Monday, June 27, 2011

GI & Rice

Hi Glenn,

I was wondering if you may be able to help me with a question that a few people have asked me and I am just not sure of the correct answer. I see many young women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who are often pre-diabetic or have diabetes. I encourage my clients and friends to eat a low GI diet and especially when it comes to rice I advise against eating rice such as Jasmine and white rice except for Basmati or Doongara rice.

Last week a friend said to me: "I was raised in an Asian family and our culture has survived just fine for centuries eating this rice and we still do and we are fine even though we eat it a few times every day". He went on to ask me why if they were not obese and didn't have diabetes why we recommend avoiding such rices.

I was wondering if you would mind sharing your thoughts with me on this question. With thanks in anticipation.

Warm regards,


Yes Ginette, having asked many folk of Asian background, they much prefer regular white rice rather than brown rice or a low GI rice and have eaten white rice for eons. A traditional white rice based diet also came with vegetables, a little meat, fruit, plenty of activity and a lean body. Under those circumstances they didn't need a low GI rice as the GI of the meal would have been lowered by the vegetables and meat they ate with the rice.

When you add loads of fat, cake, biscuits etc and little activity, very soon you gain weight and it becomes difficult to control blood glucose.

Similarly, there would be little harm in having full cream milk (regarding the fat content), if the rest of your diet was minimally processed, low fat foods. Now, it seems prudent to encourage people to have lower fat milk because they still want a biscuit with their cuppa. It's all about the total diet, more than a single food.

Today we have to give advice about single foods because humans are prone to just eating whatever they like, not what they need. And we find it so much easier to fret about a single food (Diet Coke, dollop of double cream or coffee) than to get a food in the context of a week of eating, or even a single meal.

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