White rice 'raises diabetes risk', say US experts

Replacing white rice with brown rice and wholemeal bread could cut the risk of diabetes by a third, US experts say.

White rice poses a diabetes threat because it causes steep rises in blood sugar, say Harvard researchers in Archives of Internal Medicine. Brown rice and other wholegrain foods are a healthier option as they release glucose more gradually, they say.

The study is based on questionnaires; some say the data is not robust enough to base firm conclusions on. It may be that people who eat less white rice tend to live healthier lifestyles, for example.

'Brown is better'

In the study of nearly 200,000 US people, white rice consumption was linked to type 2 diabetes.

After adjusting for age and other diabetes risk factors, those who ate five or more 150g servings of white rice per week had a 17% increased risk of diabetes compared with people who consumed less than one serving - about a cup of rice - per month. Although few people - only 2% - in the study ate this much white rice, the finding was significant.

Source - BBC