Diabetes Risk Increased by White Rice and Reduced by Brown

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health completed a study in which they found eating five servings of white rice per week was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating two or more servings of brown rice was associated with a lower risk of the disease. They also found replacing 50 grams of white rice with the same amount of brown rice, (one third of a daily serving) could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 16%. Replacing the same amount of white rice with whole wheat or barley was associated with a 36% reduced risk.

Qi Sun was one of the lead researchers. She remarked about the study, “Rice consumption in the U.S. has dramatically increased in recent decades. We believe replacing white rice and other refined grains with whole grains, including brown rice, would help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Fiber content, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, are found in higher amounts in brown rice. Also it often does not generate as large an increase in blood sugar levels after a meal, as does white rice.

Qi Sun and Frank Hu examined white and brown rice consumption in relation to type 2 diabetes risk in 157,463 women and 39,765 men. In their study they discovered brown rice consumption was not associated with ethnicity. The connection was to a health-conscious diet and lifestyle.

Hu said of their study, “From a public health point of view, whole grains, rather than refined carbohydrates, such as white rice, should be recommended as the primary source of carbohydrates for the U.S. population.”

Diabetes Insider reported that almost 70% of rice consumed in the U.S. and the UK is white rice.

Image Credit: LoveJanine

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Gabriela Baldaia
Gabriela Baldaia2 years ago

Thank you !! Good to know ...

Valerie L.
Valerie L.2 years ago

And brown rice tastes better too!

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 2 years ago


Roger M.
Past Member 2 years ago

Good to know. Thanks.

Melinda K.
Past Member 3 years ago

wholegrain is the best!

Brian M.
Past Member 3 years ago

I grew up in a rice-eating culture, but at this point...I'm just not interested in something in which the arsenic levels aren't even regulated.

Ana R3 years ago

Thank you for the info.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago


Angel Campbell
Angel Campbell3 years ago

White rice is refined carbs whereas brown rice is complex carb so yeah.. refined carbs get absorbed into the bloodstream faster.