Substituting Brown Rice Lowers Risk of Diabetes

(Health Secrets) Replacing white rice with brown rice and whole grains could dramatically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes says recent research from Harvard Medical School in Boston. This study was prompted by the general increase in the amount of white rice in Western diets. Studies in Asian societies, where diets traditionally include more white rice, have also indicated higher levels of type 2 diabetes.

What Does the Study Show?

The research, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reviewed data from previous studies and included responses from around 200,000 subjects, 75% of whom were women. Each subject completed a Food Frequency Questionnaire every four years for a period of 20 years, which indicated how often he or she ate standard portions of various foods including rice.

The participants were divided into groups depending on their consumption of white rice and brown rice. 5% of the participants developed type 2 diabetes during the study period, and trends between rice consumption and the development of type 2 diabetes were analyzed.

The results showed that:

  • People who ate five or more 150g servings of white rice per week were 17% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who ate less than one serving a month.
  • People who ate two or more servings of brown rice per week were 11% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who ate less than one serving per month.

The overall conclusion was that eating too much white rice increased the risk of diabetes, while eating brown rice and whole grains reduced the risk.

Why Does Brown Rice Reduce the Risk of Diabetes?  

Every type of food is assigned a glycemic index number which measures how quickly it releases glucose, and the impact of eating that food on blood sugar levels. Eating foods with a high glycemic index number generally increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

White rice has a high glycemic index number because a lot of the bran and germ naturally present in whole grain rice are removed during milling, and eating white rice causes a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. Brown rice and whole grains, on the other hand, have a low glycemic index number because they are high in fiber, and they release glucose gradually over a longer period of time, reducing dramatic peaks in blood sugar.

Tips on Including Whole Grains in Your Diet

The generally accepted nutritional advice is that half of the carbohydrates we consume should come from whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain bread, rolled oats, and brown pasta. However, currently 70% of the rice eaten in developed countries like the U.S. and the UK is white.

Replacing servings of white rice, white bread and pasta with brown or whole grain versions could have a dramatic impact on our health, and significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Ideally you should include three servings of whole grains in your diet every day. Keeping a food diary to record what you eat and when you eat it can help you see where to include more whole grain.

Here are five ways to ensure you are including whole grain in your diet:

1. Eat oats as a breakfast cereal

2. Use buckwheat flour instead of white flour in muffins, pancakes, waffles and baked goods

3. Popcorn is a good source of fiber, but stay away from popcorn in microwave bags

4. Use quinoa as an alternative to white rice

5. Add crunchy and nutritious wheat berries to salads and breads

For more information:

Published with permission from AlignLife.  Original article link is here.


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