27 High Glycemic Foods

Are high glycemic foods are the new saturated fat? Possibly. A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a strong association between high glycemic foods and risk of heart attack. Countless scientists now believe that high glyecmic foods provide a greater threat to your health than saturated fat.

I do wonder if the danger associated with eating lots of high glycemic foods isn’t just due to their impact on your blood sugar levels (quick primer – high glycemic index foods cause rapid increases in your blood sugar following a meal while low glycemic foods do not) but also their nutrient quality. If you look at the list below you’ll notice that high glycemic foods are very low in nutrients – unless, like in the case of Total cereal, the nutrients have been put back into them. High glycemic foods provide you with the 1-2 nutrition knockout combination of death – big changes in blood sugar and devoid of nutrients.

Check out the list below and hopefully you’re not eating too many of these foods throughout the day. As you know, nutrient timing is very important for optimizing your diet. Using a nutrient timing approach, we have a window of time where high glycemic foods are beneficial – post workout. Having high glycemic foods like Gatorade, yams, and white rice following your workout will provide a well timed spike in the hormone insulin which has been shown to accelerate how fast you replenish you muscle glycogen stores (i.e. sugar stored in your muscles), increase protein synthesis (i.e. muscle building), and stop muscle breakdown. So don’t demonize all high glycemic foods, just optimize when you eat them.

High Glycemic Foods

  1. White potato, baked – 98
  2. White rice – 83
  3. White bread with wheat flour – 71
  4. Yam – 74
  5. Pancakes – 80
  6. Gatorade – 78
  7. Wonderbread – 77
  8. English Muffin – 77
  9. Cornflakes – 79
  10. Grapenuts – 75
  11. Instant White Rice – 87
  12. Rice Cake – 82
  13. Watermelon – 80
  14. Popcorn – 89
  15. Fruit Roll Ups – 99
  16. Waffles – 76
  17. Bagel, white – 72
  18. Baguette – 95
  19. Cheerios – 74
  20. Corn Chex – 83
  21. Cornflakes – 72
  22. Cream of Wheat – 74
  23. Golden Grahams – 71
  24. Shredded Wheat – 83
  25. Total breakfast cereal – 76
  26. Pizza – 80
  27. Ensure, vanilla – 75
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12 Comments

  1. Shane Doll December 9, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Hey Mike, just found your blog and I'm glad I did. Your posts are on point and you're putting out some good info. I'm getting ready to launch a new site next month and I'd love to have you on for a guest interview. Keep up the good work brother. Talk to you- Shane

    • Harry Guinan October 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      Hello Shane I just have a question about jasmine rice. In a low Gi diet is jasmine rice ( being white) okay to eat even though regarding a low Gi diet

  2. adam December 31, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    wow..ok..new years eve and just made a big bowl of popcorn and sat down and started reading your blog..shame on me :(

    • mikeroussell December 31, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

      hahaha…it is new years eve – enjoy it. I acutally had a little popcorn last night as well.

  3. Ben Foreman January 3, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    I have had some success with a low/medium glycemic index diet as a diabetic certainly more than with the Canada Food Guide.
    Breads such as heavy rye,spelt whole wheat and sourdough are considered preferable on the diet and cereals such as All Bran,steel cut oats etc. Eating those choices surely provide as much nutrition as those you would approve of.
    As for vegetables you really have an almost unlimited access to them with the big exception being potatoes. If one subscribes to the Dr. Jennie Brand – Miller GI Values one can have yams and you are allowed a certain amount of high GI foods in accordance with the GI Load formula.
    This diet has been largely researched in Australia and they have been at it for a long time.
    It is an anecdotal comment but the last two years of my life have been wonderful because of this diet and I have not felt as healthy since I was a very young adult.

  4. jeff teta September 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Grapefruits really!! What about oranges??

    • Dr. Mike September 13, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      Jeff,

      Grapenuts (the cereal) not grapefruit :)

      -Dr. Mike

  5. Joe September 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    So I should eat a supreme pizza from Pizza Hut because of low GI (36)? Think GI is a bit overrated especially considering impact on GI of foods when eaten with other foods. There is also GL.

    • Dr. Mike September 13, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      Joe,

      I never suggested that glycemic index should be blindly used as a way to guide food choices. In the context of ‘healthy’ foods it has practical use. Also in regards to ‘healthy’ foods GI and GL track pretty well. Are high GI foods are usually more carbohydrate dense so their GL would also be high.

      -Dr. Mike

  6. Tim September 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    I thought that yams are nutrient dense food?

  7. Mary May 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Hi Dr!
    I bought your book and started the diet. Do you think I can continue having my four cookies and piece of chocolate every day or I have to stop that as well, thanks mary

    • Dr. Mike May 29, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Mary,

      It depends. If a piece of chocolate is your one vice and you can still lose weight and be healthy with it – I say keep it as you’ll be happier having it and it will probably keep you on your diet better (as you won’t always be wishing you had it).

      -Dr. Mike

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