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Better Rice, Potato, or Corn?

People with diabetes (diabetes) should pay close attention to their daily intake of carbohydrates. Some common sources of carbohydrates are rice, potatoes, and corn. Of the three, which is the best source of carbohydrates for diabetes?

Carbohydrates for Diabetes: Better Rice, Potatoes, or Corn?

The Effect of Carbohydrates on Diabetics

When it enters the body, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar in the blood). Glucose will then be processed by the insulin hormone into energy.

Unfortunately, in diabetics, there is interference with the processing of these hormones; it could be because the pancreas does not produce it in sufficient quantities, or the cells in the body cannot use insulin properly.

This condition ultimately causes a spike in blood sugar in the patient’s body. Therefore, choosing a source of carbohydrates is one of the important things for diabetics to do in controlling their disease.

Choosing good carbohydrate intake can help control blood sugar levels, while maintaining ideal body weight.

If diabetic blood sugar levels are controlled, the risk of dangerous complications from this disease can be prevented.

The way you can choose a good source of carbohydrates is to pay attention to the glycemic index (GI) value of a food.

The glycemic index is an indicator to determine how quickly or slowly a food increases blood sugar levels in the body.

A food will not cause a drastic increase in blood sugar if the glycemic index value is low (below 55 on a scale of 0-100).

Also Read: Recognizing the Glycemic Index and Its Effect on Blood Sugar Levels

Glycemic Index on Rice, Potatoes, and Corn

Talking about carbohydrates, maybe you immediately think of rice. Naturally, because white rice is the staple food of most Indonesian people.

Apart from rice, there are also other well-known sources of carbohydrates that are considered capable of ‘replacing’ the role of rice as the main food, such as potatoes and corn.

Then, between rice, potatoes and corn; which is a good source of carbohydrates for diabetics?.

The important thing that you should know first is the glycemic index value of these three foods.

1. Rice

White rice contains more than 53 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Unfortunately, only a few carbohydrates, including fiber.

As is known, there are three types of carbohydrates namely sugar, starch, and fiber. Now,Of the three, fiber is known to have no significant impact on blood sugar levels.

Meanwhile, the glycemic index level in white rice is high, which is around 73. If you replace it with brown rice, the glycemic index number that enters the body can be lower, which is around 68.

2. Potatoes

The carbohydrates in potatoes come from starch. This means, this one food is at risk of causing a spike in blood sugar.

On the other hand, the glycemic index value of potatoes varies depending on how you process them. But in general, the GI value of potatoes is at 54-111 with an average value of 82. A very high number, isn’t it?

Diabetics can still eat it, as long as they pay attention to the right portion.

3. Corn

Corn is one source of carbohydrates that can be consumed by diabetics. Starch is the main carbohydrate in this one grain.

Among the existing types of corn, sweet corn is a type of corn that contains low amounts of starch, but has a higher sugar content, which is about 18 percent by weight of corn.

On the other hand, the glycemic index content of corn is the lowest among rice and potatoes, which is around 52. However, this value varies depending on the processing.

Also Read: Can Diabetics Eat Oat Biscuits?

Which is Safer?

Both rice, potatoes and corn, all three are safe for diabetics. However, looking at the glycemic index value, corn has the lowest number. This means, consumption of these foods will not result in a rapid rise in blood sugar.

It’s just that you also have to pay attention to the alias glycemic load glycemic loads (GL) in food. This is an indicator to measure the portion of carbohydrates that can be digested by the body.

The greater the amount of carbohydrate food eaten, the higher the glycemic load received by the body.

Therefore, avoid consuming foods that contain excessive carbohydrates. This is done to reduce the glycemic load that enters the body.

Please note, the glycemic load of white rice is 17.4, potatoes are around 12.3, and medium sized corn is at 15.

If you want to make these three types of food your main source of carbohydrates, you can choose alternative foods with a lower glycemic index.

For example, replace white rice with brown rice, considering that it has a lower glycemic index value.

As for potatoes, you can choose pasta or bulgur over baked potatoes. You can also replace corn with peas and green vegetables.

  1. Anonymous. 2021. A Good Guide to Good Carbs: The Glycemic Index. (Accessed January 19, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2022. What is the Glycemic Index (GI)? (Accessed January 19, 2023).
  3. Anonymous. Boiled Potatoes. (Accessed January 19, 2023).
  4. Anonymous. Understanding Carbs Find Your Balance. (Accessed January 19, 2023).
  5. Anonymous. White Rice Standard. (Accessed January 19, 2023).
  6. Arnarson, Atli. 2019. Corn 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. (Accessed January 19, 2023).
  7. Cervoni, Barbie. 2022. White Rice Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. (Accessed January 19, 2023).
  8. Higuera, Valencia. 2023. Are There Carbs in Potatoes? (Accessed January 19, 2023).

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