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Glycaemic index (GI) and diabetes

Thinking About Glycaemic Index: One Step Further Towards Good Blood Glucose Control

Different foods affect blood glucose levels in different ways:

  • Carbohydrate-containing foods which result in glucose being rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream are known as high Glycaemic Index foods, or high GI foods. High GI foods cause a sharp rise in blood glucose levels.
  • Foods which lead to glucose being absorbed more steadily are known as low Glycaemic Index foods (low GI foods). Low GI foods produce a more gentle rise in blood glucose levels, and so help improve diabetic control and blood cholesterol levels.
  • Low GI foods are often more ‘filling’ and so can be helpful to people who are trying to lose weight.

People with diabetes are encouraged to include some of the following low GI foods in their diet on a regular basis:

  • Oats, porridge, All Bran, Sultana Bran
  • Granary and multigrain breads, wholegrain rye breads (e.g. pumpernickel)
  • Basmati rice, parboiled rice (rice that has been cooked in the husk)
  • Pasta, noodles
  • Fresh fruit, particularly apples, pears, peaches, oranges, grapefruit
  • Beans and lentils, including tinned beans and baked beans

As well as eating low GI foods, it is also important that people with diabetes maintain any other dietary changes that have been recommended to them, such as eating less fat and less sugar.



Dietetic advice

Dietetic advice
Diabetes specialist dietitians provide nutritional assessments and dietary advice and support to patients with diabetes

Carbohydrates and diabetes

Carbohydrates and diabetes
Considering the glycaemic effect of different forms of carbohydrate can be an effective way of regulating blood glucose.