Wednesday, April 11, 2012

White rice and type 2 diabetes risk

A recent BMJ article found that higher consumption of white rice is associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations. Using the incidence rate of diabetes in a middle aged US population (15.2 cases/1000 aged 45-64) each serving per day increase was associated with a 11% increase in risk of diabetes for the overall population. Here are some realities about how to interpret this study:
  1. White rice is the refined form of rice, so it has higher glycemic load/index properties than brown rice. Always choose brown rice over white if possible.
  2. Jasmine and Basmati, while still refined, are less glycemic than other forms of white rice.
  3. If you consume white rice with lean protein and healthy fat, it will not have the same glycemic effect than if eaten without them.
  4. A few servings of white rice daily with a balanced meal is not real the problem. The problem is the other refined, as well as excess, carbohydrates that are consumed in addition to the white rice on a daily basis.

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