Suffering From High Blood Sugar Symptoms? Use This Glycemic Index Food List

Don’t get tricked into thinking that high blood sugar is only something diabetics should worry about. The truth is that anyone can experience spikes in their blood sugar levels when they eat certain foods – and it’s not just candy, sodas and cakes that cause these spikes. The real danger is when your blood sugar levels stay high for extended periods of time, which can lead to diabetes or other serious health problems. But, if you are familiar with the high blood sugar symptoms and recognize when you begin to experience them regularly, it can motivate you to take the necessary steps to get your blood sugar under control.

What are the causes of high blood sugar symptoms?

There are a number of different factors that contribute to high blood sugar symptoms including:

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of regular exercise
  • Stress
  • Certain health conditions
  • Use of certain medications

What are the high blood sugar symptoms?

Having high blood sugar does not automatically mean you have diabetes. High blood sugar is only a symptom of diabetes. In fact, an individual experiencing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) could have no symptoms at all. But, the most commonly-experienced high blood sugar symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Always being hungry
  • Frequent urination and/or urination during the night
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Daily fatigue or extreme tiredness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excess abdominal fat/weight gain
  • Recurrent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Impotence
  • Slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • Nerve problems
  • Stomach problems

Using a Glycemic Index Food List to Decrease High Blood Sugar Symptoms

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response – the extent to which foods raise blood sugar levels after eating. The GI uses a scale from 0 to 100 so the higher values are assigned to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Pure glucose serves as a reference point, and has a GI of 100. Foods with a high GI are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. On the contrary, low-GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed and produce gradual rises in blood sugar. Low GI foods have proven benefits for health because they reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance, preventing high blood sugar symptoms. Low GI diets also have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger.

Glycemic Index Food List

Replacing your intake of high GI foods with low and moderate GI foods is the first step to starting a low glycemic diet. The following table shows high, moderate and low GI values.



Whether you are looking to lose weight, trying to reverse high blood sugar symptoms, or you are seeking an overall healthful eating plan, using the GI is a good starting place to achieve your goals. Keep in mind that it’s all about quality which means you should also consider the nutrient content of foods.

The following is a Glycemic Index Food List for a few common foods:




















*The above references represent averages for common foods. Since each individual’s body reacts differently to foods, the best way to truly tell how a food will affect you is to check your blood glucose levels two hours after eating it. However, the Glycemic Index Food List can be a good guide for you to make healthier food choices. 

Originally published in 2012, this blog has been updated.

As a service to our readers, University Health News offers a vast archive of free digital content. Please note the date published or last update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC

Jami Cooley is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant as well as a Registered Nurse, but her interest in integrative medicine grew out of her experience in conventional medicine. Cooley … Read More

View all posts by Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC

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  • Great information. I’ve recently experienced spikes and I’m seeking to control them before genetics fully kick in with a diabetes diagnosis. Thank you for the information.

  • I am a 68-year-old woman in my blood sugar is usually are in the 90s but I had one this past June that was 99 and another recently it was 101 I am overweight and I am stressed so what else can I do to get my blood sugars down and how do I find out What foods I should eat thank you

  • I am a 68-year-old woman and he had to test this year one was 99 glucose in five months later it was 101 what foods should I eat to get the best results to get it down

  • Just had blood work cholesterol all fine but Glucose is 108 should I be on meds for diabetes, I am on 5 mg of Crestor

  • Hello, from what I’ve read, unless you have a fasting blood glucose of 126 on two occasions, you wouldn’t be treated for diabetes. Anything under 126 is considered prediabetic and life style changes are probably all you need, but I’m no doctor so I would ask my doctor. Also, my FBG was 106 at age 60 and weighing only 120 lbs and my doctor never even mentioned it to me so I am not concerned.

  • Want to contribute in case it helps anyone. For women of a menopausal age where symptoms mimic multiple issues (palpitations, jitters, increased sweating, anxiety, bloating, etc.). I though all of this was due to menopause. I was wrong. My A1C is 5.5 so I never “showed up” on my GP’s tests as diabetic. Was feeling awful despite trying BHRT prescribed by GP. So…I went to a great Endocrinologist at encouragement of friend. He ran several tests and here is what happened: 3hr OGTT. 104 fasting, 83 1 hr., 78 2hr, 87 3 hr. Other tests shows severe inflammation akin to autoimmune symptoms and borderline high cholesterol. Diagnosed with hyperinsulinism. Prescription is no more than 30 grams of carbs in one sitting, no more than 90 carbs per day and a low dose statin to immediately reduce blood lipids. Also taking good mix of supplements/vitamins and Betaine HCL with Pepsin (helps remarkably). I already feel so much better, skin is less dry, no need for BHRT with no resultant menopause symptoms. Please, even if you think you are fine, demand a 3 hour OGTT. This will shed light on why you have increased sweating, jitters, etc. that may be attributed to menopause. They likely aren’t. Declining estrogen can contribute to this since estrogen is insulin sensitizing, but it is more likely due to hyperinsulinism. Males posting here, a fasting pattern like mine is not good. If you have any fatigue, don’t claim it’s just life and work stress and get an OGTT. Hope this helps. Easy to change diet, it really is. Just smaller portions of the sugary item you love at a time if you cannot eliminate and even better, do some small hand-held weights you can buy at Target, etc. immediately after to help out with insulin sensitizing. Thank you UHN for this exceptional information!

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