Count your carbs: How much rice can a diabetic have? Is brown rice better than white rice?

Most diabetics have a dilemma about how much carbohydrate they can eat and whether they can have what they are used to, rice and wheat. However, it is true that diabetics also need carbohydrates, but their quality and quantity must be monitored, preferably complex variables that take time to convert into glucose in the body and prevent sugar fluctuations.

“For a person with diabetes, 40-45 percent of total calories per day should be met by carbohydrates,” says Dr. Sonia Gandhi, MD, Chief Clinical and Dietetic Nutritionist, Fortis Mohali.

So how much rice can a diabetic have? Diabetics are allowed to eat at least 30 grams of (raw) rice. When compared to 30 grams of wheat chapati, which has the same carbohydrate content, the rate of glucose absorption from rice is higher. According to the portion size list released by the National Institute of Nutrition, the A portion size is 30 grams of raw rice or other grain-based product,” explains Dr. Gandhi, adding that reading food labels is important to know the calories and nutrition of a nutrient.

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As for the total number of carbohydrates, or calories, that a person can eat throughout the day, that’s the value, she says. It depends on the individual’s height, weight, exercise patterns, and medication dose. A doctor and nutritionist, she says, can determine the correct number of carbohydrates/calories a person with diabetes can consume to maintain normal blood sugar levels, which is possible by eating small amounts of carbohydrates at regular intervals.

The right portion of rice

According to Dr. Gandhi, a person with diabetes is never advised to avoid carbohydrates completely. The quality and quantity of carbohydrates must be taken into account. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, pulses, legumes, fruits and vegetables are always recommended instead of simple carbohydrates such as sugar, maida, potatoes, bananas, jaggery, honey, juices and processed foods. According to the portion exchange, 30 grams of rice yields 20 grams of carbohydrates. An exact amount and complex form of carbohydrates in grams according to distribution and caloric requirements is recommended for diabetics, because glucose, a carbohydrate product, causes blood sugar levels to rise after digestion and absorption. So, 30 grams of raw or uncooked rice counts for one portion size,” explains Dr. Gandhi.

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Is brown rice better?

Brown rice has a higher fiber content (1.8 g), when compared to plain white rice (0.4 g), says Dr. Gandhi, so it’s a better alternative. But there is no significant difference in the amount of carbohydrates in white rice as well as brown rice. Although affordability has to be taken care of.” Enriching the rice with vegetables and pulses and mixing part of the rice with beans increases the nutritional value of the meal. “Simple boiled rice can be modified by adding more vegetables in the form of khichdi/pulau or just by Replace it with some whole grains such as oats, whole wheat, jowar or bajra.

Also, people who follow a diet should consider the glycemic index (GI) of a food. GI is a measure (from 0 to 100) that determines how quickly the body converts carbohydrates from food into glucose and affects blood sugar levels. Desserts, soft drinks, cakes, pastries, and pies made with white flour (maida) convert more quickly to glucose, compared to complex carbohydrates. “Rice is rated high for its glycemic index, i.e. 70 or higher.”

Tips for choosing rice

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Dr. Gandhi says that while selecting rice, one should take care of the color, texture, smell, contamination, adulteration, and overall quality from a nutrient perspective. “A healthy rice choice is when one is aware of added nutrients such as fiber, extra vitamins, and some other trace elements.”

The nutritional value of rice

A serving of 100 grams of rice gives:

energy: 130 calories

protein: 2.7 grams

Fat: 0.3 grams


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