The Glycemic Load of Common Grains and Legumes

Choose your grains carefully by searching out whole-grain food products that incorporate the lower-glycemic grains such as bulgur, buckwheat, quinoa, and wild rice. Replace higher-glycemic grains with lower-glycemic choices whenever possible by using the information in the following table.

Grains
Food Type Portion Size Glycemic Load
Amaranth 1 ounce High
Buckwheat 1/2 cup Low
Bulgur 1/2 cup Low
Cheese tortellini 6-1/2 ounces Low
Cornmeal (boiled) 1/2 cup Low
Couscous 1/2 cup Low
Fettuccini 1-1/2 cups Medium
Grits 1 cup Medium
Instant white rice 1 cup High
Meat-filled ravioli 6-1/2 ounces Medium
Pearl barley 1 cup Medium
Polenta 3/4 cup Medium
Quinoa 1/2 cup Low
Spaghetti 1-1/2 cups Medium
Split pea/soya shells 1-1/2 cups Low
Uncle Ben's Converted White Rice 1/2 cup Low
Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Brown Rice 1⁄3 cup Low
Vermicelli 1-1/2 cups Medium
Whole-wheat spaghetti 1-1/2 cups Medium
Wild rice 1/2 cup Low

Legumes, sometimes known as dried beans and peas, are an excellent low-glycemic source of protein and fiber. Additionally, they contain neither saturated fat nor cholesterol. Experiment with adding legumes to your favorite grain recipes, such as a quinoa or rice pilaf. Consider replacing meat in burritos or tacos with black or pinto beans. Or just enjoy a hearty split pea or lentil soup rather than a stew based on beef or chicken.

However you choose to add legumes to your diet, check out the following table for the glycemic load of the most common ones.

Legumes
Food Type Portion Size Glycemic Load
BBQ baked beans 1/2 cup Medium
Black bean dip 1/2 cup Low
Black beans 1/2 cup Low
Black-eyed peas 1/2 cup Low
Garbanzo beans 1/2 cup Low
Hummus 1-1/2 tablespoons Low
Kidney beans 1/2 cup Low
Lentils 1/2 cup Low
Lima beans 1/2 cup Low
Northern white beans 1/2 cup Low
Pinto beans 1/2 cup Low
Refried beans 1/2 cup Low
Soy beans 1 cup Low
Split peas 1/2 cup Low
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