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Can Diabetics Consume Brown Rice? [2022]


Can Diabetics Consume Brown rice is a whole grain that’s often considered a health food.

Unlike white rice, which only contains the starchy endosperm, brown rice retains the nutrient-rich germ and bran layers of the grain.

The only part removed is the hard outer hull .Yet, while it’s higher in several nutrients than white rice, brown rice remains rich in carbs.

As a result, you may wonder whether it’s safe for people with diabetes.This article tells you whether you can eat brown rice if you have diabetes.

How brown rice affects diabetes

Can Diabetics Consume Brown rice

Even if you have diabetes, brown rice is a beneficial supplement to a balanced diet.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to keep an eye on portion sizes and be knowledgeable about how this food impacts blood sugar levels.

General health benefits

An outstanding nutritional profile can be found in brown rice. Fiber, antioxidants, and a number of vitamins and minerals are all present in good amounts.

Particularly, this whole grain has a lot of flavonoids, which are plant substances with strong antioxidant properties.

Consuming foods high in flavonoids is linked to a lower chance of developing chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.

A growing body of research indicates that high-fiber meals like brown rice are good for your digestive system and may lower your chance of developing chronic diseases. They might also increase satiety and promote weight loss.

Nutritional benefits

One cup (202 grams) of cooked long grain brown rice provides :

  • Calories: 248
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 52 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Manganese: 86% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Thiamine (B1): 30% of the DV
  • Niacin (B3): 32% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 15% of the DV
  • Pyridoxine (B6): 15% of the DV
  • Copper: 23% of the DV
  • Selenium: 21% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 19% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Zinc: 13% of the DV

Brown rice is a fantastic source of magnesium, as you can see. This mineral, which helps with bone growth, muscular contraction, nerve function, wound healing, and even blood sugar regulation, is practically all you need in just 1 cup (202 grams).

Additionally, riboflavin, iron, potassium, and folate are all present in brown rice in good amounts.

Benefits for people with diabetes

Brown rice’s high fiber content has been found to considerably lower post-meal blood sugar levels in both overweight and type 2 diabetic individuals.

For diabetes to be prevented or delayed, overall blood sugar control is crucial.

Two plates of brown rice, as opposed to white rice, significantly decreased post-meal blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (a marker of blood sugar control) in a research including 16 persons with type 2 diabetes.

While this was going on, a study of 28 type 2 diabetic adults over the course of 8 weeks discovered that those who consumed brown rice at least 10 times per week saw significant increases in their endothelium function, a crucial indicator of blood sugar levels.

By promoting weight loss, brown rice may also help to improve blood sugar control.

Eating 3/4 cup (150 grams) of brown rice per day, as opposed to white rice, significantly reduced weight, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI) in a 6-week research involving 40 overweight or obese women.

Weight loss is crucial because, according to an observational research of 867 adults, those who lose 10% or more of their body weight within five years of receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis are twice as likely to experience remission during that time.

May protect against type 2 diabetes

Can Diabetics Consume Brown rice

Brown rice may not only help those who already have diabetes, but it may also lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Eating at least two servings of brown rice per week was associated with a considerably lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study including 197,228 adults.

Furthermore, a 16 percent lower incidence of this illness was linked to replacing just 1/4 cup (50 grams) of white rice with brown rice.

It is believed that the increased fiber content of brown rice is at least partially to blame for this protective effect, however the exact mechanism is still unclear.

The higher magnesium content of brown rice has also been associated with a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.

What’s the glycemic index of brown rice?

Can Diabetics Consume Brown rice

The glycemic index (GI) is a useful tool for diabetics since it quantifies how much a diet increases blood sugar levels.

Blood sugar levels are raised more by foods with a high GI than by those with a medium or low GI.

result, increasing your intake of low- and medium-calorie foods may help you control your blood sugar.

Where does brown rice fall?

Can Diabetics Consume Brown rice

Brown rice that has been boiled received a 68, making it a medium GI meal.

To put this into perspective, the following are some examples of additional meals based on their GI score (27):

  • High GI foods (score of 70 or more): white bread, corn flakes, instant oatmeal, white rice, rice crackers, white potatoes, watermelon
  • Medium GI foods (score of 56–69): couscous, muesli, pineapple, sweet potatoes, popcorn
  • Low GI foods (score of 55 or less): oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut), barley, lentils, beans, non-starchy vegetables, carrots, apples, dates

White rice, in contrast, has a GI of 73, making it a high GI food. It has less fiber than brown rice, which causes it to breakdown more quickly and cause a bigger blood sugar increase.

Generally speaking, it is advised for diabetics to consume less high GI foods.

It’s critical to eat brown rice with low GI meals, protein sources, and healthy fats to assist lower the overall GI of your meal.

Portion sizes and diet quality

Can Diabetics Consume Brown rice

To maintain your blood sugar levels, it’s crucial to limit your overall carb intake. You should therefore be aware of how much brown rice you consume at each meal.

There is no set amount of carbs that you should consume; instead, you should base your intake on your blood sugar objectives and how your body reacts to carbs.

For instance, if your target is 30 grams of carbohydrates per meal, you should limit your intake of brown rice to 1/2 cup (100 grams), which has 26 carbohydrates.

The remainder of your meal might then consist of low-carb options like roasted veggies and chicken breast.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that whole grains are just one component of a balanced diet in addition to paying attention to portion sizes.

At every meal, make an effort to include lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and low-carb veggies.

In addition to offering more vitamins and minerals, eating a varied, balanced diet that is high in whole foods and low in processed, refined items also helps to keep blood sugar levels constant.

According to a study of 229 persons with type 2 diabetes, those who had higher-quality diets had considerably better blood sugar management than those who had poorer-quality diets.

If you want to know what a balanced diet looks like for you, you might want to speak with a medical expert.

How to cook brown rice

Can Diabetics Consume Brown rice

An affordable and simple to prepare pantry staple is brown rice.

Place 1 cup (180 grams) of dry rice in a pot, cover with 2 cups (475 ml) of water, and rinse the rice under cold running water. Salt and a little olive oil are optional additions.

Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover. After the majority of the water has been absorbed, simmer for 45 to 55 minutes.

Remove from heat, cover, and allow it cool for ten minutes.For optimum texture, fluff the rice with a fork just before serving.

When used in grain bowls, curries, salads, stir-fries, soups, and veggie burgers, brown rice is a versatile component.

It can also be used to make a low-sugar rice pudding or a hearty breakfast of eggs and vegetables.

Here are some dishes using this whole grain that are suitable for diabetics:

  • brown rice and pinto bean bowl with chicken and pico de gallo
  • Asian tofu stir-fry
  • turkey-kale rice bake
  • spring roll salad
  • Mediterranean unstuffed peppers
  • salmon with brown rice and vegetables
  • huevos rancheros with pinto beans, brown rice, and chicken sausage
  • brown rice pudding

The bottom line

If you have diabetes, eating brown rice in moderation is totally safe.

Although it contains a lot of carbohydrates, its fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals may help you manage diabetes by improving blood sugar control.

To assist control your blood sugar levels, you should still limit your portion sizes and eat brown rice with other nutritious foods like lean meats or healthy fats.

Brown rice, which has a chewy texture and nutty flavor, can be a healthy complement to a balanced diet.

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