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The Glycemic Load of Common Bakery Treats, Breads, and Snacks

By Meri Reffetto

A glycemic load [GL] of 10 or less is considered low; a GL of 11 to 19 is considered medium; and a GL of 20 or more is considered high. Use the tables here to look up some of your favorite foods to see where they fall, as well as to select low-glycemic foods when planning your meals.

Glycemic load of common bakery treats

Who doesn’t enjoy a donut, muffin, or cupcake every now and then? Choose baked goods made with whole grains and fruit for the healthiest and lowest-calorie options. Sweet treats are just that — a sometimes treat, not an everyday part of your food choices. So even though the items in the following table are medium- to high-glycemic, indulging in them once in a while is perfectly okay.

Bakery Treats
Food Type Portion Size Glycemic Load
Angel food cake 2-ounce slice High
Apple muffin 1 small muffin Medium
Blueberry muffin 1 small muffin Medium
Bran muffin 1 small muffin Medium
Cake with frosting 4-ounce slice High
Donut 1 donut Medium
Scone 1 small Low

Glycemic load of breads and snacks

Whenever you purchase breads and snacks, look for the phrase 100% whole grain on the package advertising or the word whole listed first in the ingredients. That way you can be confident that you’re purchasing the most wholesome, low-glycemic bread and snack products available. Make even better choices by searching out companies that specialize in producing low-glycemic foods, such as Natural Ovens. You can also use the following table as a guide.

Breads and Snacks
Food Type Portion Size Glycemic Load
100% whole-wheat bread 1 ounce Medium
Air-popped popcorn 3 cups Low
Baguette 1 ounce Medium
Corn tortilla 1 small tortilla Low
Gluten-free bread 1 ounce Medium
Hamburger bun 1 large bun Medium
Healthy Choice Hearty 100% Whole Grain Bread 1 ounce Low
Healthy Choice Hearty 7-Grain Bread 1 ounce Low
Hot dog bun 1 roll Medium
Natural Ovens 100% Whole-Grain Bread 1 ounce Low
Natural Ovens Hunger-Filler Bread 1 ounce Low
Natural Ovens Multi-Grain Bread 1 ounce Medium
Pita bread 1/2 of a 6″-diameter pita Medium
Popcorn (plain, air-popped) 1 ounce Medium
Pretzels 1/2 cup of small pretzels Medium
Pumpernickel bread 1 ounce Low
Rice cakes 2 cakes Medium
Rye bread 1 ounce Low
Ryvita Rye Crispbread 2 slices Low
Saltine crackers 3 crackers Medium
Sourdough bread 1 ounce Low
Sourdough wheat bread 1 ounce Low
Stoned wheat thin crackers 1 ounce Medium
Tortilla chips 1 ounce Medium
Water crackers 1 ounce Medium
Wheat-flour flat bread 1 ounce Low
Wheat tortilla One 8-inch Low
White bagel 3 ounces High
White Wonder bread 1 ounce Medium
Whole-grain rye bread 1 ounce Low
Whole-wheat bread 1 ounce Medium