Over 3 Cups of White Rice a Day May Cause Diabetes, 9-Year Study Says

white rice

Eating over three cups of white rice offers a greater risk of diabetes than eating less of it, a new study has found. 

Extensive research: The long-term international study, conducted as a part of the large-scale Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) project and published in the Diabetes Journals, posited that the risk is most prominent for South Asians.

  • The study is led by Bhavadharini Balaji of the Population Health Research Institute, and Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University in Canada. 
  • Researchers analyzed a total of 132,373 participants, between 35 to 70 years old, from 21 different countries in Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe. 
  • Participants, whose average white rice consumption was 128 grams (4.5 ounces) a day, were monitored over the course of nine and a half years.
  • The high glycemic index in white rice reportedly causes blood sugar levels to rise after meals.
  • Consistent sugar level spikes eventually exhaust insulin production, which leads to type 2 diabetes, noted KPC news.

Results and findings: According to the report, South Asians consumed the highest amount of white rice at 630 grams (22 ounces) a day, followed by Southeast Asians at 239 grams (8.4 ounces) and Chinese at 200 grams (7 ounces) per day. 

  • Those who ate higher amounts of rice then ate lower amounts of other foods like wheat, fiber, red meat and dairy products.
  • Scientists found no significant link between white rice consumption and diabetes in China, The Print reported.
  • Researchers believe that the result from Chinese participants is caused by a variety of factors including their lifestyle and the type of rice (sticky rice) they eat.
  • Substituting white rice for brown rice is a healthier alternative, according to a separate study from 2014.

Featured Image via Pille-Riin Priske

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