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Can Eating Too Much Rice Cause Diabetes?

White rice is one of the mandatory foods for many Indonesians. In fact, not a few think that a person is said to have not eaten if he has not consumed rice. However, there is research which states that white rice is related to the risk of diabetes. Is this claim true?

Can Eating Too Much Rice Cause Diabetes?

Eating Lots of Rice Causes Diabetes, Myth or Fact?

Before knowing the effect of white rice on the onset of diabetes, you need to understand the body’s reaction to it.

White rice is a source of carbohydrates. In 250 grams of rice it is known that there are 53.4 grams of carbohydrates.

When a person consumes food and drinks that contain carbohydrates, the body will break them down into glucose and cause sugar levels to increase. Insulin in the body will help spread glucose to the body’s cells so that there is no increase that is too high.

Please note, excessive consumption of carbohydrates will provide a large metabolic burden for the body. When the body has persistently high blood sugar, it increases the risk of metabolic problems, including diabetes.

Also Read: Diabetics Consume Cold Rice, Is It Healthier?

A research conducted by Harvard School of Public Health states that, someone who eats three to four servings of white rice a day has a 1.5 times higher risk of suffering from diabetes when compared to those who consume small amounts of rice.

Other research states that people who consume more than 450 grams of white rice per day have a higher risk of developing diabetes when compared to those who consume less than 150 grams of white rice per day.

White rice is indeed a food that has a high glycemic index value. That is, consumption of white rice can cause a spike in blood sugar after consumption.

It can be concluded that excessive consumption of white rice can cause diabetes.

Also Read: 9 Benefits of Yoga for Diabetics, Don’t Miss It

White Rice Alternatives You Can Try

Here are some options sources of carbohydrates other than white rice which can be a healthy source of energy, including:

1. Brown Rice

Brown rice has a lower number of carbohydrates when compared to white rice, so it can be the right alternative for those of you who still want to eat rice. The reason is, in 250 grams of brown rice there are 45 grams of carbohydrates.

Brown rice has a different taste and texture than white rice. Brown rice has a firmer texture and a more complex aroma.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes can be a substitute for white rice because they have lower calories than white rice.

Apart from carbohydrates, potatoes also contain high amounts of fiber and contain vitamins B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, and vitamin C.

You can process potatoes by boiling or steaming so they don’t add fat intake to the body.

3. Quinoa

Quinoa contains higher protein when compared to rice. Every 92 grams of cooked quinoa contains 4 grams of protein. This amount is two times higher than white rice.

In addition, quinoa also contains 9 essential amino acids needed by the body, and can be a good source of protein for vegetarians. Quinoa is also a source of the minerals magnesium and copper which are necessary for metabolism and bone health.

Also Read: Can Replace Rice, Here are 5 benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Diabetics

4. Shirataki Rice

Shirataki rice is an alternative to rice that is popular among people on weight loss programs.

Shirataki rice is made from porang tubers, so it is low in fat and low in calories. This one food ingredient is rich in a source of fiber called glucomannan.

Glucomannan is known to have many health benefits, including being able to form a lining along the intestines. However, you still need to consume large amounts of shirataki rice to get the benefits of glucomannan.

5. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a low-carb, low-calorie alternative. This alternative to white rice has a texture and appearance similar to white rice.

Every 57 grams of cauliflower rice contains only 13 calories, while for the same weight, white rice contains 100 calories.

  1. Anonymous. All About Carbs. https://www.hri.org.au/health/your-health/nutrition/all-about-carbs. (Accessed January 13, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. Eating White Rice Regularly May Raise Type 2 Diabetes Risk. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/eating-white-rice-regularly-may-raise-type-2-diabetes-risk/. (Accessed January 13, 2023).
  3. Bhavadharini, Balaji. 2020. White Rice Intake and Incident Diabetes: A Study of 132,373 Participants in 21 Countries. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7576435/. (Accessed January 13, 2023).
  4. Cronkleton, Emily. 2022. Carbohydrates in Brown, White, and Wild Rice: Whole vs. Refined Carbs. https://www.healthline.com/health/carbs-in-rice. (Accessed January 13, 2023).
  5. Seitz, Adrienne. 2021. 12 Rice Substitutes Suitable For All Diets. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/rice-substitute. (Accessed January 13, 2023).
  6. Shoemaker, SaVanna. 2019. 11 Healthy Alternatives to Rice. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rice-substitutes. (Accessed January 13, 2023).
  7. Stines, Yvelette. 2021. Eating Rice When You Have Diabetes. https://www.verywellhealth.com/rice-and-diabetes-5112656. (Accessed January 13, 2023).

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