Hello everyone! I’m back with a new blog post, this time focusing on the best type of rice for diabetics. As you all know, a diabetic is a person who has a high blood glucose or blood sugar in the body. This metabolism disorder is more known as diabetes or diabetes mellitus as doctors often refer to as. What is the best rice for diabetics? I invite you to read.
Types of Diabetes
There are actually many known types of diabetes that varies in causes and treatment. The three most known are:
- Type 1 Diabetes (formerly known as insulin-dependent)
This is uncommon in comparison to type 2. Only an approximate 10% of the population of diabetics are type 1. In this type, the body does not at all produce insulin and so patients will need to take insulin injections for their lifetime.
- Type 2 Diabetes (formerly known as non-insulin-dependent)
This is the most common with approximately 90% worldwide having this type. It is here when the body produces insulin but not enough for proper function.
Some diabetics with this type can control it by losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise. However, this type of disease is progressive. Hence, if not controlled, it will worsen through time when patients need to have an intake of insulin.
- Gestational Diabetes
As the name suggests, this type develops during women pregnancy a.k.a. gestation. A high blood sugar level will not only affect the health of the pregnant woman but the baby inside the womb as well.
What is the Treatment for Diabetes
Since Type 1 and Gestational diabetes doesn’t have known risk factors that are curable, I’ll be focusing on Type 2 and some ways to treat it.
From its risk factors alone, we get the idea that you can control Type 2 diabetes symptoms through a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
According to the director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute – Gerald Bernstein, M.D., “the basic goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to avoid blood sugar spikes”. Hence, avoid foods with large sugar intake at all costs!
So what are the best and worst food for diabetics you ask? Basically, foods with low sugar, low carbohydrate, and low glycemic index content are best for diabetics.
What is the Best Rice for Diabetics
With all these food criteria necessary to treat Type 2 diabetes, is rice okay for consumption?
According to a 2012 review on the treatment of diabetes, rice is apparently the worst food to be in your diet. However, rice is a staple food in most countries especially in Asia. Rice consumption is part of daily lives that it’ll be difficult to restrict yourself from eating even if it means losing weight or treating your diabetes. Plus, doesn’t rice complete your meal? 😉
With this said, are all kinds of rice really bad for diabetics? Well, the answer is no.
Since there is a strict dietary plan for diabetics, they are advised to pay particular attention to sugar, carbohydrate, and fiber content as well as glycemic index. Bearing these doctors’ advices in mind, white rice becomes seemingly the worst rice to treat diabetes. However, brown rice is an exception.
So what are the content of brown rice that makes it healthier than white rice especially for diabetics?
- Brown rice has around 46 grams of carbohydrates while white rice has 53 grams.
- It has 1.8 grams of fiber while white rice has 0.4 grams.
- Its glycemic index (GI) is between 48 and 62 while white rice is between 72 and 83.
- Brown rice has higher amylose content than white rice.
Is Brown Rice the Best Option?
With these facts, we can see how brown rice definitely has an edge compared to white rice, nutrition-wise. Let’s discuss the points one by one.
In the carbohydrate content, we see how both brown and white rice are high-carb diets but brown rice apparently has lower content than white. This makes it a better option for rice consumption of diabetics.
In the fiber content, brown rice is seemingly more packed than white rice. According to Beth Reardon, RD, a nutritionist adviser, “because fiber is not digested by the body, it does not affect blood sugar level. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady.” Hence, food packed with fiber is healthier than food without.
In terms of glycemic index, brown rice has below 69 while white rice is above it. Foods which have GI’s below 69 and 55 are said to be a healthier option for the diabetics. Why? Well that is because GI determines how fast your blood sugar levels rise in a general occasion.
Amylose, on the other hand, is a soluble component of glucose or starch. It can be determined with its relation to the glycemic index. It is said that the lower the GI, the higher its amylose content. Since brown rice has a lower GI than white rice, it contains more amylose.
However, when we combine rice with other foods, as rice is usually served as an accompaniment, the GI is reduced. The glycemic index applies to a single product without additives.
Most people do not consume rice alone, usually we eat rice in combination with vegetables and meat or fish. The presence of other food slows digestion and thus slows blood sugar spikes caused by rice.
Therefore, suggesting only the glycemic index is wrong, we should look at the glycemic load, i.e. the sugar response after eating the whole meal with all ingredients, not just rice.
When you prepare a meal with rice, you should mainly suggest this parameter.
If you’re wondering how to cook brown rice, watch the video below to find out:
What about White Rice?
Combining all these points on the comparison of brown rice and white rice, brown rice is definitely a better rice option for the diabetics so this should be consumed more often.
However, there are cases wherein people might be uncomfortable eating brown rice. Well don’t be alarmed because there are actually exceptions to the type of white rice you can consume.
Long grain white rice has a lower GI than the short type grain. Basmati rice is an example of this. As mentioned in a previous post, Basmati is a long grained aromatic white rice. With a GI of around 53, Basmati is the best type of white rice for your diabetic plan diet. Now you can enjoy your white rice all the while controlling your diabetes symptoms 🙂
If you’re wondering how to cook basmati rice, however, there are quite a number of ways. Watch the video below to find out:
So in conclusion, a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is necessary to control the symptoms of the most common type of diabetes that is Type 2 diabetes. In order to have a good dietary plan, foods with low sugar, low carbohydrate, tons of fiber, low glycemic index with a high amylose content are indeed a must.
Don’t forget that in addition to glycemic index, it is crucial to control the glycemic load of your meals. Even white rice can be eaten with additional ingredients like vegetables or meat that will reduce its glycemic index.
The consumption of rice is okay although should be moderated with the right type of rice for diabetes. Brown rice is the best choice particularly for its low glycemic index as compared to others. If you are a fan of white rice, however, basmati rice is the best type and the only type of white rice you can consume in order for your diabetes not to worsen.
With that said, enjoy your rice everyone! Remember to eat healthy for lower risk of diseases like diabetes 🙂