Brown rice significantly reduces risk of diabetes

Rice has been a staple food in many countries, especially, Asian countries for centuries. Per statistics, U.S. rice consumption is lower than Asian countries, but is increasing rapidly, and more than 70% of the rice consumed is white. However, brown rice is considered as a preferred choice in term of whole grains consumption. Brown rice can be easily digested by our body as compared to other grain products like wheat and offer various nutritional benefits over white rice.

The latest study reveals that brown rice consumption is associated with lower risk of diabetes compared to white rice. 

What are the similarities and dissimilarities between brown rice and white rice?
Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and protein. The major difference lies in their processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice which is known as husk is removed, brown rice is produced. And when the next layers underneath the husk, known as the bran layer and the germ are removed, white rice is produced. Brown rice is considered as a whole grain. Brown rice is
also said to be less constipating than white rice.

What does the new study reveal?
Consuming more white rice appears to be associated with a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes compared to consuming more brown rice according to a report that was published in the June 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Who performed the study and what are the results?
Qi Sun, M.D., Sc.D., of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues assessed...

rice consumption and diabetes risk among 39,765 men and 157,463 women in three large studies: the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study I and II.

The results concluded that –

  • People who consumed five or more servings of white rice per week had a 17% increased risk of diabetes compared with those who consumed less than one serving per month. 
  • People who consumed two or more servings of brown rice per week was associated with an 11% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes than eating less than one serving per month.
  • Based on the results, the researchers estimated that replacing 50 grams (equivalent to one-third of a serving) of white rice per day with the same amount of brown rice would be associated with a 16% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Replacing white rice with whole grains as a group could be associated with a risk reduction as great as 36% which is significant.

We know diabetes is one of the leading health problems not only in Asian Countries but all over the world. Making a little change in the food habits like including brown rice, can help us in preventing the diabetes in future and at the same time may be helpful for those who are already diabetic.  Although I am non-diabetic white rice lover, but after reading this latest study I have determined to include brown rice in my family’s diet.


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