Type 2 diabetes can be controlled or prevented by eating a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, according to the NHS. Sugar, fat and salt should also be kept to a minimum. But a new study has warned indulging in large quantities of white rice could increase a person’s risk of developing the condition.
The study involved more than 1.3 million people from 21 countries across nearly 10 years.
While the risk of type 2 diabetes differed from country to country with the research team saying there was no substantial increase in Singapore, type 2 diabetes figures were found to be prevalent in South Asian countries.
Researcher Dr Gowri Kulkarni from Benhaluru said: “South Asians are genetically more predisposed to get diabetes, so there are both lifestyle as well as biological reasons for the high diabetes incidence.
“Indians in general have poor protein intake in diet, and this has to do with available resources and choices. Most calories are from carbohydrates as they are cheap.”
For the duration of the study, 6,129 developed diabetes.
The participants were asked to note down how much rice they consumed.
Those from South Asia were found to eat the most, consuming 630g a day,
But overall, the average white rice consumption among study participants was 128g a day.
The researchers also found high amounts of white rice decreased the amount people ate of other foods like fibre, red meat and dairy.
They are now urging people from countries where large quantities of white rice are consumed to alternate forms of rice or introduce legumes or pulses to their diet.
Previous studies have also linked white rice consumption to type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found people who eat high levels of white rice may have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Healthline advises: “This means that if you have prediabetes, you should be especially conscientious about your rice intake.
“If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s generally safe for you to enjoy rice in moderation.
“Make sure you’re aware of the carbohydrate count and GI score for the type of rice you wish to eat.
“You should aim to eat between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. Some varieties of rice have a lower GI score than others.”
Other ways to control and prevent type 2 diabetes
Physical exercise is effective, according to the NHS, but you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
The health body advises: “You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.
“This could be fast walking, climbing stairs and doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”
Losing weight if you’re overweight is also important.
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