Foods with a high glycemic index


The problem of obesity is the scourge of modern humanity. Until recently, it was thought that excessive consumption of high-calorie and fatty foods was to blame for excess weight. But research on this problem surprised American nutritionists. It turned out that in 10 years, Americans reduced their calorie intake by 4%, fat - by 11%, and the obesity rate of the population grew by 31%. It turns out, the calories are not to blame. What is the reason?

Today we will carefully consider foods with a high glycemic index, the list of which is quite impressive. It's time for us to find out what effect these products have on the body.

What is the glycemic index of food?

What is the glycemic index of food?

In order not to get confused in terms and concepts, let's start with the basics. Glycemia is a quantitative measure of the level of glucose in a person’s blood or, as people say, sugar level. For example, in the morning before breakfast in a healthy person, the amount of glucose in the blood is 1 g per liter, in principle, this is always the case on an empty stomach. But if a person is chewing on something, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose. And it, penetrating into the blood, increases the level of glycemia, that is, hyperglycemia temporarily occurs. Thus, the glycemic index (GI) of food products indicates the level of increased glycemia by eating this food.

GI is calculated by comparing the degree of hyperglycemia caused by the eaten product and the absorption of glucose in pure form. The effect of glucose on weight control is as follows. You eat food with carbohydrate content, it begins to digest, they are transformed, as a result of which glucose is formed, glycemia increases. To bring it back to normal, the body begins to produce insulin, which produces the storage of excess glucose in the liver and muscle tissues, which is the reason for the increase in body weight. Make a conclusion for yourself: the more KI, the greater the risk of obesity.

What factors depends on GI?

Carbohydrates in foods are a complex substance, mainly containing starch. Under the action of digestive enzymes, it is broken down into glucose. The main food groups with high starch content include:

  • tuberous;
  • cereal;
  • legumes;
  • fruits.

Thus, the level of hyperglycemia depends on how quickly starch is absorbed by the body. But it is not all digested and digested. The fact is that different products contain starch of different molecular structure, which is determined by the ratio of compounds of amylopectin and amylose molecules. It turns out that the level of cleavage and assimilation of starch determines the magnitude of the glycemic index.

Studies have allowed to determine the dependence of the index on a number of parameters:

  • There is a direct dependence of GI on the degree of gelatinization of starch. Properties of gelation, in turn, are determined by the level of amylose, which depends on the type and variety of plant materials. Potatoes and corn have the highest GI.
  • The degree of thermal and mechanical processing of food can also lower or increase GI. By machining is meant, for example, the process of producing flakes, popcorn, mashed potatoes for instant cooking.
  • Proteins and dietary fiber contained in food can significantly reduce GI.
  • Sufficiently low GI in flour products obtained by extrusion under pressure. These products include spaghetti, pasta, some types of noodles.
  • GI is reduced during long-term storage of products with starch content in low temperature conditions.
  • The degree of GI is also affected by the degree of maturity of products and the duration of their storage. For example, the GI of potatoes after long-term storage is significantly higher than that of fresh ones.
  • When crushing or grinding products GI increases. The brightest examples are cereals from which flour is obtained.

Why do I need to know the GI?

Eating foods with a high GI value leads to an increase in glycemia.

So, the logic of the above allows us to draw some intermediate conclusions:

  • Eating foods with a high GI value leads to an increase in glycemia.
  • Foods with low GI will not significantly affect the degree of glycemia.
  • The GI of the same product is variable and depends on a number of factors: the type and type of raw material from which it is made, the degree of maturity, the type and level of processing.
  • GI food indicates the degree of insulin response to the use of their food. The higher the level of insulin needed to normalize sugar, the greater the risk of obesity.

High glycemic index foods: list

For convenience, we have collected the main products with a high glycemic index in the table. Here are the averaged indicators GI without taking into account the influence factors. As a reference indicator, the level of glucose absorption in pure form, the value of which is 100, was used.





High-grade wheat grits (semolina)


Granulated sugar


Potato tuber chips


Variety of pasta made from soft flour (noodles)


Milk Chocolate Confectionery


Sweet soft drinks saturated with carbon dioxide


Rice porridge


Fruits of the pumpkin family (watermelons, pumpkins)


Flakes from various cereals with raisins and nuts


Potatoes cooked in a side dish (mashed potatoes)


Roasted popcorn, corn flakes


Baked goods from premium flour


Fried or baked potatoes


Edible fruits of some types of date palm (dates) dried


Light Beer


Unfortunately, the glycemia problem is still paying little attention, despite its interdependent connection with insulin metabolism. But he plays a crucial role in the prevention of diabetes and obesity.