My Personal Myths: Whole Grains Brown Rice Example

My Personal Myth: Whole Grains

Take brown rice for example. Brown rice is simply white rice with a good increase in dietary fiber, some increased fats and protein and lots more nutrients. If you aren't diabetic, it is great to get that extra fiber and the huge dose of carbohydrates won't hurt you. If you are diabetic, having that little bit of fiber does next to nothing to reduce the huge carbohydrate load.

Look at the partial nutrient profile for white rice vs. brown rice:


Water142.526 108.135
Energy (kcal)216.450 205.400
Protein (g)5.031 4.250
Total lipid (fat) (g)1.755 0.442
Ash (g)0.897 0.648
Carbohydrate, by difference (g)44.772 44.509
Fiber, total dietary (g)3.510 0.632

Minerals brownwhite

Calcium, Ca (mg)19.500 15.800
Iron, Fe (mg)0.819 0.316
Magnesium, Mg (mg)83.850 18.960
Phosphorus, P (mg)161.850 67.940
Potassium, K (mg)83.850 55.300
Sodium, Na (mg)9.750 1.580
Zinc, Zn (mg)1.228 0.774
Copper, Cu (mg)0.195 0.109
Manganese, Mn (mg)1.765 0.746
Selenium, Se (mcg)19.110 11.850

Source: USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory.

For a non-diabetic brown rice is great. You can see from this partial profile why brown rice is so much healthier for a non-diabetic [See the full brown rice nutrient profile vs. white rice] - as it has tons more minerals and other nutrients.

For a diabetic brown rice has the same carbohydrate load with not enough fiber, fats or protein to make up for it.

While soluble fiber is absolutely great for you, and it DOES help attenuate blood glucose spiking after meals, in my experience the added fiber in brown rice vs. white rice is NOT enough alone to make any meaningful difference in lowering my blood glucose levels after meals with any significant amount of rice. If, on the other hand, I have a meal with copious sources of fiber and other beneficial diabetic diet plan foots - then I can tolerate carbohydrates otherwise intolerable.

The problem is that a lot of diabetic 'advisors' who are not diabetic will just read something about fiber and then assume wrongly that any and all diabetics can keep on chowing down on rice and pasta all they want as long as it is whole grain versions. That is totally wrong advice for me. If you are discouraged that you can't attain the goals you set, and you are following this advice, do your own experiments and don't listen to the advice of someone who does not understand your and your diabetes situation. They may keep telling you that you are doing something wrong because 'brown rice is OK' for diabetes for you - most likely the are just plain wrong. Cut out the rice and see what happens. Measure your blood glucose levels with your blood glucose monitor to get the profile of meals in which you have the same foods, but varying amounts of rice. See the truth for you instead of the opinions of others.

If you have any question, test identical meals against each other using white rice and brown rice and keeping all else identical (including your activities before and after and other factors). I found no measurable difference between white and brown rice blood glucose level increases when I did these tests.

Don't believe me. Do your own tests for yourself following a properly rigorous protocol, and you will most likely agree. If you are fortunate enough to be able to eat whole grains as much as you ate processed grains before your diagnosis as a type 2 diabetic, I envy you.

The Diabetic Life Diet WebSite | Dietary Control of Diabetes
SAFTEY REMINDER: Always test new foods in moderation and with caution!