Was I glad to hear that Indian variety of rice has a low glycemic index and hence pose a lesser threat of diabetes than any other grain! Not that I am a chronic rice eater but I certainly enjoy a plate of steaming rice with hot spicy curry once in a while. Maybe the recent study reports would help me chose my variety of rice more carefully so that I can indulge in my ricey afternoons more often.
Scientists have found that the glycemic index (GI) of rice varies and the good news for rice lovers across the world is that most of the rice varieties have low to medium GI. Let us consider some salient features of the study conducted by the research team from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research ORganisation (CSIRO) Food Falgship,
- The study analyzed 235 types of rice grown across the world.
- GI of rice varied from 48 to 92 with an average of 64.
- The research team identified the key gene that determines GI in rice.
- India’s most widely grown rice variety, Swarna has low GI, while, Basmati and Doongra from Australia have a medium GI.
Significance of the study
Knowing the GI of rice variety would definitely help in choosing a healthier variety. Low GI foods are absorbed slowly by the body and hence do not cause fluctuation of blood glucose levels. This is important if you fall in the high risk group for type 2 diabetes or more so if you are already diabetic. Consuming foods with low GI can help in better management of type 2 diabetes. Diabetic patients in countries where rice is the staple food, can now choose a variety most appropriate for them and need not stay away from their favorite rice any more.
Moreover, low GI rice can be combined with other foods to reduce the overall GI of a meal!
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