what are low GI foods

What exactly does low GI mean?

Quite simply low GI means food that take much longer to raise blood sugars meaning they are better for people managing diabetes. 

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale from 1–100. Each food gets a score, and the lower the score, the longer that food takes to raise a person’s blood sugar levels.

For instance if you eat a chocolate bar or donut (which are both high GI foods) sugar levels raise almost immediately, giving you high blood sugars and a quick burst of energy which doesn't last long. 

Low GI foods - classifed as under 55 on the scale, are more slowly converted into energy by the body thus helping to stabilise blood sugars.

Here are some good low GI foods:


Steel-cut and rolled oats have the best health benefits and the most favorable GI score. Quick and instant oats are more processed than steel-cut or rolled oats, and they have a higher GI score.


A healthful addition to morning porridge, milk is a low-GI dairy product. The GI score for skimmed milk is 37, while full-fat milk has a score of 39.

Chickpeas and Lentils:

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a low-GI legume, with a score of 28-32 on the scale.You can use chickpeas and lentils as a substitute for potatoes or white rice, which have high GI scores. 


With a GI score of 39, carrots are a healthful alternative to bread for dipping into hummus. Enjoy steamed as a side dish.

Kidney Beans:

With a GI score of 24, kidney beans are a versatile low-GI food. Rich in protein and fibre they also contain potassium and are very low in fat.

Anyone on a low-GI diet can also enjoy foods that do not contain carbohydrates, such as the following: meat, eggs, fish, seafood, nuts, olive oil and herbs and spices.

Want to check a foods GI score? Check here.


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