How to have rice safely if you are diabetic? Read to know

Rice and dal curry
Rice and dal curry. Photo: Shutterstock/bonchan

It is an undeniable fact that Keralites cannot survive without eating rice or dishes made with rice at least once a day. Rice which is a storehouse of carbohydrates is indeed a staple here. However, it is important for diabetes patients to follow a healthy lifestyle and eating habits to control their blood sugar levels. They must monitor their daily intake of carbohydrates to lead a healthy life.

Studies say that type 2 diabetes patients should consume rice only in minimal quantity. They should include food that contains fibre and whole grains in their regular diet.

There is a unique menu for diabetes patients that is suggested by most health experts. The meal should begin with veggies that do not contain starch followed by some dal and rice.

Which type of rice is suitable for diabetes patients?

It is important to understand which type of rice is best to reduce the sugar level in the blood while nourishing the body with essential nutrients. Brown rice, wild rice and long white rice are excellent to control the blood sugar level.

Re-boiling the rice after cooling it down produces resistant starch which helps in slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates. Resistant starch ferments the food in the large intestine to improve the gut health. Moreover, this keeps away constipation, reduces cholesterol and significantly lowers the chance of colon cancer.

Healthy one-pot dal palak rice

By including resistance starch in the diet, the body would develop immunity against insulin and control the blood sugar level.

Here is how you should cook rice to produce resistant starch:

  • Basmati rice or brown rice that has a low glycaemic index should be included in the diet.
  • Rinse the rice at least thrice before cooking. Do not forget to soak the rice for an hour.
  • Allow the cooked rice to cool down completely. This improves the process of producing resistant starch.
  • Boil the rice again to increase the amount of resistance starch that is suitable for diabetes patients.

Is there an alternative?

Instead of depending only on rice, you could try different varieties of grains. Most of these alternatives are tasty as well as help in regulating blood sugar. These are some healthy alternatives for rice:

  • Rolled and steel-cut oats
  • Barley
  • Bulgar wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Millets
  • Buckwheat
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