This article is from the Tesco leaflet "Feel fuller for longer and help control your weight."

Reduce snacking and help control your weight with low and medium Gi foods.

The Glycaemic Index (Gi) is a rating of certain foods depending on their effects on blood sugar levels. Tesco is now starting to label selected foods with their Gi rating for your benefit. That's because low and medium Gi food can make you feel fuller for longer and reduce food cravings between meals, which will help you to control your weight. Look out for the big blue circles in store on selected low and medium Gi foods.

What's surprising is that some low and medium Gi foods are ones you might have thought were off limits - like certain pastas and breads. But it's just this kind of food that will fill you up and keep you fuller for longer.

For details of over 500 low and medium Gi products go to our website at and visit our Gi section.


How does Gi work?

Only foods containing carbohydrate (foods containing starch or sugar) can be given a Gi rating e.g. bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, fruit, pulses, cereals, cakes, snacks and desserts. Foods with high Gi ratings are absorbed rapidly by the body causing blood sugar levels to rise then fall quickly. Eating too many high Gi foods creates craving for more food soon after eating, which can trigger over eating and weight gain.

Foods with low and medium Gi ratings have a less dramatic effect on blood sugar. They are absorbed slowly and the rise in blood sugar levels is lower but for much longer. Stable blood sugar levels can cut food cravings between meals and help to control weight. So try and eat meals which include at least one portion of low or medium Gi food.

White bread (high Gi) = Rapid energy rise and fall - hunger returns quickly

White bread

Finest* crusty
malted wheat

Finest* crusty malted wheat bread (low Gi) = feel fuller for longer

Gi logos

Look for the big blue circles in store on selected low and medium Gi foods

Low Medium Gi High Gi
Granary or mixed grain bread
such as Finest* Crusty Malted*
Tesco fruit loaf*
Tesco organic malt loaf*
Wholemeal pitta bread*
Healthy Living Bran flakes*
Tesco fruit and fibre cereal*
Porridge Oats
Baked Beans
Cous cous
Basmati Rice
Sweet potatoes
New potatoes
Unsweetened apple juice
White Bread
White pitta bread*
Corn Flakes
Baked potatoes
Broad Beans

Testing for items with * was conducted by Oxford Brookes University exclusively for Tesco. Other Gi ratings from international table of glycemic index and glycemic load values; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2002. For a list of over 500 products visit and see our Gi section. All Gi ratings given may vary according to variety, ripeness of fruit and country of origin.


Eating well with low and medium Gi

Eating low and medium Gi food is easy because it's all about eating a balanced diet. A healthy low and medium Gi diet should contain foods such as granary breads, wholegrain cereals, pasta, beans and selected fruit and vegetables.

You don't need to avoid eating high Gi foods like baked potatoes, because the overall Gi of a meal depends on the combination of foods you are eating. When you mix a high Gi food with a low one, you lower the overall Gi of the meal. However, high Gi foods such as white rice can be used for topping up blood sugar levels before intense exercise.

Proteins and fats will help lower the overall Gi of a meal but high fat intake can leads to weight gain. Try to use low fat options and lean protein foods such as chicken without the skin and meat with the fat trimmed off.


Gi Questions and Answers

Q. What is Gi?
A. The ‘glycaemic index' (Gi) is used as a measure of how quickly foods that contain carbohydrate raise blood sugar levels. This is important because choosing slowly absorbed carbohydrates can help people who want to control their weight and also people with diabetes who need to control their blood glucose (sugar) levels.

Q. Is the Glycaemic Index a diet or weigh loss programme?
A. The Glycaemic Index is not a diet or weight loss programme. It's a rating of foods according to their effects on blood sugar levels. Including low and medium Gi foods in each meal will make you feel fuller for longer and reduce the need to snack between meals - which in turn will help weight control.

High Gi: 70 or more
Low & Medium Gi: 69 or less

Q. How can I make low and medium Gi part of my diet?
A. Include lower Gi foods (such as pasta, mixed grain bread, basmati rice, sweet potato, porridge, muesli, fruit, veg or pulse) with each meal to lower the overall Gi of your diet.

  • Reduce intake of fats especially saturated fats found in butter, pies and pastries, fatty meats and chocolate.
  • Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and oils like olive, sunflower, corn and groundnut oils and spreads.
  • Eat a variety of at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Take regular physical activity - aim for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Consult your doctor before undertaking a physical activity regime.