It was recently suggested that brown rice lowers the risk of developing Type II Diabetes.
I have been hearing for many years to eat brown rice instead of white rice.
Many doctors and dieticians recommended to eat brown rice as they warned us more and more that white food products weren’t good for us.
We are told that white food products including white rice are processed foods.
What is a processed food?
As easy as I can explain it, a processed food has ingredients added to it, which makes it no longer natural or original.
Over time we hear more and more that the added ingredients can be harmful to humans.
Did you know that all rice is brown rice before it is processed into white rice? It is.
That in itself easily explains why brown rice is healthier for us.
What happens to rice when it is processed?
When rice is processed it is stripped of most of its nutrients and almost all of the fiber. With white rice those healthy and natural ingredients are then replaced with powdered nutrients (except for the fiber). If the rice is rinsed before cooking then that enrichment powder is lost. In the end, only 55% of the original rice remains.1
On the webpage: http://www.salagram.net/64-65_rice.pdf there is a chart which shows the huge difference in nutritional value between enriched, processed white rice and unenriched, unprocessed brown rice. Brown rice prevails in almost every level except for one – B1-thiamin content, which is added to the enrichment process of white rice.
It takes our bodies longer to digest unprocessed, or mildly processed foods such as brown rice.
Why is brown rice better for diabetics?
According to that same chart, brown rice has a lower glycemic index than white rice – 55 compared to white rice’s 70-87.
Diabetes has been linked to over consumption of foods with a high glycemic index.
What is the difference between a high glycemic food and a low glycemic food?
All carbohydrates are not equal in terms of the blood glucose (glycemic) response they produce.
A high glycemic food is one that increases blood sugar significantly while others produce a lower rise.
Low glycemic foods can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and can even help control your appetite.
To summarize, brown rice is an unrefined or mildly processed food, which takes the body longer to digest it. The longer digestion process doesn’t cause a sharp rise (increase) in blood sugar.
What is the basic difference between Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes?
Type I Diabetes is a disorder in which the body doesn’t produce insulin – a hormone that helps move sugar out of the bloodstream. People with Type I Diabetes have to take insulin shots.
Type II Diabetes is a disorder in which insulin is present but it isn’t as effective at moving sugar from the bloodstream as a normal person’s is. Type II Diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise, weight loss and medications.
For those who are already a diabetic, white rice is less safe than brown rice because it breaks down into glucose more quickly than brown rice, causing a more drastic insulin reaction.
The website: www.eatgoodcarbs.com is a great guide for low glycemic meal planning.
Since I have heart disease and there is also a link between heart disease and diabetes, I try to reduce the foods I eat which are known to have a high glycemic index.
I love coconut, but coconut oil is bad for the heart. One of my sources was a box of Fifty50 Low Glycemic Coconut cookies. They are a delicious, healthy alternative for a coconut lover. The Fifty50 brand’s website is: www.fifty50.com
Simple changes in the carbohydrates we eat can make a big difference and lower the risk of developing illnesses such as Type II Diabetes.
Even though white rice is cheaper and takes a lot less time to cook, please try and switch to brown rice. It is much healthier in many ways.
Quicker microwavable instructions to cook brown rice can be found at: www.mahatmarice.com/brown
Brown rice is 100% natural and also: gluten-free, low in fat, a natural fiber source, sodium-free and cholesterol-free.
Healthier food choices = a healthier life.
My on hand resources were:
1. My own diet changes.
2. A box of Fifty50 Low Glycemic Coconut Cookies.
3. A bag of Mahatma Brown Rice.
1. Hinduism Today. November/December 2001. http://www.salagram.net/64-65_rice.pdf