Eating more white rice raised the risk for type 2 diabetes in a large clinical study, whereas eating more brown rice reduced the risk.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing health problems in Americans of all ages. Being overweight or inactive increases your chances of developing the disease. Research suggests that eating more refined foods, including white bread and sugary foods, might also raise the risk.
The new study followed about 200,000 people for up to 22 years. The people who ate at least 5 weekly servings of white rice had a 17% higher risk than those who ate less than 1 serving per month.
On the other hand, people who ate at least 2 servings of brown rice a week had an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate less than 1 serving a month.
"We believe replacing white rice and other refined grains with whole grains, including brown rice, would help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes," says study co-author Dr. Qi Sun of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.