HomeAsian AmericansEating white rice linked to increased risk of diabetes

Eating white rice linked to increased risk of diabetes

A new study out has found a link between eating white rice and diabetes.

Dr. Terry Gaff, writing in KPC News, found that consuming more than three cups of white rice per day greatly increases your risk of diabetes compared to eating lower amounts.

The Print reports that the risk is especially prominent in South Asian countries where more rice is eaten. Researchers across many continents conducted the study, including Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Europe. Countries that participated included India, China and Brazil.

“South Asians are genetically more predisposed to get diabetes, so there are both lifestyle as well as biological reasons for the high diabetes incidence,” said Bengaluru-based physician Dr Gowri Kulkarni to the Print.

Dr. Gaff wrote that those who ate more than three cups of rice per day had a 20% higher risk of developing diabetes over 10 years. Those in South Asian countries who ate more than four bowls of white rice per day had a 61% higher risk.

According to Gaff, the average consumption of white rice in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives is more than four cups per day or 630G per day. That’s followed by Southeast Asia at 239g and China at 200g per day.

Interestingly, researchers did not find an association between white rice and diabetes in China, the Print reported.

White rice causes the blood sugar levels to go up due to its high glycemic index. It’s been linked to a surge of beriberi in Asia, caused by vitamin B-1 deficiency.

More then 131,000 individuals from 21 countries took part in the study over a nine year period.

“I wouldn’t say every white rice-eating family would have a diabetic person in their family… A lot depends on the quantity of rice eaten, what it’s eaten with, and how frequently,” Mumbai-based nutritionist Priya Kathpal said to the Print.

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