Eating white rice regularly may raise type 2 diabetes risk: Study
Eating white rice on a regular basis may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study by Harvard University.
White rice poses a diabetes threat because it causes steep rises in blood sugar, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Brown rice and other wholegrain foods are a healthier option as they release glucose more gradually, they say.
In the study of nearly 200,000 people in the US, white rice consumption was linked to type 2 diabetes.
After adjusting for age and other diabetes risk factors, those who ate five or more 150g servings of white rice per week had a 17% increased risk of diabetes compared with people who consumed less than one serving - about a cup of rice - per month.
Although few people - only 2% - in the study ate this much white rice, the finding was significant.
Yet eating brown rice appeared to have the opposite effect, cutting the risk of type 2 diabetes.
People who ate two or more servings of brown rice per week had an 11% reduced risk of developing the condition compared with those who ate less than one serving a month.
Based on the results, the researchers estimate that replacing 50g or one-third of a typical serving of white rice with the same amount of brown rice would lead to a 16% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
And replacing the white rice with wholegrains, including brown rice and pasta, wholemeal bread and rolled oats, could cut the risk by more than a third.
Like other wholegrain foods, brown rice is high in fibre and releases its energy slowly. In contrast, white rice has had all the bran and some of the germ removed during milling.
This gives white rice a higher glycaemic index (GI) - a measure of how much a food raises blood sugar levels compared with the same amount of glucose or white bread.