The Diabetic Diet: A Low Glycemic Foods Guide

When working to manage your diabetes, a diet low glycemic can be beneficial to manage your blood glucose levels and help you identify which foods raise your blood glucose the fastest and highest.

The glycemic index rates foods based on how much glucose is contained in them on a scale of 100, with 100 being pure glucose. A food with a glycemic index of 20 would not affect your blood sugar much at all. However, the glycemic index does not take into account portion size, so it is important to keep that in mind when following this type of diet. Also, index scores are often ranges based on the brand’s specific ingredients or how it is prepared.

Dairy Products

Whole fat, low fat, or skim milk are all low glycemic index foods, ranging from 11-40 on the scale. Additionally, yogurt without added sugar is a good choice, with an average glycemic index range of 14-23.

Breads and Grains

Both white and wheat breads average highly, around 52 to 87, depending on the ingredients. Rolled oat oatmeal can be relatively low from 42 to 58. Barley also averages low at 22 to 48. Rice and pasta can vary from 40 to 92. When cooked al dente, the glycemic index is lower than when cooked soft.


The following fruits generally average around 30 to 40:

  • apples
  • under-ripe bananas
  • cherries
  • grapefruit
  • dried apricots 
  • plums

And these generally average in the 50s:

  • overripe bananas
  • grapes
  • oranges
  • pineapples
  • raisins 
  • peaches


Non-starchy vegetables are not tested on the glycemic index scale because you would have to eat an extremely large amount of them to register any change in blood sugar. These include:

  • broccoli
  • cucumbers
  • cauliflower
  • asparagus
  • radishes
  • celery 
  • avocadoes

These should be included in any low glycemic diet. Starchy vegetables like carrots, corn, and peas can also be as low as the 30s or as high as the 50s. Dried beans and peas are also a great food for a low glycemic diet. Lentils, chick peas, butter beans, kidney beans, and peas all have index scores under 40.

Choosing these low glycemic index foods can help you keep your blood sugar level and help you to eat healthier overall. Watch your portion size and check labels to be sure that you stay within the recommended ranges.


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Posts By Sequoia
  • ebonie

    my mother has diabetes and i was tryn to find a simple diet that will promote a healthier pancreas..if u have any ideas please email me and pass the info along.. thank you..