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Updated 21 February 2017

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.

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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.

FoodGlycaemic Index (GI) using white bread with a GI of 100 as reference
Breads 
Bagel, white103
Hamburger bun87
Melba toast100
Oat bran bread68
Rye kernel bread66
Pumpernickel71
Rye flour bread92
Linseed rye bread78
Wheat bread, white100
Wheat bread, high fibre97
Wheat bread, gluten-free129
Wheat bread, wholewheat99
Wholewheat snack breads105
Pita, white82
Mixed grain bread64
  
Breakfast cereals 
All-bran60
All-bran with raisins74
Cocoapops110
Cornflakes119
Cream of wheat100
Muesli80
Oat bran78
Oatmeal87
Puffed wheat105
Rice bran27
Rice crispies117
Shredded wheat99
Special K77
  
Cereal grains 
Barley, pearled36
Barley, cracked72
Barley, rolled94
Bulgur wheat68
Couscous93
Maize meal97
Millet101
Sweet corn78
Rice, white81
Rice, Basmati (high amylose content)83
Rice, brown79
Rice, instant, boiled for 6 min.128
Rice, instant, boiled for 1 min.65
Rice, parboiled68
Rice, wild81
Rye kernels48
Tapioca boiled with milk115
  
Cakes and biscuits 
Butter biscuits79
Cake, angel food95
Cake, banana loaf67
Cake, sponge66
Coffee cookies113
Crispbead116
Croissant96
Crumpet98
Digestive biscuits84
Doughnut108
Graham crackers106
Maizena cookies95
Muffins88
Oat cookies79
Pastry84
Pizza base with cheese86
Rice cakes117
Rye crispbread93
Shortbread91
Waffle109
Water biscuits102
Wheat crackers96
  
Drinks 
Cold drinks, sweetened97
Cordials94
Lucozade (energy drinks)136
  
Fruit and fruit juices 
Apple52
Apple juice58
Apricots, fresh82
Apricots, canned in syrup91
Apricots, dried44
Banana76
Cherries32
Fruit cocktail79
Grapefruit36
Grapefruit juice, unsweetened69
Grapes62
Kiwi fruit75
Mango80
Orange62
Orange juice74
Pawpaw83
Peach, raw40
Peach, canned79
Pear, raw51
Pear, canned63
Pineapple, raw94
Pineapple juice66
Plum34
Raisins91
Spanspek93
Sultanas80
Watermelon103
  
Legumes 
Baked beans, canned69
Beans, dry40
Broad beans113
Butter beans44
Chickpeas47
Chickpeas, canned60
Kidney beans42
Kidney beans, canned74
Lentils41
Lentils, green, canned74
Lima beans, frozen46
Soya beans25
Soya milk43
Split peas, boiled45
  
Milk and dairy products 
Ice cream87
Ice cream, low-fat71
Milk, whole39
Milk, skim46
Milk, chocolate, sweetened with sugar49
Milk, chocolate, artificially sweetened34
Custard61
Yoghurt, low-fat, fruit, sweetened with sugar47
Yogurt, low-fat, artificially sweetened20
Yoghurt, plain51
  
Pasta 
Fettucine46
Gnocchi95
Instant noodles67
Macaroni64
Macaroni and cheese92
Ravioli, meat filling56
Spaghetti, protein-enriched38
Spaghetti, white, boiled 15 min.59
Spaghetti, boiled 5 min.52
Spaghetti, durum78
Spaghetti, wholewheat53
Vermicelli50
  
Snacks and sweets 
Jelly beans114
Lifesavers100
Chocolate70
Chocolate bars91
Energy bars81
Maize snacks105
Muesli bars87
Popcorn79
Potato chips77
Peanuts21
Pretzels116
  
Soups 
Bean soup92
Green pea soup, canned94
Lentil soup, canned63
Split pea soup, homemade86
Tomato soup54
  
Sugars 
Honey104
Fructose32
Glucose powder138
Glucose tablets146
Maltose150
Sucrose (table sugar)92
Lactose65
High-fructose corn sugar (used as sweetener)89
Maltodextrin107
  
Vegetables 
Beetroot91
Carrots101
Parsnips139
Peas, dried32
Peas, green68
Potato, instant mash118
Potato, baked121
Potato, new81
Potato, boiled80
Potato, boiled, mashed104
Potato, microwaved117
Potato chips, deep-fried (French fries)107
Pumpkin107
Sweet corn78
Sweet potato77


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

References
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)

Read more on the topic by purchasing Eat Smart, Stay Slim, by Liesbet Delpor.

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

 
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