A List of High-Glycemic Carbs

Many cereals are high in glycemic carbs.
Image Credit: Alexey Dulin / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

While trying to manage your diabetes, it's essential to avoid foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI). Foods with high glycemic carbs break down quickly in your gut, sending a surge of sugar into your bloodstream and raising your blood glucose.


Keep your distance from foods high on the scale if you have diabetes, as advised by Harvard Health Publishing. You might consider keeping a high glycemic foods list to avoid to help stabilize your glucose levels.

Video of the Day

To determine if your specific food contains high glycemic carbohydrates, consider using the international GI database maintained by the Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic.


Read more: Importance of Carbohydrates

High GI Carbs in Cereals

If your favorite cereal has some kind of cartoon character on the box, odds are, it's full of sugar and high on the glycemic index. Golden Grahams have a rank of 71 on the glycemic index, while corn-based flake cereals rate at 93, according to the international GI database.


Don't think you're doing yourself any favors by opting for a puffed-wheat cereal either. The GI of this cereal could be as high as 80.

If hot cereal is more your style, consider eating rolled oat porridge with a rate of 55 instead of instant oat porridge, clocking in with a GI of 79, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Watch Your Snacks

Many of your favorite processed snack foods are off the table if you want to skip all high-glycemic carbohydrates. That rice cake may be helpful for your waistline, but it has bad effects for your blood sugar.


Rice cakes rank at 82 on the glycemic index. Plain soda crackers have a score of 74, pretzels have a GI of 83 and vanilla wafers rate at 77, according to the international GI database.

Pick Your Potatoes

If you love your potatoes, you'll want to find a replacement to help you manage your blood glucose. A boiled potato has a GI score of 78, according to Harvard Health Publishing.



Instant mashed potatoes can be as high as 87 on the index classification while sweet potatoes fair slightly better, with a rating of 63.

Beware of Breads and Rice

You can have bread if you have diabetes, just not the ones that are bleached white without any visible sign of whole grains. Heavily processed white wheat bread has a GI measure of 75 on the scale, according to Harvard Health Publishing.


Processed whole wheat bread can be just as high, clocking in with a rating of 74. Consider specialty grain breads with a GI score of 53 when looking for breads that aren't as high in GI carbs.

If white rice is your go-to side dish, you'll want to reconsider. White rice has a glycemic score of around 73 according to Harvard Health Publishing. Brown rice is a slightly better option with a GI score of 68.


Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Carbs and Why You Shouldn't Cut Them

Prioritize Your Fruits

For the most part, any fresh fruit you enjoy will be low or moderate on the glycemic index. According to Harvard Health Publishing, apples have a GI score of 36 and bananas weight in at 51.

However, there are some high glycemic fruits. Cantaloupe rates at around 70 on the scale, while watermelon has a GI of as high as 80, according to the international GI database.




Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...