As we are sure you know already, brown rice is a whole grain that is considered to be a great food when part of a healthy balanced diet.
Unlike processed white rice, brown rice still has the germ and bran outer layers that are rich in nutrients that are great for our digestive health.
However, is brown rice safe for diabetics? In this article, we get into the nitty gritty of brown rice and how it can affect diabetics when consumed.
From the health benefits to the right portion sizes, you will know exactly what to expect when you consume brown rice on the regular.
Let’s get into it!
Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes as a whole is a condition a person has when their body lacks the ability to produce a healthy amount of insulin. However, there are 2 types of diabetes and each comes with its own list of needs.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is when the body begins to attack the cells in your pancreas. This stops the body from producing any insulin on its own.
There is currently no known cause for type 1 diabetes but it is a genetic condition that is passed down from parents to children.
Many people with type 1 diabetes take insulin injections in order to balance their blood sugar.
This can be done with manual injections which are completed before a meal or you can have a pump installed which automatically injects insulin into the body when blood sugar spikes or drops.
There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes but with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, many sufferers can live a healthy, normal life.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that is brought on by various factors including obesity or ethnicity.
This condition is when your body is unable to make a substantial amount of insulin and/or the insulin that your body does make is not fit to do the job it needs to.
There is also no cure for type 2 diabetes but there are many more options for management than type 1. You may be prescribed medication, or insulin, or take on a more healthy lifestyle.
Many people with type 2 diabetes are either missed or diagnosed late on in life as the symptoms appear more slowly. It is important that if you experience symptoms of type 2 diabetes you consult your doctor immediately.
Symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes include:
- Urinating excessively, especially at night
- Blurred vision
- Genital itching or thrush
- Chronic fatigue
- Excessive weight loss or weight gain
Brown Rice And Diabetes
As mentioned above, diabetes is the inability to produce insulin for the body. This can cause the blood sugar to drop or spike which heavily affects our energy and overall health.
Brown rice has a low glycemic index making it perfect for managing blood sugar levels. The glycemic index, sometimes known as the GI, is a scale that assesses how much a certain food may increase blood glucose levels.
Foods with a high GI tend to raise blood sugar levels, whereas those with a medium or low GI have no effect on it.
A food with a medium GI, brown rice has a rating of 68. White rice, in contrast, has a GI rating of 73. Brown rice also contains more fiber. Therefore, compared to when you eat white rice, eating a smaller portion will help you feel satisfied longer.
The fiber in brown rice helps lower the blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes. This is also a great benefit if you are prone to developing type 2 diabetes and want to prevent it.
Should People With Diabetes Eat Brown Rice?
Ideally, everyone should enjoy a nutritious portion of brown rice every once and a while. However, people with diabetes should have brown rice as part of their diet.
According to experts, brown rice works hard to normalize blood glucose levels, making it great for people who are determined to have diabetes.
White rice consumption, according to the US National Library of Medicine, may result in Type 2 Diabetes. The investigation also came to the conclusion that including brown rice in the diet regularly may lower the risk.
In short, yes people with diabetes should eat brown rice at least once a week to help regulate their blood sugar and promote overall health. Ultimately there is no recommended portion of carbs for everyone.
Make sure you are hitting your carb goal to keep your energy levels up.
3 Yummy Brown Rice Recipes
Now, we know that compared to white rice, brown rice is not exactly the most delicious carb. Although, with a little work it can be a great addition to any meal. We have 3 yummy brown rice recipes that are safe for diabetics.
This delicious Fried Brown Rice recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and is the perfect portion size for lunch or a side dish.
Using chicken broths and egg whites, this recipe is rich in protein and at only 98 calories per serving, it is perfect for anyone on a weight loss journey.
Top with a dash of soy sauce for a salty flavor that is going to turn any dish into perfection.
2. Dirty Rice
Need a meal that is easy to make and is going to put a smile on everyone’s face? This Dirty Rice recipe is perfect for sharing or for meal prep.
Using ground beef, brown rice, veggies, and a bunch of seasoning you have a delicious yet nutritious meal that everyone can enjoy.
Not to mention it is full of protein and healthy carbs, ideal if you are looking to make healthier choices.
You can also use white rice for this recipe but if you are looking to manage your blood sugar, brown rice is the way to go.
Add a dash of sriracha or hot sauce for an epic heat that cannot be found elsewhere.
Need a lunch that you can store in the fridge and have throughout the week? This Brown Rice Salad is perfect!
This recipe serves 8. More than enough for a week of lunches. Topped with some yummy cashews for a delicious crunch and sweet currants, you get the best of everything on one plate.
Make the dressing at home with garlic, oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce and store in a jam jar in the fridge for up to a week. Or take the easy route and purchase a low-sugar salad dressing at the grocery store.
Keep currants, cashews, and dressing separate until just before serving if you’re making ahead of time because the nuts will get soggy.
Brown rice is full of nutrients that our bodies need to remain healthy and in top condition. And it is great for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes!
Including brown rice in your diet can help manage blood sugar levels. This is due to its high fiber content and low glycemic index.
Ensure you are enjoying brown rice as part of a balanced diet and don’t forget to enjoy the small things such as a juicy cheeseburger every once in a while!