White Rice May Cause Diabetes

Those of you with diabetes, or on the verge of the disease, should take note of a new study which reaffirms what nutritionists recommend: white rice is much less healthy than brown rice and can lead to worse diabetes — or cause diabetes for those on the verge.

The new data comes from a study just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which found a 17% higher risk of new diabetes in the white rice group. They estimate that switching to brown rice would decrease your risk by 16%. Even better, they estimate that switching to whole grains can decrease your risk by an impressive 36%.

It’s impressive data which goes along well with the underlying idea of a sugar load, AKA a “glycemic index” where simple sugars in things like sodas and processed foods cause unnaturally large sugar spikes in our bodies, slowly overwhelming our normal insulin response over the years and leading to diabetes. Here’s more from a BBC review:

Dr Qi Sun and other researchers say the explanation lies in the composition of the food.

Like other wholegrain foods, brown rice is high in fibre and releases its energy slowly.

In contrast, white rice has had all the bran and some of the germ removed during milling.

This gives white rice a higher glycaemic index (GI) – a measure of how much a food raises blood sugar levels compared with the same amount of glucose or white bread.

“From a public health point of view, replacing refined grains such as white rice by whole grains, including brown rice, should be recommended to facilitate the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” according to the researchers.

via BBC News – White rice ‘raises diabetes risk’, say US experts.

The same concept underlines why people should switch to whole wheat pastas and breads instead of the processed “white” flours. Your body will thank you for it, maybe not right now but certainly twenty years down the road…

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4 thoughts on “White Rice May Cause Diabetes”

  1. Great post Richard! Even with enriched white rice, it cannot beat the extra nutrients that is packed in whole grain rice. Such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, magnesium and phophorus etc.

    1. Brown rice is available in all the big markets in China. Also, there are a lot of organic 有机 or GreenFood 绿色食品 labels, which also are healthier!

  2. If this were the whole story the Japanese would show high diabetes levels and they don’t. There must be other factors at play here.

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