Diabetes Management
Oct 18, 2022
5 min Read

Foods with Lowest Glycemic Index

Foods with Lowest Glycemic Index
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Foods with lowest glycemic index 

When you or a loved one has diabetes, you are often asked to eat foods with lowest glycemic index, or fall under the low glycaemic index category. Trying to check for each individual food item can be challenging, so in today’s article, we talk about foods that are more common in the regular diet and also have the lowest glycaemic index.

Read on to find out what the term glycaemic index means, how much of it is good for those who have diabetes, and what are some of the foods with lowest glycemic index and are safe to consume for someone who has diabetes.

What is Glycemic Index?

The glycaemic index is a type of rating system especially for foods that naturally contain carbohydrate. The glycaemic index measures how fast each food will affect the levels of your blood glucose, or blood sugar when you eat them as a stand alone dish, without mixing with any other food from a different category.

Basically, this is a type of eating plan that helps to understand what kind of effect each food has on your blood sugar levels. 

Glycaemic index is usually categorized under the following ratings:

  1. Low glycaemic index: 55 or less
  2. Medium glycaemic index: 56 to 69
  3. High glycaemic index: 70 and above 

What is low glycemic index?

A low glycaemic index refers to food items in a particular range, within the low glycaemic range to be specific, that will not cause erratic swings in your blood sugar levels. 

When you eat foods with lowest glycaemic index, it means that they will impact your blood sugar levels at a much slower speed and will cause a lower rise in the levels of your blood sugar.

How Much Glycemic Index is Good for Diabetes?

For those who have diabetes, it is always better to have foods that are low on their glycaemic index range, as these will help to have a better control over the blood glucose levels. This means that, in case you have diabetes, it is better to have foods that have a glycaemic index of 55 or below.

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Benefits of Being on a Low Glycaemic Index Diet

There is no doubt that those who have diabetes will definitely benefit from having a diet that is low on the glycaemic index. Here are a few benefits that will not only help you manage your diabetes better, but will also help you take care of your overall health, and avoid the risk of any diabetes related complications in the future:

  1. Along with counting the number and amount of carbohydrates that you eat on a regular basis, it is also important that you keep in mind the glycaemic index of foods that you are eating.
  2. Doing so will also help you to manage your diabetes better. 
  3. Following a diet plan that is low on the glycaemic index scale is also a good way to manage your weight and even lose some weight. 
  4. This is especially good for those who are obese or have excess weight and have been asked to reduce weight in order to better manage diabetes and any related diabetes complications. 
  5. Having foods that are low on the glycaemic index also reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in those who do not have it yet. If you already have type 2 diabetes, having these foods instead of having foods that fall within the high or medium glycaemic index range can also help to avoid the risk of any long-term health complications, especially with diabetes.
  6. Low glycaemic foods are also known to have a more positive impact on overall cholesterol levels and will not cause a sharp spike in cholesterol levels. This is good news for your heart health too.

List of Foods With Lowest Glycemic Index

Here is a huge list of foods with lowest glycemic index  that are super healthy, delicious and very easily available:

Foods with lowest glycemic index GI Foods with lowest glycemic index GI
Rajma/Kindney Beans 24 Baingan/ brinjal/ eggplant 15
Chholey or chickpeas 28 Carrots or Gaajar 16
Moong dal 29 Cauliflower 10
Urad dal 43 Apple 36
Toor dal 22 Capsicum or Shimla mirch 15
Masoor dal 25 Khajoor or dates 42
Chana dal/Bengal gram 8 Tomatoes 15
Matta chawal or Kerala red rice 36 Nashpati or pears 30
Soyabean 16 Curd or dahi 28
Daliya 41 Paneer or cottage cheese 27
Red poha 38 Chhaas or buttermilk 20
Peanuts or moongfali 14 Almonds or badaam 10
Lobhia 33 Cheese 0-10
Bhindi/Okra 20 Kaala chana 28-32
Green beans or faliya 32 Mushrooms 10
Onions 10 Karela/ gourd 18
Pattagobhi or cabbage 10 or less Lauki/ bottle gourd 15
Matar or green peas 22 Palak/ spinach 15
Mooli or radish 8 Multi-grain bread 48
Cucumber or kheera 15

For interesting recipe ideas using foods that have a low glycaemic index, you can head over to our app or website.   

Things to Keep in Mind When Eating a Low Glycaemic Index Food

Do keep in mind that just because a certain type of food falls under the low glycaemic index when in its natural form, there are various factors that can alter or affect its glycaemic index once you actually sit down to eat them. 

Factors that can affect the range of glycaemic index and turn low glycaemic index foods into medium or higher glycaemic index foods:

1. The way you cook it

The longer you cook certain food items for, the higher their glycaemic index will increase and take them off the low glycaemic index range.  

2. The rawness or ripeness stage of the food item

Certain food items will also go high up on the glycaemic index range as they get riper. For instance, fresh bananas are low on their glycaemic index range, but as they start to get riper, they will go higher on the glycaemic index chart.  

3. What else you are pairing it with while cooking or preparing?

You might choose to have a bowl of vegetables that are low on their glycaemic index. But if you are eating it with a food item that is higher on the glycaemic index range, such as a plate of white rice, the effect from your low glycaemic index food will get lower and will not be as effective. 

4. The amount of processing it has been through

Foods naturally reduce their nutritive value as go through processing, and the same is true of the glycaemic index as well. For instance, a fresh batch of greens, such as a pack of palak or palak juice will be healthier and lower on the glycaemic index range, as compared to a pack of frozen palak. 

Do keep in mind that all these factors that are mentioned above will impact the final glycaemic index range of the food that you are planning to eat.

When you switch to different food types or make a sudden and big change in your diet plan, you may notice some discomfort such as weakness, dizziness, nausea or stomach upset.

If you notice any such discomfort, please speak to your diabetes healthcare team as well as your nutritionist and dietician to understand how you can better include low glycaemic foods in your everyday diet. 


- By Fitterfly Health-Team
Looking for the perfect Indian diet for Diabetes?

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