Impact of glycemic response of Rice

Rice is a staple food of more than half of the world’s population. Scientific name of Rice is Oryza Sativa. The intake of rice has been linked to certain metabolic disorders such as predisposition of Type-2 diabetes particularly among Asians. Unlike unpolished brown rice, white rice lacks phytochemicals such as polyphenols, oryzanol, phytosterols, tocotrienols, tocopherols and carotenoids as well as vitamins and minerals that confer protection against heart diseases and cancer.


  1. 100 gms Rice contains 130 kcal.
  2. It is cholesterol free.
  3. It promotes good gut bacteria.
  4. It contains low sodium, thus good for hypertension.
  5. It provides more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals including folic acid, Vit. B, pottasium, magnesium, selenium, fibre, iron and zinc.
  6. It contains Riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and other vitamins that prevents cancer, alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.


Glycemic index of a food is defined by the area under the 2 hour blood glucose response curve (AUC) following the ingestion of a fixed portion of test carbohydrate usually 50 gm as a proportion (% of the AUC of standard) (either glucose or white bread). The ability of the food item to raise the blood sugar is measured in terms of glycemic index.


GI of Rice ranges from a low of 48 to a high of 92, with an average of 64. The GI of rice depends on the type of rice.


The glycemic load is the product of the dietary glycemic index and total dietary carbohydrate. It accounts for how much carbohydrate is in the food and how much each gm of carbohydrate in the food raises blood glucose levels. The glycemic index foundation states that a food with a glycemic load of 10 or less is considered low , 11-19 medium and 20 or more high. For optimal health, we should aim to have a daily glycemic load of under 100.


It differs based on the food type. The reduction in glycemic response has been associated with improvements in health indicators for obesity and diabetes. Rice is considered as a medium or high GI food under normal conditions. Insulin is released from the beta cells of the pancreas to facilitate the uptake of the blood glucose into tissues and lowers the remaining glucose in the bloodstream. Under abnormal conditions, after a meal, blood glucose may remain high in the bloodstream (as observed in type 2 diabetes patient) which could be covered by abnormal insulin activity. This is mainly caused due to poor diet and lack of physical activity.


  1. Switch high GI food to low GI food.
  2. Instead of buying bakery foods made primarily with white refined flour (maida), choose grainy breads.
  3. Replace highly processed breakfast cereals with natural, traditional porridge, oats and cereals, vegetable dalia, vegetable khichdi etc.
  4. All pulses, lentils, chickpeas, beans etc are all low GI and nutrient rich along with rich source of protein and fibre.
  5. There is no need to completely cut out high GI options. You can combine them with low GI options to achieve a moderate GI.
  6. For snacks, go for fresh fruits, soaked or roasted nuts and seeds, yoghurt instead of refined flour products like cookies, biscuits and crackers.
  7. Most dairy products including milk and yoghurt are low GI and important source of protein and calcium.
  8. Make water your first choice. Avoid sugary drinks.


  • If you want to consume rice in lunch, take vegetable rice or pulao with lots of vegetables and take it with any pulses or beans like rajmah, chana, kari etc.
  • If you want to take roasted puffed rice as a snack, make its bhel by adding lots of vegetables and roasted chanas with peel.


  1. Improve diabetes management.
  2. Reduce risk of heart disease and improve blood cholesterol levels.
  3. Reduce weight.
  4. Reduce hunger and stay full for longer.
  5. Increase body’s sensitivity to insulin.

For customized and individualized diet plans, Contact:

Neena’s Diet Clinic

Dietician Neena (Mscdfsm)

Course in low FODMAP diet for IBS from Monash University, Australia

Life member of IDA

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