Replacing White Rice with Whole Grain Bread May Lower Diabetes Risk

White rice has displaced many traditional whole grains across Asia, so researchers wonder how white rice might relate to diabetes risk. In a study of 45,411 Chinese adults followed for 11 years, researchers found that replacing white rice with white bread and whole grain bread can reduce type 2 diabetes risk by 10% and 18% respectively, and that replacing white rice with noodles, red meat, or poultry might actually increase diabetes risk. Rice intake itself was not associated with higher type 2 diabetes. The authors conclude that “recommendations to reduce high white rice consumption in Asian populations for the prevention of [type 2 diabetes] may only be effective if substitute foods are considered carefully.”
European Journal of Nutrition. 2018 Dec 10. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1879-7. [Epub ahead of print] (Seah JYH et al.)

Plant-Based Korean Diet with Brown Rice Can Improve Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar in Hospitalized Patients

Many people are surprised at how effective lifestyle changes can be when it comes to managing chronic disease. In this study, 160 hospital patients in South Korea with high blood pressure changed their diet to eat a plant-based (vegan) diet based on brown rice at each meal, with lots of kimchi and pickled vegetables, fermented soy foods, and lots of other vegetables (both raw and cooked). They averaged about 1,700 calories per day and did not eat any refined grains or any noodles or breads, relying on brown rice as the staple. Their sodium intake was quite high, at 7,382mg per day. However, after about 2 weeks, 86% of the patients were able to stop taking their blood pressure and diabetes medications, and their reduced blood pressure levels remained stable even after stopping the medications. Similarly, HBA1C reduced from 7.6 to 7.2, indicating better blood sugar management. More research is needed to see if similar approaches might be effective in other populations.
Journal of Ethnic Foods. 2018 Nov 1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jef.2018.09.002 (Jung SJ et al.)


Jagacida is a beans and rice dish found in Cape Verdean cuisine. Also referred to as jag, the dish is heavily seasoned with onion, paprika, and bay leaves. With the kidney beans and paprika, the dish becomes a beautiful red and gold mixture that smells incredible. Jagacida can be eaten...

Brown Rice Stays in Stomach Longer than White Rice, Good for Blood Sugar and Nutrient Absorption

Brown rice and other whole grains have been long known to “stick to your ribs,” and new research explains why. In a small study, 10 healthy adults were fed various types of white rice and brown rice over 7 weeks, with a breath hydrogen test to track how long their stomach stayed full. The brown rice samples all stayed in the stomach significantly longer than the white rice samples, likely because the bran takes longer to break down. Slow stomach emptying helps the body better regulate how nutrients are digested and absorbed, and helps create a more gentle blood sugar response (rather than a blood sugar spike).
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018 Mar;72(3):367-373. (Pletsch EA et al.)

Asparagus and Ginger Fried Rice

Brown rice is actually better suited for fried rice, since it doesn’t clump as much as white rice. This flavorful side dish is the perfect accompaniment to any Asian entrée....

Thai Cashew Chicken

Moist chicken meets the warm crunch of toasted cashew nuts or, ma muang as they are called in Thai, which roughly translates to Indian mangoes. As with all recipes, feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your palate—this may be a bit spicy for some....

Thai Basil Chicken

This is a quick and easy street food staple that is traditionally a fiery one, but tame the heat by using fewer chilis, a different varietal, or none—it will still be flavorful. The fried egg on top is also traditional, but not necessary. ...

Red Curry Kabocha Squash over Brown Rice

Kabocha squash, sometimes called Japanese squash, has a has a vaguely sweet flavor and vibrant orange-y red color. If you are unable to find some or prefer other squash such as butternut or acorn, they are just as healthy, delicious, and beautiful. ...

Thai Green Curry Salmon

Grilling the salmon adds a unique flavor to this dish, but pan-searing the fish in a small amount of oil, or broiling, works equally well. ...

rice with chicken

Arroz con Pollo is a distant relative of the classic Spanish dish paella. This Puerto Rican version features a base of sofrito, with extra flavor from olives....

Brown Rice Pilaf

Dried fruit and nuts can often be found nestled into Eastern Mediterranean rice pilafs. In this recipe, golden raisins add a delicious, tangy bite to the earthy flavors of the spices and the rice....

Whole Grains, Pasta Linked with Lower Breast Cancer Risk

An estimated 1 in 8 women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer over her lifetime, so preventive lifestyle choices are an important area of research. To see how diet plays a role, Harvard scientists analyzed the grain food choices of 90,516 pre-menopausal women, and monitored their health outcomes for 22 years. After adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors, those eating 1.5 servings of whole grains per day were 18% less likely to get pre-menopausal breast cancer than those eating hardly any whole grains (0.2 servings/day). This relationship was no longer significant after adjusting for fiber, suggesting that the fiber in whole grains may play a protective role. When looking at individual grain foods, brown rice and pasta (white or whole grain) were associated with a lower risk of overall breast cancer risk, while white bread was linked with a higher risk of overall breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2016 Sep;159(2):335-45. (Farvid MS et al.)


Subscribe to Rice