Diabetics can eat rice but only in moderate amounts. Rice contains carbohydrates, which break down into glucose that is absorbed into the bloodstream. Eating too much rice in one day or at one sitting can make your blood sugar soar. If you have diabetes, limit rice consumption and opt for better sources of carbohydrates.
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
Brown rice, compared with white rice, is a healthier diet choice for diabetics. Brown rice is a whole-grain and fiber-rich source, whereas white rice is a refined carbohydrate. When you eat white rice, your body quickly converts it to glucose, causing your blood sugar to skyrocket. Brown rice, on the other hand, takes longer to break down into glucose and makes your blood sugar more controllable.
Barley Is the 'New Rice'
According to a Montana State University research team, barley is high in soluble fiber, which decelerates the rise of blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood pressure and helps improve many conditions associated with diabetes and heart disease. Barley, in fact, raises blood sugar even less than brown rice does because it contains about three times more fiber. To take control of your diabetes, consider substituting rice with this diabetes-friendly grain.
Lentils, Another Great Rice Substitute
Lentils are not only high in fiber but also packed with protein. They are complex carbohydrates that help control your blood sugar and reduce cholesterol as well. Because of their richness in vitamins and low content of saturated fat, lentils are one of the most nutritious legumes. Moreover, a study by the University of Southern California has found that regular lentil consumption may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Rice in Disguise
Rice does not always come in the form of grains. In Asian cuisines, there are various kinds of rice noodles such as chow fun, sen lek, bahn hoi and hokkien mee. A dish of pad Thai or a bowl of classic lo mein noodles, for example, usually contains about 126 g of carbs, whereas a bowl of steamed rice has only about 80 g of carbs. Rice noodles, therefore, are not a smart diet choice for diabetics.
When You Dine Out
Asian cuisines such as Chinese and Thai are pretty healthy choices because they are loaded with nutritious vegetables and protein-rich tofu. Unfortunately, they also serve rice with almost every dish. For diabetics, limit yourself to just half a cup of rice in one meal. To stop yourself from eating too much rice, keep the rice and the entrée separated. Drowning the rice in the tasty sauce will only make you want to eat every single grain in your bowl. Also, use chopsticks. This way, you will eat more slowly and leave most of the greasy, fatty sauce on the plate.