Glycaemic index (GI)

Healthy eating and diabetes management

Glycaemic index (GI) is a simple way of rating how quickly carbohydrate foods are digested into glucose.

Low GI carbohydrate foods take longer to break down into glucose. These foods can also help manage blood glucose levels, cholesterol and make you feel fuller for longer.    

High GI carbohydrate foods break down into glucose quickly, which means a higher and faster rise in blood glucose levels after eating. 

Things to consider: 

  • GI only applies to carbohydrate foods, however the presence of protein and fat in carbohydrate foods and meals does affect the GI 
  • eating large amounts of low GI foods will still affect blood glucose levels, so it’s important to watch portion sizes.  
  • low GI foods are not always healthy and can still be high in fat and sugar (e.g. chocolate) 

For more information see the Glycaemic Index factsheet  

Join our community of over 33,000 people living with diabetes