Theres no need to fear rice if youre following a low glycemic index (GI) diet; you just have to choose the right type.
There’s no need to fear rice if you’re following a low glycemic index (GI) diet; you just have to choose the right type, according to a new study.
What is the GI?
The GI is a scale that ranks carbohydrates on the speed at which they break down into sugars in the body and subsequently affect blood sugar levels. It’s an important tool for diabetics, but can also be referred to by anyone who is trying to eat a healthy diet.
Foods that are high on the GI release sugars more quickly into the bloodstream, which may result in blood sugar fluctuations. It is thought that a high-glycemic diet is linked to obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It can be confusing, but it’s important to remember that a low score, in this case, is actually considered better than a high score.
Some of the factors that influence a food’s GI rating include:
- the type of starch or sugar it contains
- the acidcontent
- the amount of soluble fibre (which slows down the rate of digestion)
- the extent of processing and cooking
According to the study’s press release “low GI foods are those measured 55 and less, medium GI are those measured between 56 and 69, while high GI measures 70 and above.”
Which types of rice are best?
The study analyzed 235 varieties of rice—way more than most of us even knew existed! Overall, most of the varieties scored low or medium on the GI. The lowest ranking rice variety had a score of 48, the highest ranking rice had a score of 92, and the average was 64.
Here is a sampling on some of the specific varieties’ ratings:
- Swarna: low GI
- Doongara: medium GI
- Basmati: medium GI
An easy trick when choosing a rice variety is to opt for brown rice rather than white rice and less processed over more processed.