Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) provides a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after a particular food is eaten. The effects that different foods have on blood sugar levels vary considerably. The glycemic index estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in a food raises a person’s blood glucose level following the consumption of the food, relative to the consumption of pure glucose. Glucose has a glycemic index of 100.

Most GI indexes only contain one value per food, but the actual GI of a food can change based on several variables, including ripeness, preparation, and storage methods. Most GIs do not take into account glucose levels after two hours.

The glycemic load index is limited in that it does not take into account the amount of the carbohydrate actually consumed. The glycemic load index attempts to remedy this by multiplying the glycemic index of the food eaten by the carbohydrate content of the actual serving.

The paleo diet is largely popular due to its selection of low-glycemic foods. 

Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index Chart

The easiest way to determine the GI of a food is to use a credible GI chart like the one below.

International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values

Please note that this glycemic index chart is absolutely MASSIVE. Feel free to right click and download to peruse at your own ease.


(Chart last updated as of 2002)

Glycemic Index Videos

Check out some of the informational videos below about the GI index that help explain the concept and the purpose of the index.

Glycemic Index: The Low vs High Debate:

The Glycemic Index Lowdown

This Guy Thinks the Glycemic Index is Dumb (we respectfully disagree completely)

Glycemic Index Food List

For a complete breakdown of the glycemic index, check out our complete glycemic index food list.

GI Links

Check out the following links for more information on GI.


Photo credit: miuenski via photopin cc

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  1. Jennifer says

    This site is a god-send! I have been struggling for three weeks now trying to understand the glycemic index of foods as I am not on a low GI diet from doctor recommendations. My husband and I always thought we were eating healthy by buying locally sources foods, grass-fed/vegetarian fed meats, low-processed foods, etc. But what I didn’t know what the real balance of carbs in foods. And trying to discover and decipher it all on your own can be QUITE the task. I was beginning to just give up on foods in general and eat whatever – not feeling inspired or confident in my choices. With all of these resources in one page I feel like I can finally feel confident about what I am eating again. Thanks so much!!!


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