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Can you eat rice if you are diabetic?

Being a diabetic, you have to be vigilant about your diet and lifestyle. Watching what you eat and monitoring its effects on your sugar levels can be tiring yet is a necessity.

Controlling diabetes becomes a lot easier if you monitor the daily carb intake and glycemic index score. Not tracking diabetes can lead to serious issues and health problems such as cardiovascular illness, damage to the kidney or infections. Certain foods also help in managing diabetes.

But what if you are a rice lover?

Rice is high in carbohydrates. Therefore when you hear rice and diabetes together it is like a Death Call. One-third cup of rice equals 15g of carbs. So now you know how dangerous it can be for a diabetic. But this does not mean you cannot have rice ever. Rice is a staple food in India and dates back to ancient Yajur Veda times. It is white rice which you should not consume or avoid. White rice is depleted of its dietary fibre and has high starch content.

The alternative to this is Red and Brown rice.

  • Red rice is the unhulled or partially hulled type of rice and is known to have many health benefits. Red rice is known to lower inflammation, avoid allergies and prevent the risk of developing cancer. Red rice also contains anthocyanin which is an antioxidant. The vitamin A,E and C present in red rice helps boost metabolism. It also creates a strong protective barrier against harmful bacteria.
  • Brown rice is prepared from paddy with only the outer husk removed. Hence, it has all its botanical components intact, making it rich in nutrients. Brown rice is rich in protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Many studies have proved that brown rice helps lower risk of obesity and metabolic syndromes. Moreover, brown rice has has lower glycemic index as compared to white rice, making it an ideal choice for diabetic patients. The glycemic index of white rice is above 70 whereas for brown rice it is only between 50-60. By replacing white rice with brown the risk of diabetes is lowered by 18-20%. Adding vegetables to brown rice helps in better sugar control as well.

The conclusion is that people with diabetes can consume rice and do not have to give up on it completely. It is just about moderation and the type of rice you consume that should be monitored. Apart from rice and diabetic diet one should also invest in exercise regularly for a more controlled diabetes. Also, it is recommended to invest in a glucometer, as it will help in tracking your daily blood sugar levels. 


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