3
Peaches (1 lg.) 28 14 g 4
Cantaloupe (1 slice of lg melon) 70 5 g 4
Nectarines (1 medium) 43 13 g 5
Apricots (5 whole) 34 15 g 5
Oranges (1 med.) 40 13 g 5
Grapefruit (1 avg.) 25 22 g 5
Pears (1 small) 37 18 g 7
Papaya (1 cup chunks) 55 13 g 7
Apples (1 med.) 37 21 g 8
Mango (1/3 lg fruit) 51 15 g 8
Watermelon (1" wedge/240g) 72 12 g 8
Blueberries (1 cup) 50 18 g 9
Pineapple (3/4 cup chunks) 65 14 g 9
Bananas** (1 med.) 42 24 g 10
Copyright © 2012-2018. William Alevizon Ph.D., All Rights reserved.

NOTES: *"Most common berries" include strawberries, blackberries, raspberries. **"Banana" data applies to "just ripe" stage (some green showing, but sweet to taste)




Chart 5. Low Glycemic Dried Fruits
Food Gly. Index Carbs Gly. Load
Apples (5 slices) 29 15 g 4
Plums (Prunes) (3 pieces) 29 15 g 4
Apricots (7 pieces) 31 16 g 5
Peaches (2 pieces) 35 14 g 5
Pears (2 halves) 29 24 g 7
Copyright © 2012-2018. William Alevizon Ph.D., All Rights reserved.

NOTE: For all tables (above) "Carbs" refers to "Available Carbohydrates" (i.e., total carbohydrate content minus dietary fiber

Additional Food Lists

In addition to the "go to" low GI choices listed above, we have devoted separate pages of our website to each of the following categories:

Proper Use of These Data

It is essential for those choosing to engage in a low GI diet to have a clear understanding of the meaning of, and difference between, two essential metrics of this diet:

We strongly suggest that you begin here before attempting to use any quantitative data on the glycemic index of different foods in the context of a low glycemic diet.

(Updated January 5, 2018)





              What Is the Glycemic Index?