Type 2 diabetes is on the rise as people become more overweight, eat more processed foods, and spend less time exercising. Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to make simple lifestyle and dietary changes – and here’s one way to do it.
Do you eat white rice with your meals? A large study recently showed that men and women who eat white rice regularly have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Even when researchers controlled for other diet and lifestyle factors, people who ate white rice almost daily had a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How much higher was the risk of type 2 diabetes among white rice eaters? Those who ate five or more servings of white rice a week had a seventeen percent greater risk of developing this common lifestyle disease.
The good news is you don’t have to give up rice entirely. The same study showed that eating brown rice has the opposite effect. It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Simply substituting brown rice for white rice is one way to lower the risk of diabetes without completely overhauling your diet.
Brown Rice to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Why Does It Help?
When white rice is processed, most of the nutrients and the fiber are stripped away. What’s left is mostly starch which is very rapidly absorbed – causing insulin levels to spike. It’s this spike in insulin levels that creates problems for diabetics – and people at risk for diabetes. On the other hand, the fiber and nutrients in brown rice remains intact, so it’s absorbed more slowly and doesn’t cause insulin levels to jump.
Whole Grains to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Eating brown rice in place of white may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but other whole grains can too. Instead of serving white rice, give your family quinoa, barley, or millet instead. All of these grains are high in fiber and are slowly absorbed – and they still have a rice-like texture.
Brown Rice to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: The Bottom Line?
Some of the benefits of brown rice on the risk of type 2 diabetes could be due to other factors. For example, brown rice eaters may practice an overall healthier lifestyle – but there still seems to be some protective benefits of eating whole grains in place of refined carbohydrates. It’s a simple change that most people can make – and reap the rewards.
Family Practice News. August 2010. page 22.