When it comes to war against diabetes, most people are concerned about sugary foods. While avoiding sugar-laden items, many are unaware that there’s a food staple posing a much bigger harm every day.

According to statistics, Asians have a higher chance of developing diabetes. For a while, this was attributed to the genes since Caucasians are said to eat more foods that cause the disease. Plus, Asians are lauded for their lifestyle and being physically active.

But researchers today have found the shocking culprit: white rice. A normal part of the Asian daily diet, white rice is full of starch that can overload the body with so much blood sugar. As a result, diabetes risk increases.

The Dangers of White Rice

Zee Yoong Kang, the chief executive of Health Promotion Board, shares his plan to reduce instances of diabetes around the world, particularly in Asia where it seems to be rampant these days. According to Zee, a meta-analysis showed that white rice when eaten on a daily basis can increase diabetes risk by up to 11% in the world. But why is white rice so dangerous? Based on the findings of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health who conducted their study for up to 20 years, white rice is not as safe to consume as many people think:

  • One bowl of rice has at least twice the carbs in one can of soft drink. Why is this bad? Because carbs are converted into sugar. Our pancreases make insulin, so that the body can use sugar. But there are foods, such as white rice, in which sugar is easily absorbed into the blood. This causes sugar spike, making the pancreas work more than they should.
  • When sugar spike occurs, you know it’s not good for you. Since the pancreases are working harder on the regular, they become less efficient in making insulin. As a result, the body absorbs more sugar.
  • Excess sugar is bad. Eating white rice every day can cause kidney damage because there is too much sugar in the body. This is where diabetes starts.

rice-equals-sodaMany Asians consume refined carbs, such as noodles and rice. These foods come with a lot of sugar. What’s even worse is that if you have a high body mass index, your diabetes risk increases the more you eat white rice.

Thankfully, there are ways to combat this risk increase and among them is to replace 20% of white rice consumption with brown rice. By simply doing so, you cut your risk by up to 16%.

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