High glycemic foods are those that cause unacceptable glycemic impact when consumed in anything approaching a “normal” serving size. The regular inclusion of significant amounts of such foods can readily defeat efforts aimed at weight loss, even when such efforts include regular exercise.
It is important to note that as used herein, the term “high glycemic” specifically refers to glycemic load – NOT glycemic index.
Why? Because glycemic load is the better metric of real-world glycemic impact (effect on blood sugar) of a given food, since it takes into account portion size as well as the glycemic index.
List of High Glycemic Foods: Avoid These Options
Eliminating (or at least drastically reducing) the use of high glycemic foods is a major underlying principle of the low glycemic dietary regime.
The main kinds of foods to particularly avoid include (by category) the following:
1. Foods Rich In Highly Processed Carbohydrates:
- flour tortillas
- snack chips
- most breakfast cereals
2. Sugar Sweetened Beverages:
- sports drinks (e.g., Gatorade, Powerade, etc.)
- soft drinks
- iced tea, lemonade, etc.
3. Desserts Rich in Sugar and/or Flour
- Sugar-sweetened candies / ice cream / yogurt
4. Processed/Concentrated Fruit Products
- Fruit juices
- Fruit “leather”, strips, etc.
Other “Avoid Foods”
Low GI dieters should be aware that there are also some foods that are NOT “high glycemic”, but nonetheless are also best avoided by dieters.
Among the most common of such weight-loss “troublemakers” are:
- Alchoholic beverages (including beer, wine, and “hard” liquors)
- Fructose-rich foods (most commonly fruit juices, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and agave nectar
- “Fatty” foods (some meats, butter, cheese, nuts, mayonnaise, etc.)
Going light on these foods will generally facilitate weight loss on any nutritionally balanced diet.
(Updated October 31, 2016.)