In 2018, 485 million metric tons of rice were produced globally
A health tips article Harvard Medical School (HMS) has highlighted that a serving of white rice has almost the same effect as eating pure table sugar — a quick, high spike in blood sugar.
In its “A good guide to good carbs: The glycemic index,” HMS said choosing low glycemic foods can curb blood sugar spikes and lower risk of diabetes.
White rice has been much more common than brown rice because it has a longer shelf life and transports more easily. However, white rice is also less nutritious.
However, more than half of the world's population relies on rice as a staple food. In 2018, 485 million metric tons of rice were produced globally.
HMS also unveiled a glycemic index (GI), a tool that measures how much a food boosts blood sugar.
“The glycemic index rates the effect of a specific amount of a food on blood sugar compared with the same amount of pure glucose. A food with a glycemic index of 28 boosts blood sugar only 28% as much as pure glucose. One with a GI of 95 acts like pure glucose,” it said.
The index also classified daily foods into three groups as per their GI score.
Most fruits and vegetables, beans, minimally processed grains, pasta, low-fat dairy foods and nuts, which generally fall under the GI of 55, has been classified as low.
White and sweet potatoes, corn, white rice, couscous, breakfast cereals such as cream of wheat and mini wheats, with GI score ranging from 56 to 69, classified as moderate.
White bread, rice cakes, most crackers, bagels, cakes, doughnuts, croissants, most packaged breakfast cereals, with GI score of 70 or higher, has been classified as high.
“Picking good sources of carbs can help you control your blood sugar and your weight. Eating healthier carbohydrates can help prevent a host of chronic conditions, especially diabetes, but it can also ward off heart disease and various cancers,” the article said.