That's right you heard it correctly, white rice has been shown to be worse than drinking soda, when analyzing your risk for developing diabetes. Some recent findings of a study done over the course of 20 years and 350,000 patients, was published by the Harvard School of Public Health!
Their research has found that eating a plate of rice on a regular basis, has been shown to increase your risk of diabetes by 11%. A bowl of rice has been shown to have just as much sugar in 2 cans of soda!!! Imagine 3 bowls of rice a day, 1 for each meal, equals approximately 6 cans of soda, in addition to any other sugary drinks or snacks you may have consumed throughout the day.
Now as usual at House Call Medical Practice, we like to break down what this information means to you and your health. So, what is diabetes and why is it important not to get it?
1. In simple terms, Diabetes just means that the sugar level in your blood is too high. Why does it get like that? Well, either from eating too many high sugarary drinks, snacks or foods and by consuming carbohydrates. Rice is a carbohydrate, just like bread, pasta, noodles, tortillas and etc. Carbohydrates = Sugar in our bodies. When you consume these products or carbohydrates, your body turns them into sugar in our body, so that they can be used for energy and cellular processes.
2. Whats the big deal if the blood sugar is high?
Well, glad you asked! Diabetes, a diseases state when your blood sugar levels are consistently abnormally high, can cause many complications and some life threatening.
For one, it increases your risk for cardiovascular diseases such as, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. Also, many patients who continue to live with uncontrolled diabetes often go on to develop complications such as insulin dependency (sticking yourself with needles daily), diabetic retinopathy (can lead to blindness), kidney disease/renal failure, neuropathies (numbness and tingling in your arms/legs) and possibly loss of your fingers, toes or your feet.
3. How to change and prevent this from happening?
Simple, diet and exercise! Easier said than done right? For many of us it is so unrealistic to give up rice completely and to automatically just start exercising daily. Well, although that would be ideal, in real life its all about baby steps and preparation. The latter of which is more important, because if you are not prepared mentally and with the support of your loved ones to prepare and set a start date, you have a strong possibility of failing.
Make sure you are ready to do this lifestyle change and make a start date. Prepare yourself by mixing brown rice with your white rice, or by simply skipping one meal a day with out rice and gradually increasing. Exercise 1-2 times a week and then ramp it up to 3-4 tines a week. You have to set realistic goals for yourself in order succeed.
As always this is just a very brief and simple way to help inform and manage your lifestyle. There is so much more involved and if you have any questions or would like for us to help you personally with your diabetes, please feel free to call us or join our practice!