Low Glycemic Index Foods

This page has a list of low glycemic index foods, along with links to medium glycemic index foods and high glycemic index foods. For a more detailed explanation of the Glycemic Index and why it's recommended, click here to read about foods that help arthritis and a detailed explanation of what the glycemic index is and how it impacts your health.

The following low glycemic index foods all have a GI (glycemic index) of 55 or less. Remember, for the first month, try to eat only foods off this list to help decrease inflammation.

If you're hungry, eat. Just eat off this list and nothing else. If you feel like you need a little something extra, I use a green drink

and a low glycemic protein powder as either breakfast on the days I'm rushed or as a snack if I'm hungry. It has the equivalent of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables, and because it's made with stevia (a natural sweetener), it won't cause a blood sugar spike. I mix the green drink with 2-4 ounces of a high antioxidant juice (like pomegranate, blueberry, or acai juice) and water. If I'm super hungry, I'll add a banana and some ice and blend the whole thing into a smoothie. Yum!
  • Canadian bacon
  • Canned tuna, salmon, or sardines (packed in water)
  • Chicken, turkey, or hen (skinless)
  • Eggs or egg whites
  • Liquid egg substitute
  • Fresh fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, flounder, snapper, trout, halibut, etc.)
  • Red meat (beef, pork, lamb, buffalo, or venison, etc.) Limit this to once or twice a week and use lean cuts
  • Seafood (shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster, calamari, octopus, mussels, etc.)
  • Soy sausage (low fat)
  • Tofu/tempeh (firm or soft)
  • Turkey bacon (low fat)
  • Turkey/chicken sausage (low fat)
  • Veggie or garden burger (low fat or nonfat
  • Lean veal

  • Cheese (low fat or nonfat)
  • Soy cheese (nonfat)
  • Cottage cheese (1% fat)
  • Almond milk
  • Nut milk
  • Oat milk
  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Soy or rice milk (1% fat or nonfat, no sugar added)
  • Yogurt or soy yogurt (1% or nonfat, no sugar added)
  • I'm not a huge dairy fan in general. Most of the conventional dairy farmers use growth hormone in their cattle, and the health dangers to humans is pretty well documented. Why it's still allowed in the U.S. when Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and all of Europe has banned hormone use is beyond me, but I think there are some real health risks to using dairy.

    If you MUST use dairy, please buy organic, or from suppliers like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods that use only farmers who have pledged not to use growth hormones.

    Vegetables and Salad Greens

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bell peppers (green, red, or yellow)
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage (red or white)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Dandelion greens
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Green beans
  • Hot peppers
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce (all types)
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Olives (limit to 5)
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Radishes
  • Sauerkraut (no sugar added)
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato juice (no sugar added), tomato paste, and tomato soup
  • Vegetable juice (no salt) and Vegetable soup (no fat)
  • Water chestnuts
  • Watercress
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Winter squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti)

  • Fruit

  • Apples (fresh and dried)
  • Apricots (dried)
  • Banana (less ripe)
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries)
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Kumuats
  • Lemon
  • Lychees
  • Mandarin orange
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate

  • Carbohydrates (Beans, Grains, and Cereal)

  • Baked beans (no sugar added)
  • Beans (red, black, garbanzo, lima, mung, pinto, soy, canellini)
  • Peas (green, black eyed)
  • Lentils
  • Barley (pearled or hulled)
  • Bran (oat, rice, wheat)
  • Bread (100% whole wheat/high fiber or low carb - look for 5 grams or fiber or more per slice)
  • Buckwheat (kasha, groats)
  • Bulgur wheat
  • Egg noodles (2-3 ounces per serving - watch portion sizes!)
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Brown rice (steamed - 1/3 cup - watch portion sizes!)
  • Rye
  • Tortilla, corn (1-2 small - watch portion sizes!)
  • Udon noodles
  • An easy way to approach your first month of using low glycemic index foods is to just print out this page and eat what's on it. And don't eat what's not on it. Remember, you can do anything for a month, right? 🙂

    If you're in doubt, don't eat it.

    There's really no need to count calories. I do want you to watch your portions on the carbohydrates. They're only low glycemic in the portions indicated and, in the case of breads, with a high fiber content. If your portions are big, the glycemic index goes up.

    Drink plenty of water, take your time eating meals, and eat until satisfied - NOT stuffed.


    Follow this link for the list of medium glycemic foods.

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