Vegetarian Diet: Glycemic Index of Foods

Search entire U.S. vegetarian food database:
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Food NameGlycemic LoadGlycemic Index 
Milk, human  
Milk1.429.5
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole1.227.0
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole, low-sodium1.431.0
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, whole1.431.0
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, 1% fat1.632.0
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat1.632.0
Milk, cow's, fluid, other than whole ("lowfat")1.532.0
Milk, cow's, fluid, 2% fat1.429.5
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 1% fat1.632.0
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 2% fat1.429.5
Milk, cow's, fluid, 1% fat1.632.0
Milk, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat, 0.5% or less butterfat1.632.0
Milk, cow's, fluid, filled with vegetable oil  
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Usage Note

  • Glycemic load values in table are calculated per 100g of food.
  • Glycemic indices are color coded: Red for High GI, Green for low GI and Yellow for medium GI foods with gradual gradation between GI values. This means, for example, among the high GI foods, those with lower GI ratings will be less red and more yellow. Similarly with low GI foods. Those with lower GI are coded with greener color.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name or by Glycemic Index or Glycemic Load.
  • Pie chart shows relative contributions to total calories from carbohydrate, protein and fat (and alcohol, if exists).

Glycemic Index Info from National Institutes of Health

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of the glycemic effect of carbohydrate in a particular food compared to an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in a standard amount of glucose or white bread.
The Glycemic Load (GL) of a serving of a specific food is simply the product of its GI (divided by 100) and the grams of carbohydrate from a single serving of that food. It is important to note that a food with a high GI may not always have a high GL. This can happen if the food has very little carbohydrate (for example, meat) or if the food is consumed in small quantities.

Foods with a high glycemic index release glucose quickly and cause a rapid rise in blood glucose. Foods with a low glycemic index release glucose slowly into the blood.

Glycemic Index Info from Harvard School of Public Health

Carbohydrates and the Glycemic Index

Dividing carbohydrates into simple and complex makes sense on a chemical level. But it doesn't do much to explain what happens to different kinds of carbohydrates inside the body. For example, the starch in white bread and French-fried potatoes clearly qualifies as a complex carbohydrate. Yet the body converts this starch to blood sugar nearly as fast as it processes pure glucose. Fructose (fruit sugar) is a simple carbohydrate, but it has a minimal effect on blood sugar.
A new system, called the glycemic index, aims to classify carbohydrates based on how quickly and how high they boost blood sugar compared to pure glucose. Foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, cause rapid spikes in blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index, like whole oats, are digested more slowly, causing a lower and gentler change in blood sugar. Foods with a score of 70 or higher are defined as having a high glycemic index; those with a score of 55 or below have a low glycemic index.

Carbohydrates and the Glycemic Load

Researchers have developed a way to classify foods that takes into account both the amount of carbohydrate in the food and the impact of that carbohydrate on blood sugar levels. This measure is called the glycemic load. A food's glycemic load is determined by multiplying its glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate it contains.

Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet focuses on plants for food. These include fruits, vegetables, dried beans and peas, grains, seeds and nuts.

There is no single type of vegetarian diet. Instead, vegetarian eating patterns usually fall into the following groups:
  • The vegan diet, which excludes all meat and animal products
  • The lacto vegetarian diet, which includes plant foods plus dairy products
  • The lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which includes both dairy products and eggs
People who follow vegetarian diets can get all the nutrients they need. However, they must be careful to eat a wide variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs.

DietGrail provides the only online searchable food database that focuses exclusively on the vegetarian diet. This vegetarian food database has the most complete listings of glycemic index as well as glycemic load values of vegetarian foods: over 3,000 glycemic index and glycemic load ratings of most common food items.

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