It seems these days everyone knows friends and family members suffering from diabetes. When we think of diabetes, our minds instantly go to sugar and how much of it we consume. The least most of us know about this disease is that our sugars should be balanced, not too high and not low. There are different levels of diabetes; some patients can control it by taking a pill, while others are on insulin.
Since sugar is the main concern, studies that inform us about the foods we eat, are often even more beneficial to diabetic patients. New research states that though Westerners eat and drink more sugary products in general, than Asians, Asians appear to have a higher chance of getting diabetes. We are also familiar with studies however, that tout the good health of most Asians because of their mostly vegetarian and fish diet along with the amount of walking they do out of necessity, the majority of the time. So what is the culprit, putting Asians in danger? White rice, or so the research suggests.
Chief Executive of the Health Promotion Board, Zee Yoong Kang, has a plan to help reduce the risk of diabetes across the globe. His focus, of course, is on Asia, where lately, the disease has been attacking more Asians than ever before in history. Kang says that after major studies, it was found that eating white rice everyday, as many Asians do, is worse than consuming two cans of regular sugar laden soda each day. White rice is what is called, a simple carbohydrate, meaning that your body does not have to work to process its sugar as it would a whole wheat product. Therefore, white rice, like white bread turns into glucose in the bloodstream very quickly. Kang says, one bowl of white rice has at least twice the carbs that are consumed in one soft drink. So eating a bowl of white is like drinking two sodas.
Kang desires to discourage the eating of white rice everyday for a few other health reasons as well. Simple carbs like white rice cause the pancreas to perform extra work, which makes it less efficient in making insulin. This causes the body to then more easily absorb the sugar in the foods and drinks we consume. Also, excess sugar, no matter where it comes from, can cause damage to the kidneys. This malfunction is the beginning of the disease.
Studies show that if we just replace white rice with brown rice, at least 20% of the time, there is a huge drop in our risk for diabetes. The risk can go from 20% to 16%, if we also choose other healthy habits, such as, eating more green vegetables, eating whole wheat noodles instead of white noodles, and exercising each day.