"In our developed societies, we are exercising less and eating more, causing the profound increases in obesity and diabetes that are associated with increased morbidity and mortality," said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Our research should focus on how to eat less, consume foods of lower glycemic index and exercise more to prevent diabetes and obesity," he said.
According to Congro, there are healthier alternatives to white rice.
"When you eat white rice often, you are missing an opportunity to have fiber in your diet," she said. "You are also missing a variety of vitamins that are stripped away in the process of making white rice."
Whole grains, including barley or quinoa, may be healthier options. "Buckwheat is [also] delicious and high in antioxidants, including Rutin, which is linked to improved circulation and prevention of blood vessel blockage due to LDL cholesterol," Congro said. "There is a whole world of whole grains that people should consider exploring."
The study found a link between white rice consumption and diabetes, but it did not prove that the food causes the blood-sugar disease.
The U.S. National Diabetes Education Program offers diabetes prevention tips.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCES: Karen Congro, RD, CDN, director, The Wellness for Life Program, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; Spyros Mezitis, M.D., endocrinologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; British Medical Journal, news release, March 15, 2012
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