A lot of people regularly eat large amounts of white rice with their meals, thinking they’re doing their health a favor by cutting down on white bread. But it could be that white rice is just as disruptive to your good health as white bread. Not only is it lacking in nutrition, compared to whole grain brown rice, but it could significantly up your risk for diabetes.
In recent health news, researchers at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, reviewed studies looking at the association between white rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies that reported risk estimates for type 2 diabetes by rice intake levels were included in the review.
In all, four articles were identified and a total of 13,284 cases of type 2 diabetes were found among 352,384 participants, with follow-up periods ranging from four to 22 years.
The research team discovered that Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations had much higher white rice consumption levels than did Western populations (average intake levels were three to four servings/day versus one to two servings/week). The relative risk was 1.5 comparing the highest with the lowest category of white rice intake in Asian populations, whereas the corresponding relative risk was 1.12 in Western populations. The researchers concluded that higher consumption of white rice is associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Here’s some health advice then, based on the results of the Harvard study: switch brown rice for white rice the next time you have a meal. The problem is that milling brown rice to convert it to white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.
Do yourself a favor and get the superior nutrition found in brown rice. You can also consider brown rice as a good food for diabetics as it could help to better regulate glucose levels.
For more on the health benefits of whole grains, read the article, One Food That Battles the Three Worst Diseases.