A food with a high GI raises blood glucose more than a food with a low GI, according to the American Diabetes Association. Some examples of foods containing carbohydrates with low GI include kidney beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, most fruits, many whole grain breads and cereals and non-starchy vegetables. Foods with high GI include white bread, bagels, puffed rice, russet potatoes, pumpkins, pretzels, popcorn, melons and pineapple.
The American Diabetes Association notes that the glycemic index, or GI, measures how food containing carbohydrates raises blood glucose. The GI is useful for planning meals for a person with diabetes. With the GI, a person can properly plan to eat a balanced meal, making sure to balance foods with high GI with foods with low GI.
There are several factors that affect the GI of a food. Both fat and fiber tend to lower the GI of a food and often more cooked or processed foods have a higher GI. The more ripe a fruit or vegetable, the higher its GI. It is important to note that higher GI is not synonymous with lower nutritional value. Many foods that are nutritious have a higher GI than foods with small nutritional value. One example is that oatmeal has a higher GI than chocolate. For this reason, it is important to balance use of the GI with basic nutritional principles.