The Glycemic Index Food List of Low GI Foods

BreakfastWhen choosing glycemic index foods, you’ll want to choose the healthiest low GI Foods.

This glycemic index food list of low GI foods and high GI food is based on research from the Stanford Center for Disease Prevention.

Research consultants, Arianna Carughi, Ph.D., C.N.S. and Gene Spiller, Ph.D., C.N.S., designed the perfect glycemic index food list of low glycemic foods for optimum health, weight loss and blood sugar levels.

You’ll find two simple categories of glycemic index foods to choose from:

1.    “Foods to Refuse” are high glycemic and/or unhealthy foods.
2.    “Foods to Choose” are the healthiest low glycemic index foods.

Focusing on the low GI “Foods to Choose” list offers many health benefits:

  • Enhances your moods,
  • Lowers heart disease risk,
  • Decreases the risk of cancer,
  • Gives you sustained endurance,
  • Helps reduce hunger and cravings,
  • Reduces your risk of Type 2 diabetes,
  • Improves memory and brain functioning,
  • Lowers triglycerides and HDL cholesterol,
  • Improves blood sugar and insulin sensitivity,
  • Contributes to permanent healthy weight loss.

Scroll down for the list of protein, vegetables, fruit, breads & cereals, starchy foods, dairy, beverages, condiments and sweets & treats.

Glycemic Index Food List of High & Low GI Foods

Protein Foods To Choose Protein Foods To Refuse
Vegetables To Choose Vegetables To Refuse
Fruits To Choose Fruits To Refuse
Breads & Cereals To Choose Breads & Cereals To Refuse
Starchy Foods To Choose Starchy Foods To Refuse
Dairy Foods To Choose Dairy Foods To Refuse
Beverages To Choose Beverages To Refuse
Sweets & Treats To Choose Sweets & Treats To Refuse
Condiments To Choose Condiments To Refuse


Protein Foods To Choose
Choose these foods baked, broiled, grilled or steamed.
Beef, ground (<10% fat) Mussels
Beef, lean cuts Octopus
Calamari Oysters
Chicken, skinless Pork, trimmed
Clams Rabbit
Crabs Scallops
Fish, (fresh or frozen) Shrimp
Fish, (canned in water) Tofu
Ham, lean
Tuna, (canned in water)
Lamb, lean Turkey
Lobster Venison
Protein Foods To Refuse
Refuse breaded, fried, deep fried or sauteed foods.
Bacon Jerky (beef/turkey)
Beef, fatty cuts Liver
Beef, ground (>10% fat)
Canadian bacon Pepperoni
Chicken (fried and/or with skin) Salami
Chicken (buffalo wings) Sausage
Duck Seafood (canned in oil)
Fish sticks Turkey bacon
Hot dogs (pork, beef, turkey, chicken) Turkey sausage
Vegetables To Choose
Choose baked, boiled, broiled, raw or steamed.
Artichokes (and hearts) Okra
Asparagus Olives
Bamboo shoots
Bean sprouts Palm hearts
Beans (green, wax) Peas
Bok choy Peppers (all types)
Broccoli Pickles (dill)
Cabbage Purslane
Carrots, raw Radishes
Cauliflower Rutabagas
Celery Snow Peas
Chilies Soybeans
Cucumbers Squash (all except pumkin)
Eggplant Tomato sauce, paste
Greens (spinach, chard, kale) Tomatoes
Jicama Water chestnuts
Leeks Zucchini
Lettuce Soup (broth & listed veggies)
Vegetables To Refuse
Avoid breaded, fried, deep fried or sauteed foods.
Avocados Pickles (sweet)
Beets Potatoes(all types)
Carrots (cooked)
Corn Sweet potatoes
Olives (packed in oil) Sweet relish
Parsnips Yams
Fruits To Choose
Apple Orange
Apricots Palmello
Blackberries Peach
Cantaloupe Pear
Cherries Pineapple
Grapefruit Plum
Grapes (all types) Raspberries
Honeydew Strawberries
Kiwi Tangelo
Melon Tangerine
Nectarine Watermelon
Fruits To Refuse
Bananas Fruit sauces
Candied fruit Mangoes
Dates Persimmons
Dried fruit Plantains
Fruit juices Raisins
Fruit preserves
Breads & Cereals To Choose
100% sprouted wheat Whole grain
100% whole wheat Unsweetened bran cereals
Muesli (low fat, no sugar added)
Oat bran bread Oat bran
Pita, whole wheat Oats, oatmeal
Pumpernickel Puffed wheat (unsweetened)
Rye Rice bran
Breads & Cereals To Refuse
Bagels (all types) English muffins
Biscuits Granola (all types)
Bread (except those on “Choose” list)
Melba toast
Bread crumbs Muffins (all types)
Bread sticks Pancakes
Cakes Pastries (all types)
Cereal (except those on “Choose” list) Pita bread (white)
Chips (all types) Popcorn
Cookies Popcorn cakes
Cornbread Rice cakes
Crackers (all types) Rolls (dinner, hamburger buns, etc.)
Croissants Tortillas (except whole wheat)
Donuts Waffles
Starchy Foods To Choose
Barley Lentils
Beans (black, kidney, red, garbanzo, etc.) Oats, oatmeal
Pasta, whole wheat
Bulgur Peas (split, black-eyed)
Chickpeas Rice (basmati, bulgur, brown, wild)
Couscous Tabouli
Starchy Foods To Refuse
Beans (baked, refried) Pretzels
Granola (all types) Rice (white, fried, spanish)
Noodles, ramen-style
Soups(all types except vegetable broth)
Pasta (white, green, red) Taco shells
Potatoes (all types)
Dairy Foods To Choose
Cheese (fat free or low fat) Mozzarella cheese (fat free)
Cottage cheese (low fat)
Ricotta cheese (fat free)
Eggs, egg whites (no added fat)
Egg substitute Tofu
Milk (1% low fat, fat free) Yogurt (low fat, fat free, sugar free)
Dairy Foods To Refuse
Cheese (except those on “Choose” list) Milk (whole, 2% fat)
Cottage cheese (full fat) Mozzarella (full fat)
Cream / half & half
Sorbet (all types)
Cream cheese (all types) Sour cream (full fat)
Frozen yogurt Yogurt (full fat)
Ice cream
Beverages To Choose
Water (mineral, sparkling, sugar-free) Sugar-free beverages
Bouillon Hot cocoa (sugar free, fat free)
Coffee (no sugar, fat free milk)
Tea(all types, no sugar)
Diet soda
Beverages To Refuse
Alcohol (beer, wine, mixed drinks)
Beverages with sugar, high fructose corn syrup or other caloric sweeteners
Sweets & Treats To Choose
Diet soda Sugar free popsicles
Sugar free gelatin Sugar free pudding
Non-nutritive natural or artificial sweeteners
Sweets & Treats To Refuse
Candy bars Molasses
Chocolates Frozen treats (with sugar)
Soda (with sugar)
Jam/jelly Syrup (all types)
Marmalade Tofu frozen dessert
Condiments To Choose
Butter (1 pat per day) Olives (packed in water)
Butter substitute (1 pat per day) Onion
Parmesan cheese (1 Tbsp./day)
Ginger Romano cheese (1 Tbsp./day)
Herbs Pickles (dill)
Horseradish Salad dressing (lo-cal, fat free)
Hummus Salsa (4 Tbsp./day)
Ketchup (1 Tbsp./day) Sauerkraut
Lemon juice Shallots
Lime juice Sour cream(low fat, fat free)
Margarine (1 pat per day) Soy sauce
Mayonnaise (light/fat-free, 1 Tbsp/day) Spaghetti sauce (sugar-free)
Mustard (lo-cal) Spices (all)
Oil (olive) Tahini sauce
Condiments To Refuse
Bacon bits Salad dressings (full fat)
Croutons Sandwich spreads
Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
Mayonanaise (full fat) Shortening (vegetable)
Olives (packed in oil) Sour cream (full fat)
Peanut butter Sweet pickle relish
Pickles (except dill)

Choosing wisely from our “Foods to Choose” glycemic index food list can help you design a healthy low GI diet of low glycemic foods. It’s the best way to achieve all of your health, fitness and weight loss goals.

More Commonsense Health for You:
Food Fat List of Bad Fat Good Fat
Low GI Diet of Low Glycemic Index Foods
Unhealthy Food to Avoid and Foods Not to Eat
Sugar Addicts Guide to Overcoming Sugar Addiction


  1. Sharon Lainey says

    Thank you for this extremely helpful list! My boyfriend has lost 55 lbs and i have lost 20 in the past 5 months by simply eating lower carb/lower glycemic foods…however i am still noticing we are making some mistakes and our weight loss some weeks is at a standstill. We have brought his cholesterol & LDL levels down compared to 6 months ago as well as controlling his blood sugar by eating a lot of yummy things instead of resorting to METFORMIN. most websites ask for a credit card before divulging this sort of helpful info…so THANK YOU!! <3

  2. andreas says

    Can cinnamon and chromium decrease blood sugar levels and so prevent diabetes 2 besides exercise and food with low GI and GL levels ?
    please advise. Many thanks

    • says

      Hi Andreas,

      Yes, natural, food-based chromium helps everyone regulate blood sugar levels and cinnamon may help those with type II diabetes. But like you pointed out, they do not replace exercise and proper food choices.

    • says

      Thanks for your question Andre. Of course no one can definitively say what exactly can prevent cancer, but WebMD reports that according to research done by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, a plant-based diet including foods such as broccoli, berries, and garlic showed some of the strongest links to cancer prevention.

      Personally, I like to eat all of the foods on my list of the Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables and this High Fiber Foods List.

  3. richard f says

    Its never too late to make changes in eating habits. I am 60 years old and never have felt better .By eliminating sugar and unhealthy food and switching to eating more salads vegetables fruits has brought my weight down from 235 to 175. After my physical a week ago my PCP told me Ill see you in a year, Thank you for your commitment in educating people like myself so we can make the right choices in our diets.

  4. Karen says

    Sweet potatoes – good or bad? They are on the veggies to avoid list but i know they have a lot of benefits.

    • says

      Sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, mangoes and pineapple are all fruits and vegetables with valuable nutritional benefits that are high on the glycemic index. Since they’re high glycemic, it’s best not to eat them alone. However, they can be combined with a low glycemic protein foods (such as sweet potatoes with fish or chicken and bananas with plain unsweetened yogurt); this reduces the overall glycemic load.

      Yours is a very good question, Karen, and deserves a complete future article. So, thank you.

  5. christine says

    I have had diverticulitis for the past 2 years. Some people say I should not eat lettuce as it ferments in the gut. Is that right? I just love salads and need to loose at least 1 stone. Please help x

    • says

      No worries, Christine. You can eat lettuce.

      I think some well meaning people have been misinformed about lettuce and how the digestive system works. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with fermentation. It’s actually part of the digestive process of some foods.

      Secondly, fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and kefir, offer valuable nutrition and beneficial bacteria to our intestines. I point this out only to make it clear there’s nothing wrong with fermentation.

      Now, with all that said, you do have to be careful about how much fiber you’re eating IF you should be having a flair up of your diverticulitis. Fiber, which is one of the main things you’re getting when you eat lettuce, is good for you – and important – but it can make a flair up more uncomfortable for you.

      Also, be choosy about the lettuce you eat. Mixed greens, spring greens, Romaine, etc. have more nutrition and are a better choice than iceberg lettuce. Thanks for dropping by!

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