backup og meta

Rice For Diabetics: Which Is The Best?

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Apr 23, 2023

Rice For Diabetics: Which Is The Best?

How to choose rice for diabetics to control blood sugar is a very common question. Although it is an essential food, rice is known to have a rather high glycemic index.

Rice is the most popular food in the world with more than half of the population consuming rice every day. Rice comes in many varieties and each variety will have a different glycemic index. In fact, the type of rice known for its high glycemic index is white rice.

According to research, regular consumption of white rice can adversely affect blood sugar and increase the risk of diabetes by 10%. Therefore, instead of choosing white rice, you can switch to the following types of rice for diabetics to both control blood sugar and yet still meet the body’s energy needs.

Rice for Diabetics: Brown Rice

Brown rice for diabetics is a nutritious, healthy food. Brown rice is high in flavonoids, which are plant compounds with powerful antioxidant effects. These help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, thanks to its high magnesium content, brown rice also helps develop bones and muscles. It is good for nerve activity, it heals wounds, and it stabilizes blood sugar.

The fiber content in brown rice has been shown to significantly reduce postprandial blood sugar levels in overweight people and people with type 2 diabetes.

An 8-week study conducted with 28 adults with type 2 diabetes found that those who ate brown rice at least 10 times per week experienced significant improvements in blood sugar and endothelial function of the blood vessels.

Brown rice also helps control blood sugar by aiding weight loss

In a 6-week study of 40 overweight or obese women, eating 150g of brown rice per day significantly reduced weight, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI).

For people with diabetes, losing weight is very important. A study of 867 people found that those who lost 10% or more of their body weight within 5 years of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were twice as likely to experience remission of their symptoms.

Brown rice reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place

A study done with 197,228 people showed that eating at least 2 servings of brown rice per week significantly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. Although it is not clear why brown rice has this effect, many studies suggest that this may be due to the high fiber and magnesium content in this rice.

The glycemic index (GI) of brown rice is 68, which is rated medium. Compared to white rice, brown rice has a lower glycemic index. Specifically, the glycemic index of white rice is 73. Not only that, white rice also contains less fiber and is digested faster, so it is easy to cause blood sugar to rise suddenly.

Although brown rice is considered a type of diabetic rice, you should also control your portion sizes. You should only eat 3 times a week, and, at the same time, incorporate other nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and other foods containing healthy fats and foods rich in protein into the diet.

Black Rice: Rice for Diabetics

Black rice is also the type 2 diabetic rice that regulates the symptoms of the disease. Black rice, also known as purple rice, is a famous type of rice in Asia, especially China and India. In China, it is even called the “forbidden rice.” The unique color of this rice is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a group of flavonoid plant pigments with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties that help protect diabetics from cell damage and inflammation.

Not only that, black (glutinous variety) rice is a whole grain with the bran and endosperm intact, so it is rich in fiber, helping to release glucose in the blood slowly. This prevents blood sugar from rising suddenly. In addition, the consumption of this type of rice also promotes a feeling of fullness for a longer time, helping to reduce calorie intake. Thereby, it reduces the risk of obesity, a factor that increases the risk of diabetes.

Although purple rice is good for diabetics, you should still consult your doctor to know exactly how much you should eat each day. In addition, you should also pay attention to adding other nutrient-rich foods to your diet as well as exercise to stabilize symptoms.

Key Takeaway

Choosing the right type of rice for diabetics will help you keep your blood sugar levels stable and help you live a healthier lifestyle with diabetes. When changing your diet, always consult your doctor or a certified nutritionist-dietitian. 

Learn more about Healthy Eating here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Apr 23, 2023

advertisement iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

advertisement iconadvertisement
advertisement iconadvertisement