Here’s What a Dietitian Has to Say
When it comes to this low-fiber grain, the common advice for people with diabetes is to avoid it entirely. This refined, low-fiber grain is often considered taboo in Western diets for its high starch and low nutritional value. Rice makes up 20% of the world’s caloric consumption, with most rice eaten as white rice. More importantly, white rice is the main staple among Asian, Latin American, and some African diets. So, how can white rice be bad for you, particularly when it’s so commonly eaten among different ethnic groups? One of the common questions asked is if eating rice with Diabetes is allowed and if so, how much. Can you still eat it even if you have type 2 diabetes? We looked at the research for some answers.
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Rice in Diabetes
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Here’s the nutrition for 1 cup of cooked enriched long-grain white rice
White rice, whether short- or long-grain, is a starch-filled, low-fat grain that provides between 45 and 53 grams of carbohydrates per 1-cup serving. Although it has minimal fiber, it provides some protein, with 4 grams per serving. That said, brown rice offers a good source of fiber, while white rice has very little fiber.
Can You Eat White Rice When You Have Diabetes?
Current dietary recommendations suggest eating fewer refined carbohydrates, including white rice, and replacing these foods with high-fiber, low-glycemic-index grains, such as brown rice. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes who replaced white rice with brown rice did not see an improvement in their fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C (a blood test that provides the three-month average of the blood sugar level). There were benefits to forgoing white: some participants who subbed brown rice for white also lost weight and improved their “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
So, the short answer is—yes, you may be able to eat white rice when you have diabetes. If you’re thinking about making it part of your meal, there are several factors to consider when it comes to blood sugar management, including the following-
How the rice was cooked
Research has found that rice that has been cooked, cooled, and refrigerated before use, such as rice used in eaten as leftovers, contains more resistant starches than freshly cooked rice, such as boiled rice, rice made in a broth, and rice made in a rice cooker. This is due to changes in the structure of the starch molecules that affect the starch’s digestibility.
What portion size you’re eating
Even if you choose lower-glycemic-index rice, it’s important to remember that the amount of rice (along with other carbohydrate-containing foods) you’re eating matters. Overeating carbohydrates has been linked to poorly managed diabetes and the increased risk of type 2 diabetes. carbohydrate foods. Setting up your plate like this is an easy (and visual) way of keeping your portions of carbohydrates, including those from white rice, in check.
Whether your diet is balanced
A diet that included white rice, fruit, low-carbohydrate vegetables, and dairy products was not linked to increasing one’s glycemic load, which is the number of total carbohydrates absorbed, a factor that plays a role in blood sugar response. The types of foods included, whether the foods are part of one’s culture, their nutritional qualities, and the amount of sodium and saturated fats are some factors to account for when assessing if your diet is health-promoting for you.
How to Include White Rice with Your Meals
You may be less likely to have sudden blood sugar spikes after a meal when you combine white rice with lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. Here are a few ideas for pairing white rice with your meals and snacks:
- White rice mixed with a vegetable as a side dish
- White rice combined with vegetables and legumes
- White rice paired with vegetables and meat.
- White rice added to salads
- White rice added to yogurt with aromatic spices
Also read: High Blood Sugar indicates Diabetes