Foods with Quick Conversions to Blood Sugar

The foods in the table to the right all convert quickly into blood sugar (blood glucose). If eaten in to large a quantity they are likely to cause high blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics on drug or diet treatments.

Diabetic's using insulin would need to increase their insulin to cope with the extra blood sugar they provide, or have high blood sugar levels too.

Flexible Guidelines to reduce High Blood Sugar Levels

The current advice is not to avoid all of these 'quick' rated foods that convert quickly to blood sugar.

In moderation (small quantities not to frequently) and as part of a balanced meal they are acceptable. Especially the Fruits and Beetroot.

If you have problems with blood sugar levels going to high after a meal. Replacing some of these foods with healthier high fibre or less processed forms is likely to help with your blood sugar control.

So aim to change from potato, white bread and white rice to the high fibre form of the food.

Change to: foods like potato in its skin, wholemeal, granary or whole grain foods. If you use pasta make sure its durum wheat pasta too.

These are all higher fibre or less processed forms of the food, often with a slower conversion to blood sugar and reducing the risks of heart disease.

For some meals why not replace some of the foods below for lower rated foods entirely!

PotatoDurum Wheat Pasta or Sweet Potato! (yes that is Sweet Potato).
Corn FlakesMeusli, Shredded Wheat or Porridge.
Chicken Pot NoodleChicken Granary Sandwich.
White BreadGranary Bread or Pitta Bread.

If you are over weight consider simply reducing portion sizes of these 'quick' rate foods too.

Processed Foods

It would be wrong to say all processed food is unhealthy for diabetic's.

But there are many examples of processed foods that are -

  • Highly refined with fibre removed.
  • Sweetened, often with sugar or worse with glucose.
  • High in added salt.
  • Well cooked, breaking down carbohydrate into more easily digested sugars. Some Instant Foods?

With apparently similar products having different ingredients and different cooking treatments.

Its wise as a general guideline to check the carbohydrate and sugar contents and see how in practise they affect you. Monitor the results if possible too.

Foods with Quick Conversions to Blood Sugar Sugar Absorption Rate Notes and links to more information
Quick Ripe bananas have a quick conversion to blood sugar but like most fruits bananas have many beneficial properties. See Fruit.
Quick Related to sugar beet a source of refined sugar. Like many highly coloured vegetables good for other nutritional needs. See Root Vegetables.
Broad Bean or Fava Bean Quick The only bean in the quick range that I am aware of. With plenty of alternatives to it in the Medium or even Low rated band. Beans & Peas.
Quick, White and Wholemeal The extra fibre in wholemeal bread makes it a better option than white but both white and wholemeal convert quickly to blood sugar.

Try granary or pitta bread (or better wholemeal pitta bread) which have slower conversions to blood sugar and are in the medium range band. See

Corn Flakes
Corn Flakes
Quick Reduce or use only in small quantities as they are highly processed and very quickly converted to blood sugar. See Cereals.
Dates QuickFruit.
Glucose Very Quick Glucose needs very little effort to convert to blood sugar (blood glucose), May be of use if you suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, otherwise strongly avoid.
'Instant' or 'Snack' Foods Quick? Treat these with caution as they frequently have a quick conversion to blood sugar. Typically they are highly processed foods often with added salt, sugar or even glucose. Pre-cooked they require minimal cooking or the addition of boiling water.
'Low Fat' Foods Unknown 'Low Fat' foods, can be high or even very high in Carbohydrates. Check the ingredients for total carbohydrates and sugar. If you monitor, check how the food effects you.
Parsnip Quick Only a slight (and rather expensive) improvement if used as a potato substitute. See Root Vegetables.
Quick Like most fruits Pineapples have many beneficial properties. Pineapple are anti-inflamatory and can help prevent blood clots, hardening of the arteries and lower blood pressure. See Fruit.
Quick Roast potatoes or fried chips may also be fairly high in fat as well as calories. Try microwave or oven chips to reduce the fat or boiled/jacket potatoes for a low fat option.

Jacket potatoes have a slightly slower conversion to sugar as they have more fibre.

In a meal try mixing with vegetable that have low sugar conversion rates to balance the overall level. See Root Vegetables.

Raisins Quick A particularly sweet form of dried grape, sultana's are only a little better though
Rice Crispies Quick Reduce or use only in small quantities as they are highly processed and very quickly converted to blood sugar. See Cereals.
Sugar Quick Table Sugar or Sucrose. Glucose is higher still. Particularly avoid using it in drinks (Tea, Coffee, etc...) as sugars disolved in liquids are particularly quickly absorbed into the blood
Sweetened Drinks Quick Sugar disolved in liquid is particularly quickly absorbed into the blood. Diet versions are pretty good nowadays though. Especially avoid High Energy drinks which are worse again.
Quick See Fruit.