White rice is one of the top concerns in the war against diabetes

Stop shovelling so much white rice unto your plate. As it turns out, white rice is a greater cause of diabetes than sugar-filled soft drinks. According to The Straits Times, Health Promotion Board chief executive Zee Yoong Kang identified white rice as a top concern when it comes to diabetes. Although obesity and sugary drinks are the usual causes for Caucasians, Asians are actually more prone to diabetes, and starchy white rice can fill our bodies with an excess of blood sugar and heighten our risk of the disease.

A Harvard School of Public Health analysis of four studies that followed over 350,000 people from four to 20 years showed significant conclusions, Zee claimed. The risk of diabetes increased by 11 percent in the overall population with each plate of white rice eaten daily on a regular basis, and Asians consumed four daily servings of rice on average, as compared to five a week for Americans and Australians.

One mere bowl of rice already contains more than twice the carb content of one can of soda, and this causes a higher blood glucose response. Most of the refined carbohydrates we take in come from our two favourite starches: rice and noodles.

So what can we do? Try healthier varieties of rice, Zee encouraged. Just replacing 20 percent of white rice in your bowl with brown rice is enough to reduce the risk of diabetes by 16 percent. And long grain white rice is a better alternative to short grain ones.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can go ahead and eat all the junk food and drink all the soda you want. Everything in moderation.

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CITY: SINGAPORECATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: HEALTH

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