Glycemic index of brown, black and white rice

by drt on May 5, 2010 · 1 comment

in glycemic index, Transitions Lifestyle, weight management

Being born and raised in Indonesia, white rice has been the main dish for almost my entire life. However, a few years ago my doctor warned me that she was going to prescribe some diabetic medications if I didn’t reduce my carbs intake and shed some pounds off. I might become a type 2 diabetic soon if I didn’t do anything, she added.

Responding to that warning, I then signed up to join the Transitions Lifestyle weight management system and have reduced my belly fat as I posted early. I even went to become a Certified Transitions Lifestyle Coach to help other with their weight management problems.

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In the past two years, I have slowly cut the white rice off without any problem on satiety. Instead of white rice I only ate a cup of black rice, and sometimes skipped the rice at all for other low glycemic index (GI) carbs such as sweet potato, noddle, bean, unripe banana, squash etc.

Last week I came across Dr. Izzy’s Sunday Housecall video as shown in the right sidebar: What can brown do for you? This video puzzled me.

OK, doc. Brown rice can lower your blood pressure, but was that all the benefits we get from brown rice? What about the glycemic index?

I remember that in her 2005 edition book, The New Glucose Revolution – Low GI Eating Made Easy, Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller wrote that the brown rice they have tested so far has high GI. For this reason, I have been eating black rice instead of brown rice. I don’t remember where I read that the black rice has low GI.

But after watching Dr. Izzy’s video, I did the search and found the Sydney University GI food database. This is the list of my search results.

  • A search for the word ‘rice’ alone –> found 341 records.
  • Changed to ‘rice’ with GI less than 55 –> 131 records.
  • Reduced it to ‘rice’ with GI less than 50 –> 91 records. Still too many records.
  • ‘White rice’ with GI less than 50 –> 40 records.
  • ‘Brown rice’ with GI less than 50 –> 11 records.
  • ‘Black rice’ with GI less than 50, only 1 record.

The last one actually was for black rice porridge from the work of Yang et.al., from China.

These findings totally changed my viewpoint on the glycemic index of rice. Now I know that we can get the low GI white or brown rice from the data of Sydney Universtity database. The other two search results with 40 and 11 records of rice are easy to navigate and figure out which one would probably be available in the grocery stores here.

Finally, the database is easy to search. Please follow the instruction and try it yourself. If you are like me and have to eat low GI food, then you may find the list for white rice or brown rice with GI that are lower than 50. You will be amazed by the GI food data they have there. Please come to share with us your impression, once you have checked their database.

Last modified: June 15, 2010

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