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Low glycaemic index foods: what are they and why should we eat them?

It’s not just diabetics or obese individuals who benefit from knowing which foods have a low glycaemic index. Discover which foods fall into this category.
Various low GI foods
Low-glycaemic index (GI) foods can benefit everyone.
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2023-07-18 (blog.publication: 2023-06-22)Commentaires (0)

What is the glycaemic index?

The glycaemic index

For decades, doctors advised their diabetic patientsto stop eating carbohydrates. It was thought that all carbohydrates had the same effect on glycemia, ie blood sugar levels, leading to recommendations for sugar-free diets.

However, in 1981, US scientists found that not all carbohydrates had the same impact on glycemia. Foods were subsequently ranked according to their particular effect on raising blood sugar levels.

This is the glycaemic index (GI): quite simply, the more a food elevates blood sugar levels, the higher its glycaemic index (1).

In this way, the researchers established that glucose, sucrose, fructose, starch, etc. (so the various carbohydrates) had a different glycaemic index.

Low, medium or high GI?

According to this ranking:

The glycaemic load

In an effort to refine this approach, doctors more recently developed a new measure: the glycaemic load (2).

In fact, the glycaemic index only calculates the impact on blood sugar of 50g of carbohydrates. It does not take into account:

As a consequence, carrots, which contain fibre and are only 10% carbohydrate, emerged as having a GI of more than 90! However, to reach this score, the participants in the original study had to eat ... 500g of cooked carrots.

That’s why now, the recommendation is to concentrate on the glycaemic load. Using this measure, cooked carrots score just 6 for glycaemic load.

Why eat low foods with a low GI?

Though doctors were initially interested in the concept of a glycaemic index and glycaemic load in relation to treating their diabetic patients and developing suitable diets for them, recent research has shown that glycemia is also a factor in obesity, sleep problems and mood disorders (3-5).

Eating high GI foods produces a spike in blood sugar levels, which the insulin secreted by the pancreas may be unable to completely absorb.

In short, spikes in blood sugar have a considerable negative impact on our general health, and so we should all try to avoid eating too many high GI foods.

Here are some tips for eating a low carbohydrate, and thus low GI diet.

Low GI fruits

Below is a short list of low GI fruits, though first, it’s worth remembering a few key points:

Low GI fruits include:

Basically, fresh fruits with higher acidity have the lowest glycaemic index.

Conversely, grapes, watermelon and melon have medium or even high GIs.

Other low GI foods

Similar rules apply to other foods:

Foods to include in a low GI diet:

Natural aids for controlling glycemia

There are also some highly-effective natural remedies that can help control your blood sugar levels:


Berberine SupplementBerberine
Berberine is a natural extract of Berberis vulgaris with benefits for heart health
4.5 7 reviews
Organic Moringa SupplementOrganic Moringa
Organic Moringa, the 'miracle plant', is a moringa leaf extract with multiple benefits
0 No reviews
GlucoFit™, or banaba leaf extract, is a powerful transporter of glucose across cell membranes
0 No reviews
Gymnema SylvestreGymnema Sylvestre
Gymnema Sylvestre is a gymnema leaf extract to regulate glucose metabolism
5 1 reviews


  1. WOLEVER, T. M. The glycemic index. World review of nutrition and dietetics, 1990, vol. 62, p. 120-185.
  2. METTLER, Samuel et COLOMBANI, Paolo. Indice glycémique et charge glycémique. 2021.
  3. BRAND-MILLER, Janette C. Glycemic load and chronic disease. Nutrition reviews, 2003, vol. 61, no suppl_5, p. S49-S55.
  4. RAPHAEL, Theophile et PARSONS, John Purl. Blood sugar studies in dementia praecox and manic-depressive insanity. Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry, 1921, vol. 5, no 6, p. 687-709.
  5. BRAND-MILLER, Janette C., HOLT, Susanna HA, PAWLAK, Dorota B., et al.Glycemic index and obesity. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2002, vol. 76, no 1, p. 281S-285S.
  6. STOHS, Sidney J., MILLER, Howard, et KAATS, Gilbert R. A review of the efficacy and safety of banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.) and corosolic acid. Phytotherapy Research, 2012, vol. 26, no 3, p. 317-324.
  7. PLES, Michael et HO, Howell. Comparative Effects of Moringa Oleifera Lam. Tea on Normal and Hyperglycemic Patients. Ehealth International Journal, 2007, p. 30-34.
  8. SHANMUGASUNDARAM, E. R. B., RAJESWARI, G., BASKARAN, K., et al.Use of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 1990, vol. 30, no 3, p. 281-294.
  9. LIANG, Yaping, XU, Xiaojia, YIN, Mingjuan, et al.Effects of berberine on blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic literature review and a meta-analysis. Endocrine journal, 2019, vol. 66, no 1, p. 51-63.


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