Low glycemic foods are typically quite filling unlike lighter foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Most legumes are also high in protein – and meat is known to be a high glycemic food.
So, I was interested in whether legumes are low glycemic.
Foods with a low glycemic index have been shown to be good at reducing the effects of type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, getting a good picture of what foods have a low glycemic index can be one part of developing a healthy diet.
So, below I will explain what beans have a low glycemic index, what grains have the lowest glycemic index, as well as, what some of the healthiest low glycemic foods are.
Which Beans Are Low Glycemic?
Certain beans have a higher glycemic index than others.
So, I thought I’d put together a list showing the beans with the lowest glycemic index.
Below is a table that shows the glycemic index of common beans.
I also included legumes such as peanuts.
|Type of bean||Glycemic index||Low, Medium, or High|
|Chickpeas||30 to 40||Low|
|Great Northern beans||10||Low|
|Soy beans (Soya beans)||16||Low|
|Fava beans (broad beans)||80||High|
|Lentils||20 to 50||Low|
As you may know, low medium and high glycemic index foods are categorized as:
- Low: 55 or less
- Medium: 56–69
- High: 70+
Based on the data above you can see that all of them fall below 55, except for fava beans.
What Beans Have the Lowest Glycemic Index?
Beans are delicious and nutritious, and if you’re wanting to consume beans with the lowest glycemic index possible it’s important to know what the options are.
Here’s the beans that have the lowest glycemic index:
Although, virtually all legumes are low glycemic they still have a range, based on what variety of legumes they are.
For example, here’s a table that shows how their glycemic index differs for lentils based on what kind of lentils they are and where they are grown:
|Type of lentils||Glycemic Index|
|Lentil soup – canned||44|
|Lentils green/canned in brine||52|
Which Grain Has the Lowest Glycemic Index?
Rice and oats are popular goods because they store for a very long time, are easy to cook, taste delicious, and are high in nutrients.
But, which grain has the lowest glycemic index?
I’ve compiled a table of grains and the common ways they are prepared below.
I’ve put them in ascending order from lowest glycemic index to highest.
|Type of grain That Is Legumes Bad for Arthritis||Glycemic Index|
|Barley||28 ± 2|
|Corn tortilla||46 ± 4|
|Spaghetti, wholemeal||48 ± 5|
|Spaghetti, white||49 ± 2|
|Sweet corn||52 ± 5|
|Specialty grain bread||53 ± 2|
|Rice noodles||53 ± 7|
|Oats – porridge||55 ± 2|
|Udon noodles||55 ± 7|
|Wheat roti||62 ± 3|
|Couscous||65 ± 4|
|Brown rice, boiled||68 ± 4|
|Unleavened wheat bread||70 ± 5|
|White rice, boiled||73 ± 4|
|Whole wheat/wholemeal bread||74 ± 2|
|White wheat bread||75 ± 2|
* Based on data from Harvard Medical School.
From the data, you can see that rice and bread made from wheat have a significantly higher glycemic index compared to barley.
Barley is kind of the odd one out and has around had the glycemic index of all other grains.
But, corn still has a fairly high glycemic index.
And could be categorized as medium to low.
Interestingly, the glycemic index is the same whether you consume white bread or brown bread.
Many people wonder whether legumes are a type of grain.
I looked at the scientific classification and how they differ and summarized what I found in an article about whether legumes are a grain.
Find it [here, link: are legumes a grain].
What Are the Best Low Glycemic Index Foods?
Foods can be low glycemic but there are also superfoods, which are called that because they contain higher than average amounts of nutrients.
So, I was curious about what foods are both low glycemic and are high in nutrients.
Here’s what I found…
Each of these foods contains a high amount of nutrients.
Fruits and vegetables are also very high in fiber which is good for your digestion.
However, if you juice fruits and vegetables it removes a lot of the fiber.
And fruit and vegetable juices only contain around 5% of the fiber of the fresh fruit.
Fruits can also contain a good amount of sugar.
Many people wonder whether the fruit in sugar is bad for you.
I recently wrote an article about this topic.
Read it [here, link: is the sugar in fruit bad].
Do legumes raise blood sugar?
Most legumes are low glycemic, but is there anything special about legumes that causes them to raise your blood sugar?
Beans are also high in fiber but, there’s a reason for the old poem ‘beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot’.
And most people that eat more than 1 cup of beans will experience extreme amounts of gas.
Where they can pass A LOT of really loud gas for about 24 hours.
Are legumes bad for diabetics?
If you’re diabetic you need to monitor what nutrients you consume so that you maintain good blood sugar levels.
There are a range of different legumes that are delicious and hearty.
But, are they bad for diabetics?
Provided you calculate your glycemic load based on broad beans, and it’s still low, it’s perfectly fine to eat broad beans.
Are vegetables low glycemic?
Legumes for the most part are low glycemic so I was curious about other vegetables.
Medium glycemic index vegetables include beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, and yams.
Some fruits are also high glycemic such as dried dates, pineapple, watermelon, and overripe bananas.
Here’s a helpful list that shows vegetables that are low glycemic from data provided by a medical center in New Hampshire (source):
Low glycemic vegetables:
- Summer squash
Medium glycemic index vegetables:
High glycemic index vegetables:
- Potato – baked, broiled, fried, mashed, french fries
- Canned or frozen corn
- Winter squash
As you can see there are far more low glycemic vegetables than there are medium and high glycemic vegetables.
And with the exception of carrots, beets, and corn most are starchy vegetables like parsnips, sweet potato, potato, winter squash.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.