Choose This Starch for Normal Blood Sugar

One simple swap could help lower your risk for diabetes.

bowl of brown rice with microgreens on top

Medically reviewed in September 2021

Updated on April 6, 2022

You could lower your risk of diabetes by performing this simple task: cooking brown rice instead of white.

Research shows that people who consume lots of white rice each week may up their diabetes risk, while people who regularly eat brown rice lower theirs.

One big bowl
In a study, the people who consumed five or more servings of white rice per week had a 17 percent higher risk of diabetes compared with the people who consumed less than a serving of the white stuff each month. And people who were cooking brown rice at least twice a week were far better off than those who rarely partook. The brown rice lovers had an 11 percent lower risk of diabetes and a better chance at attaining normal blood sugar.

All grains are not equal
Most Americans consume about 20 pounds of rice a year. So swapping a daily serving of white rice for an equal amount of brown rice would have a big impact on nutrition, adding more B vitamins, minerals, and fiber to diets (all of which may help lower diabetes risk and produce normal blood sugar). Most of the diabetes-fighting nutrients in brown rice live in the bran and germ layers—two layers that are stripped from white rice during processing. Plus, easy-to-digest white rice can make your blood sugar and insulin levels spike.

Article sources open article sources

Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM, et al. White rice, brown rice, and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2010. 170(11), 961–969.
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Rice. 2022. Accessed April 6, 2022.

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