Is Rice OK to Eat if You Have Diabetes?
If you randomly surveyed 100 people and asked them, “Which do you think is healthier: white or brown rice?” there’s a good chance that at least 90 will respond “white.”
Have you ever been to an Asian restaurant that offers both white and brown rice? Which do you usually order? Do you mostly choose brown, thinking that it’s the much healthier option?
There’s good reason to believe the hype that brown rice is much healthier than white. Marketers of brown rice brands have succeeded in spreading the propaganda that brown rice is far superior, nutritionally to white.
And to be fair, brown rice is healthier than white rice. The processing of brown rice only removes the hull of the kernel, leaving most of the nutrition profile intact; when white rice is milled--and polished--a vast amount of nutrition is lost in the processing.
White rice, which, before processing, is brown, contains approximately 60 percent less iron than brown, as well as half the phosphorous, manganese and dietary fiber. Almost all the Vitamin B6 is lost in the processing from brown to white.
It’s easy to see why, then, nutritionists highly urge those trying to lose weight and control their blood sugar levels to replace white rice with brown.
Improving your diabetes? Rice is rice (unless it’s Miracle Rice)
Because of brown rice’s superior nutrition profile, it’s no wonder many health gurus offer what they believe is immutable advice: to reduce your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes--or to improve your diabetes if you already have it--switch from white rice to brown.
But on the glycemic index (GI) scale, the measure by which a specific food raises blood sugar levels once it’s digested (and within two to three hours after), how much difference is there between the two?
One would think that brown rice, with its more advantageous fiber content, would be quite low on the GI scale. Or at least far below the ranking of white.
There are different GI scales; there is no official government-sanctioned ranking. In examining several different scales, brown rice ranks somewhere between 50-65, placing it in the high-end of the GI scale, a range to avoid at all costs if you’re trying to improve your diabetes. (A score of 50-55+ is considered high.)
Some scales rank brown rice, especially instant, microwave-friendly varieties as high as 80!
White rice also varies on the GI scale but the average is approximately 65, again, way too high on the scale for those that need to improve their blood sugar levels. (For those that love to cook and are thinking about making the switch to rice flour, think again: it ranks a whopping 95 on the GI scale.)
So what’s an Asian or Indian food lover to do if rice is a no-no for low-blood sugar diets?
Instead of making the switch from white to brown, as most nutritionists would advocate, replace both with Miracle Rice. Substitute any dishes that call for orzo or risotto with Miracle Rice, which is made from the root of a plant and thus contains only soluble fiber and will not raise your blood sugar at all. It has zero net calories and zero net carbs. It’s soy, gluten and wheat-free.
Miracle Rice has the texture of regular rice and because it easily absorbs any sauces, spices or herbs you’re cooking with, it’ll taste like regular rice. And unlike healthier and relatively low GI wild rices (wild rice ranks 40 on the GI scale; Miracle Noodle ranks 0), which take 45 minutes or longer to cook, Miracle Rice needs just a minute or two or prep time. Simply remove from eco-friendly packaging, drain, rinse for a minute and lightly boil for a minute.
Combine Miracle Rice with a stir-fry rich with lightly-cooked vegetables and a modest serving of a lean, healthy protein such as wild salmon. Now you have the perfect meal for weight loss and diabetes!
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