Rice is a very inexpensive product that we love and goes with almost any dish. So it is very easy to overdo it: we serve ourselves in large quantities or, more likely, We program this into our menu a few times a week. Although rice is food for lifeWe must be careful in consuming it as it is a common practice in Spain to buy white rice and this has been linked to a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
White rice is a grain that has been refined, like the wheat used to make white bread. This is it, When rice is harvested, there are three basic parts of its grain: the germ that allows the plant from which it came to multiply; endosperm, which is the thickest part and contains a high content of starch; And finally, the bran, which is a layer rich in fiber and gives rice its brown colour. The bran is exactly what is removed in rice refining and then when it appears white.
We are used to eating refined rice as it takes less time to cook, it is usually served tender and we love its taste. But if we want to take care of our health, then the bran layer is necessary: The fiber in it helps lower the overall glycemic index of this cereal., the glycemic index indicates the degree to which an increase in blood sugar occurs after eating; Foods with a high glycemic index are associated with an increased risk of diabetes.
From rice to sugar
Both white bread and white rice have grabbed the headlines for nutrition experts over the years due to their high glycemic index and thus their relationship to them. Diabetes, but also obesity and its comorbidities. Now a study published in the scientific journal British Medical Journal (BMJ) They reaffirmed the relationship between habitual consumption of white rice and this disease. This is a review of the results of a total of 19 studies on this problem.
“White rice consumption is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes,” the study summarizes in the results section. However, it leaves a window of hope open for rice lovers: “For her part, Brown rice has been linked to a lower risk of disease.In other words, as with the consumption of bread or pasta, we should choose the whole grain alternatives found in supermarkets rather than the white options.
[El médico que conquistó Harvard con la dieta mediterránea: “El pan blanco es un gran problema en España]
White rice raises blood sugar levels dramatically and very quickly because it is high in starch. Miguel Nigel Martinez Gonzalez, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra, explains in his book What is healthy food? (Planet, 2020) that Our body has the ability to easily convert starch into sugar. This substance is responsible for the high blood sugar that increases the risk of developing diabetes.
In this sense, the added fiber content of brown rice means that the starch is absorbed more slowly, and so the glucose enters the bloodstream in a more sustainable manner over time. This slow process has several health benefits: First, The pancreas does not stress itself and the risk of type 2 diabetes is reduced., there is also a more stable power supply; And finally, steady blood sugar prevents the feeling of hunger from reappearing too soon.
[Este es el arroz del supermercado que recomiendan los nutricionistas]
In any case, switching to whole grain products not only has the benefit of reducing diabetes risk. Brown rice has a higher protein content in its composition – despite being of vegetable origin, They do not contain all the essential amino acids and must be supplemented with legumes.The fact that brown rice has more fiber, a lower glycemic index, and more protein makes it a more filling food than white rice.
That is, brown rice helps us lose weight because it prevents us from overeating because it removes it to a large extent. Of course, in terms of calories per 100 grams, white and brown rice do not show much difference. It is a common mistake to think that bread, pasta, or brown rice is low in fat. Or tie them to a weight loss diet. Now, the fact that it contains calories does not mean that brown rice is healthy: in its proper measure it is an ideal food for a healthy diet.
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