05 February 2010

GI values of common foods

The following lists of GI values should be regarded as guidelines and not as absolute values. The GI is influenced by a wide variety of factors.


The following lists of GI values should be regarded as guidelines and not as absolute values. The GI is influenced by a wide variety of factors, namely:

Human factors

  • Individual variations
  • Effect of exercise and physical fitness
  • Carbohydrate content of the diet in general
  • Presence of diseases, e.g. patients with diabetes will react differently when compared to healthy subjects
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race

Physical food factors

  • Physical form of starch granules and their size
  • Amylose to amylopectin ratio (i.e. ratio of the different types of starch in a food)
  • Processing such as pre-cooking, processing of foods such as pasta, blending, grinding
  • Type of heat used to cook the food (dry or moist)
  • Temperature and time of cooking (see difference in GI of pasta cooked for shorter or longer periods in the table below)
  • Degree of ripeness of fruit and vegetables
  • Amount of resistant starch in food
  • Presence of anti-nutrients such as phytate, lectins, tannins and saponins
  • Removal of protein from wheat products to produce gluten-free flour increases the GI
  • Presence of fat in foods lowers the GI
  • Presence of different fibres in foods – gel-forming fibres or soluble fibres lower the GI
  • Addition of salt can increase the GI
  • Addition of sugar in small quantities does not necessarily increase the GI

In view of all these factors that can influence the GI of food, a working group has recently been appointed in South Africa to define the methods which should be used to determine the GI of local foods. The working group has issued a warning that "all results and GI values currently used in South Africa need to be used with caution …"

Readers should, therefore, use the GI values listed below with caution and not regard any of the GIs as final, absolute values.

In general, foods with a GI below 55 are classified as low-GI foods, those with a GI between 55 and 70 as intermediate-GI foods, and those with a GI of 70 or higher, as high-GI foods.


Food Glycaemic Index (GI) using white bread with a GI of 100 as reference
Bagel, white 103
Hamburger bun 87
Melba toast 100
Oat bran bread 68
Rye kernel bread 66
Pumpernickel 71
Rye flour bread 92
Linseed rye bread 78
Wheat bread, white 100
Wheat bread, high fibre 97
Wheat bread, gluten-free 129
Wheat bread, wholewheat 99
Wholewheat snack breads 105
Pita, white 82
Mixed grain bread 64
Breakfast cereals  
All-bran 60
All-bran with raisins 74
Cocoapops 110
Cornflakes 119
Cream of wheat 100
Muesli 80
Oat bran 78
Oatmeal 87
Puffed wheat 105
Rice bran 27
Rice crispies 117
Shredded wheat 99
Special K 77
Cereal grains  
Barley, pearled 36
Barley, cracked 72
Barley, rolled 94
Bulgur wheat 68
Couscous 93
Maize meal 97
Millet 101
Sweet corn 78
Rice, white 81
Rice, Basmati (high amylose content) 83
Rice, brown 79
Rice, instant, boiled for 6 min. 128
Rice, instant, boiled for 1 min. 65
Rice, parboiled 68
Rice, wild 81
Rye kernels 48
Tapioca boiled with milk 115
Cakes and biscuits  
Butter biscuits 79
Cake, angel food 95
Cake, banana loaf 67
Cake, sponge 66
Coffee cookies 113
Crispbead 116
Croissant 96
Crumpet 98
Digestive biscuits 84
Doughnut 108
Graham crackers 106
Maizena cookies 95
Muffins 88
Oat cookies 79
Pastry 84
Pizza base with cheese 86
Rice cakes 117
Rye crispbread 93
Shortbread 91
Waffle 109
Water biscuits 102
Wheat crackers 96
Cold drinks, sweetened 97
Cordials 94
Lucozade (energy drinks) 136
Fruit and fruit juices  
Apple 52
Apple juice 58
Apricots, fresh 82
Apricots, canned in syrup 91
Apricots, dried 44
Banana 76
Cherries 32
Fruit cocktail 79
Grapefruit 36
Grapefruit juice, unsweetened 69
Grapes 62
Kiwi fruit 75
Mango 80
Orange 62
Orange juice 74
Pawpaw 83
Peach, raw 40
Peach, canned 79
Pear, raw 51
Pear, canned 63
Pineapple, raw 94
Pineapple juice 66
Plum 34
Raisins 91
Spanspek 93
Sultanas 80
Watermelon 103
Baked beans, canned 69
Beans, dry 40
Broad beans 113
Butter beans 44
Chickpeas 47
Chickpeas, canned 60
Kidney beans 42
Kidney beans, canned 74
Lentils 41
Lentils, green, canned 74
Lima beans, frozen 46
Soya beans 25
Soya milk 43
Split peas, boiled 45
Milk and dairy products  
Ice cream 87
Ice cream, low-fat 71
Milk, whole 39
Milk, skim 46
Milk, chocolate, sweetened with sugar 49
Milk, chocolate, artificially sweetened 34
Custard 61
Yoghurt, low-fat, fruit, sweetened with sugar 47
Yogurt, low-fat, artificially sweetened 20
Yoghurt, plain 51
Fettucine 46
Gnocchi 95
Instant noodles 67
Macaroni 64
Macaroni and cheese 92
Ravioli, meat filling 56
Spaghetti, protein-enriched 38
Spaghetti, white, boiled 15 min. 59
Spaghetti, boiled 5 min. 52
Spaghetti, durum 78
Spaghetti, wholewheat 53
Vermicelli 50
Snacks and sweets  
Jelly beans 114
Lifesavers 100
Chocolate 70
Chocolate bars 91
Energy bars 81
Maize snacks 105
Muesli bars 87
Popcorn 79
Potato chips 77
Peanuts 21
Pretzels 116
Bean soup 92
Green pea soup, canned 94
Lentil soup, canned 63
Split pea soup, homemade 86
Tomato soup 54
Honey 104
Fructose 32
Glucose powder 138
Glucose tablets 146
Maltose 150
Sucrose (table sugar) 92
Lactose 65
High-fructose corn sugar (used as sweetener) 89
Maltodextrin 107
Beetroot 91
Carrots 101
Parsnips 139
Peas, dried 32
Peas, green 68
Potato, instant mash 118
Potato, baked 121
Potato, new 81
Potato, boiled 80
Potato, boiled, mashed 104
Potato, microwaved 117
Potato chips, deep-fried (French fries) 107
Pumpkin 107
Sweet corn 78
Sweet potato 77

(Adapted from: “The Glycemic Indices of Foods.(2000). Krause, pp 1165-1167)

Blaauw R. (2001). The Glycaemic Index. SA J of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 14, No 3, p 82.

GI Working Group. (2003). News Release- Calculating Glycaemic Index.

Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy, 10th Ed. Appendix 54: The Glycemic Indices of Foods.(2000). L K Mahan & S Escott-Stump (Editors). pp 1165-1167. WB Saunders Co, Philadelphia, USA.

Vorster HH, Venter CS, Silvis N. (1990). The Glycaemic Index of Foods: A Critical

Evaluation. SA J of Food Science & Nutrition, Vol 1, No 1, pp 13-17.

- (Dr I.V. van Heerden, DietDoc, February 2007)

Any questions? Ask DietDoc

Read more on the topic by purchasing Eat Smart, Stay Slim, by Liesbet Delport, through

Read more on Health24:
Glycaemic index update
The GI and sports nutrition


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Hello? »

SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Earworms: Let it go Is it bad to sleep with earplugs all the time?

SEE: Do women hear better than men?

The reason why men often appear not to be listening could be because they actually can't hear you.

Confident smile? »

Acidic drinks can harm your kids' smiles The facts on bleaching your teeth Am I taking good care of my teeth?

Why are my teeth stained?

We know the rules – brush your teeth twice a day and floss to keep them healthy. But, have you ever wondered what causes those stains that sometimes appear?