Over the last decade, rice consumption in the United States has skyrocketed. However, people who eat daily portions of milled white rice may not be receiving the health benefits that they had once assumed.
Results of a recent Harvard University study suggest that individuals can significantly reduce their risk of developing diabetes by replacing white rice in their diet with brown rice.
For the study, lead author Qi Sun and colleagues compared white and brown rice consumption to the incidence of diabetes in the nearly 200,000 men and women who took part in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-based Nurses’ Health Study.
After analyzing the data, the investigators estimated that an individual who replaces 50 grams of white rice with the same amount of brown rice at least twice a week can lower their diabetes risk by 16 percent.
Sun speculates that this disparity is, in part, due to the nutritional layer of brown rice that is stripped away to make white rice.
"The other consequence of the refining process includes loss of fiber, vitamins, magnesium and other minerals, lignans, phytoestrogens, and phytic acid, many of which may be protective factors for diabetes risk," Sun noted.