People with diabetes are often told to keep rice off their plates. But does having diabetes mean you can never eat any kind of rice?
One of the most common food-related questions we get from people with diabetes is whether they can eat brown rice.
In this blog, we’ll explore the connection between diabetes and brown rice and whether it’s a good option for controlling blood sugar levels.
Brown Rice Nutritional Information
The following table shows the nutritional information for 1 cup (195 grams) of cooked medium-grain brown rice.
Is Brown Rice Good For Diabetics?
Yes, brown rice is good for diabetics when consumed in moderation. It helps with weight loss, aids bone health and digestion, and controls sugar levels.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice For Diabetics
If you have diabetes, here’s why you should eat brown rice.
1. Helps with Weight Loss
Eating brown rice instead of white rice can help people who are overweight or obese reduce their body mass index and lose weight faster. And research shows losing weight is one of the best ways to manage diabetes.
Brown rice contains a high amount of dietary fibre (more than white rice). Eating high-fibre foods in moderation keeps you fuller longer and reduces your chances of eating extra calories or snacking between meals, which helps you lose weight slowly over time.
2. Aids Bone Health
Having diabetes puts you at risk for various bone and joint problems.
Brown rice is a source of bone-healthy nutrients like magnesium and calcium.
Studies show that a deficiency in calcium and magnesium can increase your risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.
While brown rice contains nutrients to strengthen your bones, we recommend supplementing your diet with other sources of calcium and magnesium to fulfil your daily intake.
3. Aids Digestion
People with diabetes tend to have gastrointestinal problems, like constipation.
The high-fibre content in brown rice helps keep your bowel movements regular by maintaining your intestinal movements.
If you suffer from constipation, we suggest you add brown rice to your diet and notice the difference.
4. Helps Control Cholesterol Levels
Research shows that diabetes tends to increase your LDL cholesterol levels, which can lead to health issues like heart attack and stroke.
Dietary fibre from whole foods like brown rice may help reduce cholesterol levels. Some studies show that eating brown rice daily can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.
5. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
A low-carb diet is one of the most effective ways to control blood sugar levels. And brown rice checks all the boxes for being one of the best low-carb food options.
- Brown rice has a low glycemic index, meaning it digests slower and doesn’t cause your blood sugar levels to rise.
- One serving (100 g) of brown has only 24 grams of carbs.
- Research shows that eating three servings of brown rice daily can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 32%.
- Brown rice contains phytic acid, fibre, and polyphenols that slow the release of sugars.
How To Cook Brown Rice for Diabetics
Here’s a simple way to cook brown rice for diabetics:
- In a saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
- Wash one cup of rice under water in a mesh.
- Boil it for 30 min uncovered.
- Turn the heat off, drain off the excess water, and let the rice sit till it cools off.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean eating tasteless foods. Here are some options to make your brown rice tastier:
- Brown rice with salad
- Brown rice with mushroom and coriander
- Brown rice cooked in chicken or vegetable broth
- Brown rice mixed with your favourite meats
Portion Sizes and Diet Quality
If you have diabetes, you can eat 80g of brown rice. So, that would mean eating 40g of brown rice per meal (lunch and dinner).
To make the most out of your diet, eat brown rice with other wholesome foods that have a low glycemic index.
Is Eating Brown Rice Okay For Diabetes?
Yes, eating brown rice is okay for diabetes. In fact, people with diabetes are encouraged to eat a serving of brown rice every day.
How Much Brown Rice Can a Diabetic Eat?
A diabetic can eat no more than 80 grams of brown every day. One cup of brown rice contains around 45 grams of carbohydrates, which is why diabetics should limit themselves how much of it they consume.
Can Brown Rice Increase Blood Sugar?
No, brown rice does not increase blood sugar when eaten in moderation. It has a low glycemic index, so it’s digested more slowly, causing a minimal and gentler change in blood sugar.
Which Is Better for Diabetics: Brown Rice or Chapati?
Chapati is better than brown rice for diabetes. A serving of chapati, compared to an equal serving of brown rice, has more fibre, protein, and fat. Whole-grain chapatis are one of the best foods for diabetics.
Eat Brown Rice in Moderation To Manage Diabetes
Adding brown rice to your daily diet can do wonders for your health, especially if you have diabetes. With high fibre and lots of nutrients, brown rice can keep diabetes at bay and help you stay healthy.
If you’d like to learn more about dietary options for diabetes, we invite you to book an appointment with one of our dieticians at Ayu Health Network of Hospitals.
Visit our website and get started today.
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