Lentil Glycemic Index (GI), Glycemic Load (GL), and Insulin Index (II)
Lentils are not high in carbohydrates, providing 12.2g of net carbs per 100g serving.
The International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values present the mean GI of eight boiled lentils to be 16 (1). This puts the GI of lentils in the low category.
These boiled lentils of 8 different varieties from Canada had GI values ranging from 10 to 23. The Asterix variety had the lowest GI of 10, while the highest GI value of 23 belonged to the Greenland variety.
Canned brown lentils from Australia have a significantly higher glycemic index of 42±5.
Older studies have calculated the GI of green lentils to fall in the range of 22 to 37 and the GI of red lentils in the range of 18 to 32.
Another research found the GI of boiled lentils to be 25, the GI of boiled lentil puree 27, the GI of frozen cooked lentil puree 47, and finally, the GI of roasted lentil flour 21 (2).
Visit this page to find our complete glycemic index chart of over 350 foods.
The International Tables of Glycemic Load Values presents the mean GL of lentils to be 3. However, this is intended as a guide only, as it is calculated for the whole food group and not for lentils.
We have calculated the glycemic load of lentils to be 7, based on a serving size of one cup (198g). We used the formula of GL = the GI of the food x available carbohydrates per serving (g) / 100.
In both calculations, the glycemic load of lentils is low.
The insulin index of lentils served in tomato sauce was measured to be 58±12 in healthy subjects (3). This value can be considered moderate.
At the same time, the insulin index of lentils tested for non-insulin-treated diabetic subjects was 103 (4). This is a high insulin index value.
If interested, you can find a complete list of insulin index values for over 140 foods on our page.