Can You Eat Rice If You Have Diabetes?

For people with Type 2 Diabetes, managing their level of blood sugar should be an important part of their daily regimen. One of the best ways to stabilize your blood sugar level is to eat food that have low GI, also known as Glycemic Index. These are foods that can be digested slowly and will not cause any spike in blood sugar. Simple sugars, such as candy, have high GI and cause your sugar level to rise. This is especially dangerous for those with diabetes.

Carbohydrates, found in staples such as rice, pasta and bread, are mostly responsible for the varying blood sugar levels in diabetes. A recent study found that many varieties of rice, a classic dietary staple, have actually low to moderate GI.

Glycemic Index of Rice

Studies found that the glycemic Index of rice ranges from 48 to 92, with an average GI of 64. The GI of rice depends on the variety of rice that is being consumed. As a reference, low GI foods are those with a GI of 55 and less. Medium GI foods should range between 56 to 69. High GI foods have a GI of 70 and above.

Carbohydrates are mostly responsible for the varying level of blood sugar in diabetes. Yet, it is important to consume sufficient carbohydrates because it is the source of energy for your brain and body in order to function properly. It is encouraging to include another carbohydrates option to a diabetic diet in order to achieve a well-balanced diet. This is especially applicable for rice, which is a popular and versatile staple.

How to Choose Rice for Diabetes

People with diabetes can definitely include rice in their diet. However, the choice of rice is important for diabetes. When choosing rice, go for the less processed brown rice over white. Choose organic as mush as possible because many products are genetically modified to reduce its GI. There is a wide variety of organic rice which you can find in the market, where, in their natural, unmodified and unprocessed state are already qualified to be eaten as a sensible food for diabetics.

It is also important to take note of portion size when it comes to eating rice. Rice, as with all other form of staple, can be dangerous for diabetes because it is easy to overeat and end up having more than 1 portion. Make sure you stick to 1 serving only. 1 serving is equivalent to half cup of uncooked rice, which is around 90 grams. As rice doubles in rice when cooked, 1 cup of cooked rice (around 190 grams) makes 1 serving.

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  • White rice elevates my blood sugar, how about eating black or purple rice, I heard it’s good for keep blood sugars under control, Thank you for all the good tips.

    • Deborah,
      Yes, black and purple rice are healthier alternatives to white rice. In fact, black or purple rice contain anthocyanins which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

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