14 High GI Vegetables that are Bad for Diabetes

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

The Glycemic Index (GI) of vegetables hints at their ability to produce a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, after consumption.

Here is the list of 14 vegetables that are bad for diabetes due to high Glycemic Index   

14 High GI Vegetables that are Bad for Diabetes

1. Carrot

Carrots, called by the name ‘Gajar’ in Hindi, are a high Glycemic Index food. We all know that carrot is a modification of root and is a kind of root vegetable.

The Glycemic Index value of gajar is 71, which is ultimately a high Glycemic Index value.

Veggie causing Diabetes

It is suggested that diabetic patients only take 45-60 grams of raw carrots in a single meal to avoid instability in their blood sugar levels.

Please note, when we cook carrots, the GI values increase. So, if you have carrots in the cooked form, make sure to add low Glycemic food.

If we consider a single medium-sized carrot, it would contain approximately 10.5 grams of Carbohydrates and have a 7.5 Glycemic load.

2. Potatoes

The Glycemic Index value of potatoes is very high. We all know that the GI value above 70 makes vegetables a bad option for diabetic patients. Thus potatoes are not suitable for diabetic patient health as potatoes GI value ranges from 58 to 111.


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If average values are considered, then the GI value of boiled potatoes is 78, and the GI value of cooked potatoes is 87.

Potatoes raise sugar levels in the body. So, one must keep in mind to take adequate amounts of potatoes in the diet if they have diabetes.

Apart from being a high Glycemic Index food, potatoes possess some good nutritional content.

Potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, including potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper, phosphorus, dietary fiber, manganese, pantothenic acid, etc.

3. Beetroot

Beetroots have a Glycemic Index value of 61, which is a moderate Glycemic Index value.

The Glycemic Index value helps us to determine how the food raises blood sugar levels in the body. If the food has a high Glycemic Index value, it will raise blood sugar levels in the body, and if a food has a low glycemic index value, it will not raise blood sugar levels in the body.

The beetroots come in different types of varieties. We can differentiate different varieties of beetroot by their color. The beetroot comes in different colors like pink, white, yellow, or dark purple.

Additionally, beetroots are rich in vitamins and minerals like manganese, folate, iron, potassium, vitamin C, etc.

Apart from this, beetroot also possesses many health benefits like lowering blood pressure in the body and increasing stamina for exercise.

4. Pumpkin

Pumpkins have a Glycemic Index value of 75, which is a high Glycemic Index value.

However, the glycemic load of pumpkins is low and is only 3 in value.

By going through the values of the Glycemic Index and the Glycemic load of pumpkins, we get to know that one can eat pumpkins in limited quantities if they wish to stay healthy. The higher amounts of pumpkins can increase blood sugar levels in the body.

The content of calories in pumpkin is very low, which made this food item very useful.

People prefer to add pumpkins to their diet because the calorie content is less, and on top of that, it is full of nutrients, which allows any person to stay fit.

However, people who have diabetes should avoid pumpkins a bit because of their Glycemic Index value.

5. Yam

The carbohydrate content in yam is very high, so its high Glycemic Index value is 51.

If someone is consuming large amounts of yams in their diet, it can raise the body’s blood sugar levels.

The carbohydrates present in yams are dissolved very quickly in the bloodstream and thus fluctuate blood sugar levels.

It is advised that diabetic patients add yam in limited quantities to their diets to harm their health.

6. Tapioca and Cassava

Tapioca has a high value of existing nutrient carbohydrate content, which results in the increment of blood sugar levels. Based on HbA1c levels, sometimes people with diabetes can eat moderately.

However, add other vegetables too in it or increase the content of fiber in the diet of the whole food resulting in high blood sugar levels. Due to this reason, try to add a diet that has a low glycemic index to prevent health complications that relate to diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone that helps if you have diabetes; eating fiber-rich foods may help lower your blood. Ingredients like Tapioca which has a high glycemic index, so blood sugar rises quickly after consuming it.

Cassava also possesses a high Glycemic Index value of approximately 94.7. Diabetic patients are suggested to eat it in limited amounts so that it will not affect their health. The high Glycemic Index value causes an immediate rise in blood sugar levels, leading to problems like metabolic syndrome, obesity, etc.

7. Turnips and Rutabagas

Turnips have a high Glycemic Index value that is 62. That’s why, by having turnips, sugar levels in the body can rise. These are rich in carbohydrates, and this is the main reason for their high Glycemic Index value. However, this value can be reduced if we add some proteins with turnips in the diets. The proteins will help to control the sudden increase in blood sugar levels.

Rutabagas also have a high Glycemic Index value of 72, which can increase blood sugar levels in the body. It is recommended that diabetic patients eat Rutabagas in limited quantities as this vegetable can adversely affect their health. Carbohydrates content is very high in this vegetable, and thus Rutabagas is not considered an ideal food for any diabetic patient.

8. Radish

Raphanus sativus, which is commonly called by the name Radish, is a type of root vegetable. People prefer to eat this vegetable all over the world. Hence, one should know its effects on diabetic patients.

It is recommended not to eat radish in higher amounts if you have diabetes.

The Glycemic Index value of radish is moderately high, and the high Glycemic Index food is usually not recommended for any diabetic patient.

9. Parsnips


The Glycemic Index value of Parsnips vegetables is very high, approximately 72.

However, one should note that Parsnips contain almost no sugar in them, and thus this makes a safe choice for some diabetic patients.

Additionally, Parsnips can act as antioxidants in the body and can help in reducing weight. It also boosts the functioning of the immune system. The body’s immune system helps us fight any disease, and this vegetable helps us strengthen our immune system.

Apart from this, Parsnips are also rich in minerals like fiber and thus are very beneficial for us.

10. Sweet Corn

The Glycemic Index value of sweet corn is relatively high, and thus sweet corn is a wrong choice for any diabetic patient.

The food crops which have high Glycemic Index values are not recommended for diabetic patients. This food can raise blood sugar levels in the body very quickly.

If any diabetic patient includes sweet corn in their diet, they have to make sure of proper precautions as it can harm their health.

However, sweet corn has some benefits too:

  • keeps away chronic diseases
  • help to improve the digestion of the body and much more.

11. Jerusalem artichoke

This vegetable has a lower Glycemic Index value than potatoes. However, the value is moderately high.

Including Jerusalem artichokes in regular diets for a longer duration can help a diabetic patient stay healthy and safe for diabetic patients.

150grams of Jerusalem artichokes may contain 115 calories, 25.0g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 15.0g sugar, and almost no fat content.

Jerusalem artichokes have many benefits. Some of them are:

  • help to improve digestion
  • lower the cholesterol levels in the body help in the formation of Red blood cells and hence provide energy to the body.

12. Horseradish

Consuming lesser amounts of horseradish is beneficial. However, if higher amounts of horseradish are eaten, it may cause fluctuations in the body’s blood sugar levels.

If eaten in higher amounts, then blood sugar levels may get high and lead to weight gain.

Horseradish is very beneficial in limited quantities and has many health benefits too. Some benefits of horseradish include:

  • Horseradish prevents cancer
  • Strengthen the immune system of the body
  • Improves digestion

13. Sweet potatoes

The Glycemic Index value of sweet potatoes depends on the way it has been taken in the diets. In other words, the GI value of sweet potatoes differs in different forms. Sweet potatoes can be included in diets in 4 different forms.

  • Boiled

When we boil sweet potatoes, their Glycemic Index value decreases. For example: When potatoes are boiled for 8 minutes, their GI value is 61, whereas when we allow it to boil for 30 minutes, their GI value changes to 46, which is comparatively a low GI value.

  • Roasted

Roasted sweet potatoes have a very high GI value of 82. This high value is that the baking process destroys the starch content in potatoes, which leads to a rise in GI value.

  • Baked

If we bake sweet potatoes for approximately 45 minutes, it would have the highest GI value of 94.

  • Fried

When we compare the Glycemic Index value of the Fried version of sweet potatoes with the baked and roasted version, then we will observe that Fried sweet potatoes have comparatively low GI values than others.

14. Water chestnuts

Consuming lesser amounts of Water chestnuts is beneficial. However, if higher amounts of water chestnuts are eaten, it may cause fluctuations in the body’s blood sugar levels.

If eaten in higher amounts, then blood sugar levels may get high and lead to weight gain.

Water chestnuts are very beneficial in limited quantities and have many health benefits too. Some benefits of water chestnuts include:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Act as antioxidants
  • Prevents cancer


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