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Best Kinds of Rice for Diabetics
Today, we are going to talk about rice, the enemy of diabetics. I see tons of patients with diabetes every day. I love them and yet they love rice in their diet. Sometimes it creates a conflict, so I found some solutions for you.
Almost everybody loves rice. Come on, don’t you?! I also have to watch my carbs as I have diabetes in my family. Many people do, and if you live your life freely without any concern or caution, you could join the rest of your family with a diabetes diagnosis. I am not fond of eating rice, but I love rice alternatives. I only eat a small portion and don’t go heavy on the rice. I tend to fill my plate more with proteins and veggies instead.
Even when you have diabetes but you decide to change your lifestyle like working out, running, or bicycling every day, whatever you do, the carbs won’t affect you as much because your body is burning it. The only time you will have problems with carbs is when you’re eating carbs and sitting on it. That seems to be a consistent problem for many, especially with a “Western diet“. We don’t even have to get out of our cars to grab something since everything is now drive-through, and we all know that food isn’t the best choice.
White Rice versus Brown Rice
Brown rice doesn’t make a huge difference compared to regular white rice. Remember that regular white rice has a glycemic index of 80, so it tends to spike your blood sugar. Rice is something dense so the glycemic load is also high.
A great example is watermelon for understanding glycemic load. It has a very high glycemic index, which can spike your blood sugar but so not much loaded with carbohydrates since it’s mostly water. It has lots of fiber and water in it, so it’s unlikely to spike your blood sugar, although it is sweet. If you’re having one slice of watermelon, it shouldn’t be a huge deal. But with rice or anything heavy carb like bread, it’s like – “mass without much water,” and it can spike your blood sugar. Brown rice has a glycemic index of 68.
What is a Glycemic Index?
When they do glycemic index studies, they give 50 grams of sugar to someone, and they compare it to something like rice, then they see how much the blood sugar spikes, so you don’t have to sit down and re-experiment everything. That’s the reason why they have these guidelines.
For example, normal glucose, like pure sugar has a GI of 100. That’s the gold standard. If rice is spiking your blood sugar, and the glycemic index is 80, it’s close to pure sugar and only 20% less than the sugar In this case, you can say that rice will spike your blood sugar because the glycemic index is up at 80. We typically recommend something below 40-50 glycemic index. If you really want carbs brown rice is an alternative, but GI of 65-68 is still not that great.
Now, what are other alternatives?
What Kind of Rice can Diabetics Have?
- Shirataki rice
If you are craving white rice, you can try this. It is sometimes called “miracle rice”. Again, you can find this on Amazon in the link below. It has no carbs, so you can eat it like free food. That’s right! Go crazy with it! You can put food, seasoning, or sauce on top of shirataki rice, and most people don’t even realize that it’s not real rice. Now, it doesn’t have any taste itself, by the way.. It goes with the taste of whatever you put on it. This is a great option to use for a stir fry base or try to make a healthy version of a Chipotle bowl.
- Pearl Barley
If you are looking for a different taste and some nutty flavor, you can go for barley. It has a lot of fiber and some protein as well. However, it takes a little longer time to cook since it’s high in fiber. Compared to rice, which can be cooked in about 10 minutes because they rip off all their fibers before it comes to your table.
That’s why brown rice is a little bit better but not as great as pearl barley. Pearl barley is minimally processed, but you can also use barley that’s not processed at all, however then you need to use a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time. Otherwise, it may take you a long time. Same with the oats, if you don’t use a pressure cooker, that’s going to take an hour versus using a pressure cooker, which can take just minutes. The glycemic index of barley is 28, but that doesn’t mean that it’s free food. It merely means it will spike your blood sugar much less compared to the rice with a glycemic index of 80.
It’s another great rice alternative. It has a glycemic index of 50, and it tastes great. It goes well with a lot of things, so definitely give it a try. Quinoa has a mild flavor with great texture. This can be used in soups, salads, or as a base for your protein dish.
- Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower Rice is super low on the glycemic index and super low in carbs. It is something that you can consider instead of rice.
I had a video about the worst vegetables, and I was “mashing” on potatoes. Do you know that potatoes can have a glycemic index of 110? That is the worst thing ever for any person with diabetes.
If you have these things in your kitchen, you can make them and give them a try. If not, you can buy these things by checking out the amazon link below. It’s good that they created this super convenient marketplace to buy items that you can’t find in a local store. If you buy it now, it will be on your door in just two days.
Remember that you don’t have to be diabetic to try these things. Just educate yourself and be empowered!