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Glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) ranks how quickly or slowly carbohydrate (carb) foods  affect blood glucose levels. Choosing the right amount and type of carb foods can help you to manage your blood glucose levels

The glycemic index (GI) is one tool to help you choose which carb foods to eat.

Lower-GI foods break down into glucose over a longer period when compared with high-GI foods. This means a smaller and slower rise in blood glucose levels after eating.

Research shows people with diabetes improved their fasting and after-meals blood glucose levels and lower their average blood glucose levels (HbA1c) by including lower GI carb foods as part of a healthy eating plan. Low GI eating plans can also help with weight management. Try to include a nutritious low-GI food at each meal.

Replace some high-GI foods in a meal with low-GI options to lower the overall GI of the meal.

Speak to a dietitian about how to lower the overall GI of your meals.

Read more in our fact sheets:

Carbohydrate, glycemic index and fibre, healthy cooking video

Free access to diabetes programs

Learn to manage your diabetes confidently with diabetes programs, available face-to-face and online. Register for a diabetes program.

Carb counting

Available anywhere, anytime. These short modules will teach you how to recognise and count carbohydrates (carbs), to help in managing your diabetes. 


This online program will give you the confidence to make the best carbohydrate food choices.

Person looking at food in shops


This program helps participants learn to read nutrition information, with real products to look at and compare.

More information and support

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Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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