Rice lovers pay attention! A new study has taken a closer look at what our selections of rice means for our risk of diabetes. A group of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Heath evaluated three groups of participants and came back with some interesting results. They discovered that eating five or more servings of white rice per week increased a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes. They also found that replacing just one-third of a daily serving of brown rice would lower their risk. Additionally, including more whole grains such as wheat and barley would also reduce their risk.
Whole grain and whole wheat food products have become commonplace in most American supermarkets and restaurants, giving consumers healthier options with foods like pasta, flour and bread.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), having diabetes affects more than just patients’ blood sugar levels, it also often results in various eye, foot and skin complications, and increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
The results reported in most cases, eating more brown than white rice was not based on ethnicity and more so on a health-conscious diet and life choices, but noted that participants who ate the most white rice were typically not of European origin and were more likely to have a family history that included diabetes.
The ADA reports that type 2 diabetes is more common in older adults as well as in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
The team of researchers explained that the superiority of brown rice is due to its high fiber content, vitamins and minerals and the fact that it typically doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar. Fiber is a significant fighter against the onset of diabetes because it slows the rush of sugar to the bloodstream.
Key potential influencers such as age, weight, smoking status, alcohol intake, family history of diabetes and other dietary habits were taken into consideration but, findings still held true.
Whole grains, rather than refined carbohydrates like white rice, should be the recommended primary source of carbohydrates for the U.S. population.
The most recent available data from the ADA reports that 23.6 million children and adults in the United States — that’s 7.8 percent of the entire population — have some form of diabetes. And 5.7 million people are living undiagnosed.
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