Is Brown Rice Good for Diabetics?

Aditi Shenai

November 18, 2022

Rice, a staple in the Asia-Pacific region, has been around for centuries. However, it has been some time since dehusked white rice supplanted the customarily eaten brown rice, particularly in the Indian subcontinent and other Asian nations. Thus, brown rice is limited to being consumed only by individuals in towns and the people who relish the taste, flavour, and various medical advantages that go with it.

Rice is one of the essential food sources on the planet, providing as much as half of the daily calories for half of the total populace. Brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice as its a nutrient rich whole grain.

The interactions that produce brown rice remove only the peripheral layer of the rice bran so that it does not lose its nutritional properties. The total processing and cleaning that converts brown rice into white rice destroy 67% of vitamin B3, 80% of vitamin B1, 90% of vitamin B6, 60% of iron and a large proportion of manganese and phosphorus, dietary fibre and essential unsaturated fat. 

Although brown rice has nutrients and health benefits, can it be consumed by a person who has diabetes? It is the most common question that arises. This article will find such answers and see whether brown rice with diabetes is connected.

Brown Rice: An Overview

Brown rice, frequently alluded to as entire rice or freight rice, is the whole grain with just its unappetising external frame eliminated. Brown rice offers many health benefits and nutrients. It contains more fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals than white rice. For example, 100 grams of brown rice contains 1.6 grams of fibre, while white rice provides only 0.4 grams of fibre in 100 grams.

The Nutritional Properties of Brown Rice

The wheat and microbe, the two external layers of brown rice, contain the vast majority of the nutrients and minerals in the grain. Those layers get eliminated when producers make white rice. Brown rice also has more dietary fibre than white rice. Therefore, if you replace white rice with brown rice, you will want to eat less without feeling hungrier as it has higher fibre.

Nutritional Information

One hundred grams of brown rice contains:

  • Calories: 360 kCal
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Carbs: 78 g
  • Fibre: 4 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Magnesium: 120 mg

Brown rice additionally provides you with numerous nutrients and minerals:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Brown rice is a whole grain, unlike white rice. In a milling process, an individual separates the germ, husk, and bran and passes to provide sustenance, protein, carb-rice endosperm, and fibre to the grain and microorganism. That is why brown rice is a rich source of riboflavin, thiamine, iron, niacin and calcium.

Brown Rice with Diabetes

The benefits of brown rice are proven and factual, and experts attest to its benefits. It can provide you with many benefits when consumed in the correct quantity. For example, you may choose or opt for brown rice instead of white rice if you are trying to manage your diabetes levels because it has a lower glycemic index than white rice.

The glycemic index or GI is a range that measures the effect of food on glucose levels and the amount that raises this level. A high GI food tends to elevate glucose levels, while those with a medium or low GI do not change glucose significantly.

Brown rice has a 68 GI level and is a medium GI food. In contrast, white rice has a 73 GI level. Additionally, brown rice has more fibre. So, eating a smaller portion will help you feel fuller and for a more extended time than when you consume white rice.

Study shows brown rice is high in fibre, lowering blood sugar levels in people who have type 2 diabetes. Since controlling blood sugar levels is vital to preventing diabetes, you must control your blood sugar levels.

Is Brown Rice Good for Diabetes People?

We should comprehend the two primary kinds of diabetes before discussing them.

Type 1: An immune system condition brought about by expanded glucose level. The body assaults and therefore obliterates cells that produce insulin (chemicals that permit glucose to enter the cells of your body so it can give energy), accordingly preventing your pancreas from making any more insulin.

Type 2: An ongoing condition caused either because your pancreas can’t make sufficient insulin or because your insulin doesn’t fill in as accurately as possible.

Specialists say that brown rice is excellent for individuals determined to have diabetes as it works hard to normalise blood glucose levels. However, the US National Library of Medicine indicates that the utilisation of white rice could cause Type 2 Diabetes. Furthermore, the examination concluded that making brown rice a part of the daily diet may reduce the risk.

Health experts also believe that brown rice is far better and advantageous when contrasted with processed rice (white rice). The scientists presumed that the outcomes remain constant for people with diabetes and hyperglycemic people.

Diet Quantity

If you are diabetic, brown rice may be beneficial to your blood sugar levels but only when eaten in the recommended amounts. The total amount of carbohydrates eaten in a day are also extremely important. If brown rice is overeaten, it can still cause high blood sugar levels. The study shows that maintaining a high quality diet is essential for managing diabetes.

Proven Health Benefits of Brown Rice

Aids Weight Loss

Many individuals keen on getting more fit add brown rice to their eating regimen rather than white rice. It is rich in manganese, which is excellent for incorporating body fats. It can assist you by maintaining your BMI and fat. Moreover, brown rice helps increment how much HDL cholesterol is in your body, which is excellent. It has the solid enemy of weight impacts.

Great for Your Heart

You should choose brown rice instead of white rice because it is suitable for your heart. It reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in the body and prevents heart-related problems like clogged veins, coronary episodes, and stroke. And adding brown rice to your diet helps in reducing your cholesterol levels. Since people with diabetes are at high risk of having high cholesterol levels, controlling cholesterol levels is essential. In addition, since brown rice contains natural oil, which maintains the cholesterol level, it also contains nutrients that help metabolise glucose and lipids in the body. As a result, brown rice fights disease by increasing the body’s beneficial HDL cholesterol concentrations.

It also helps in other vascular diseases like high blood pressure and congestion of the veins. Overall, it protects your cardiovascular framework from damage and works steadily.

It is an Energy Booster

Another valuable quality of brown rice is that it is a stimulant. Brown rice contains loads of effective supplements like glutamine, glycerin and GABA. These neurotransmitters interfere with messages in the brain associated with sadness, nervousness, and stress

Other Advantages

Brown rice also offers many medical advantages. It is excellent for your skin and can deal with issues like psoriasis. It can help your sensory system and insusceptible framework pleasantly. It is loaded up with magnesium and can work on the soundness of your bones and teeth. The ferulic corrosive present in brown rice is hostile to maturing components. Brown rice can assist with forestalling balding.

Can brown rice be detrimental to your health?

Brown rice doesn’t cause any known allergies and has no known adverse side effects. Eating it can give you several health benefits when consumed in the right amount. If adding it to your diet, you can always check with a dietitian or medical practitioner before doing so.

The Bottom Line

Brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice as it is less processed. It is full of fibre and essential minerals that are especially beneficial to diabetics and can help maintain blood sugar levels. Adding it to your daily consumption in moderate amounts would be a wise decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can brown rice raise blood sugar?

A. Refined carbs like white rice have a high glycemic record, which causes fast spikes in glucose that increment diabetes risk. Food varieties with a lower glycemic history, similar to brown rice, are processed more leisurely, causing a softer and gentler change in glucose.

Q. What can replace rice for diabetics?

A. Wholesome grains like quinoa, grain, buckwheat, and millet can be great choices, lower in sugars and higher in fibre. Quinoa can supplant rice in many dishes. Quinoa additionally has a crunchy surface which will feel different in the mouth.

Q. Can I eat brown rice every day?

A. Brown rice is an exceptionally nutritious, sans gluten grain that contains a noteworthy measure of nutrients, minerals and advantageous mixtures. Consuming entire grains like brown rice can help forestall or further develop medical issues, including diabetes and coronary illness.

Q. Is oatmeal suitable for diabetics?

A. Oats have a GI score of 55 or lower, making them more averse to causing spikes and dunks in glucose levels. Oats likewise contain β-glucan, which can diminish glucose and insulin reactions after dinners.

Q. Is brown rice better than Basmati for diabetics?

A. Brown rice lessens insulin floods and assists with balancing out the body’s glucose levels, given its low glycemic record. Brown rice likewise assists with integrating fats, controlling weight and battling heftiness, three gamble factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Q. Is brown rice low glycemic?

A. Brown rice has a medium glycemic level. Its lower GI level compared to white rice makes it more suitable for people with diabetes.

Q. Is basmati rice better than brown rice for diabetics?

A. White rice has a high glycemic level. With a GI between 50 and 58, basmati rice is a low to moderate glycemic record food. If you are prone to diabetes, basmati rice can be a part of your healthy eating routine.

Q. How many eggs a day can a diabetic have?

A. Eggs contain protein that can play a helpful role in managing glucose levels for people with diabetes. Up to 12 eggs each week as a component of a low-nutrition eating routine in a controlled diet high in vegetables, natural products, whole grains and lean protein would be good.

Q. Are Sweet potatoes good for diabetics?

A. Sweet potatoes are healthy as they are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. However, people suffering from diabetes should consume it in moderation.

Q. What is the best time to eat brown rice?

A. You can have brown rice at any time of the day. Since brown rice is unmilled, it has the microorganism and external layers with sound fats, giving it nourishment support and a dependable gradual process.

About the Author

M.Sc in: Dietetics and Applied Nutrition from Manipal University. Worked: All over India and have been involved in helping set up nutrition departments in start ups. Interested in lifestyle based nutrition. Mantra: A healthy lifestyle isn't a choice to be made or discarded, it's a way of life!

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One response to “Is Brown Rice Good for Diabetics?”

  1. Kindly , elaborate in a chart about high,medium and low glycemic index foods .
    Kindly share some info. On Olive oil usage for hypercholesterolemia

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