Should diabetics cut down on white rice?

Many people, for various reasons, eliminate certain foods from their diet while cutting down on some others. As such, diabetics often avoid white rice as it has a higher glycemic index and can affect the body’s blood sugar levels. But, according to experts, one must instead understand the foods on their plate and also eat in moderation for better health and nutrition.

Elucidating the same, nutritionist Bhuvan Rastogi took to Instagram and said that it “all comes down to the ratio of rice to everything else on your plate“.

“The denser the fibre and protein in the pairing options, the more rice can be balanced. Understanding GI or glycemic index is a good tool for this. Fats lower the GI of the plate, but that might take you away from other fitness goals. Prioritise fibre and protein over fats for optimum results. You can also have fewer sweet milk-based desserts once in a while as they add high protein and fats to your diet,” he wrote.

According to Rastogi, it’s important to understand the ratios of food on a plate before anything else. “This gets results without cutting down on any food group, even white rice. You can incorporate rice or any high-carb food like this, and it’s okay,” he further said.

Can you have white rice?

According to Rastogi, since white rice has a higher GI, it is essential to pair it with protein, fibre, fat in the right ratios that can lower the GI of the entire meal. “Anything below 55 is considered lower GI,” he added.

Dahi bhaat or curd rice

GI below 35 – Dahi has high amounts of fats and protein, and lowers the GI of your meals

Chhole/Dal/Rajma rice

Legumes are high in fibre and moderate in protein. Dal here doesn’t mean the high fat restaurant versions like Dal Makhani – they are low in GI but are not a viable option as a daily meal.

GI below 35 – The average GI of daal is 17.

Have rice and dal for lunch which is a good combination of nutrients. (Source: Getty Images)

Pulao with vegetables and paneer

Vegetables add fibre and micronutrients to a meal, and paneer is dense in protein and fats

GI below 40 – “This is an estimate as GI can’t be calculated properly for such little amounts of carbs,” he said.

Fish rice

According to Rastogi, the “classic combination of fish with rice works”. “Fish provides protein and fats to lower the GI of the plate,” he said.

He also added that having curd or specific vegetables in diet to control diabetes also finds its logical relatability in having foods with lower GI. “Instead of adding everything you read about, your meal itself can be tweaked to manage blood glucose as well as diabetes-related issues,” he suggested.

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