Can A Diabetic Eat Rice?

Healthy eating is considered to be the ideal way to manage Type 2 diabetes in a person. It is associated to excessive weight. Counting your carbs, and calories, and sticking to the well-balanced diabetes diet is the way to keep diabetes under control. The high carb content of Rice makes it a controversial food in diabetes diet. In this article, we will look closely at the impact of rice in diabetes.

can a diabetic eat rice

How safe is it to eat Rice in Diabetes?

Rice is a high GI score that has quick digesting carbohydrates. This implies that it gets quickly digested in the body and causes a sudden increase in the sugar levels in the blood. Due to this reason, people with Diabetes should avoid white rice at all costs. Eating this rice can cause diabetic neuropathy, also called as nerve related damage that is the result of quick surge of glucose levels in the blood. In addition to it, white rice doesn’t provide any nutrition, or fiber. So, eating white rice is just for taste, and not for health reasons.

This type of rice enhances the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. If you have been identified with diabetes, then you should always remain aware of the calorie, and carbohydrate count and “GI score” for the rice you want to consume. Diabetics should focus on eating only 45 grams to 60 grams of carbohydrates in every single meal. There are a few varieties of rice that have are ranked low on GI scale than white rice. Switching to those varieties is a good consideration.

What are the healthy versions of Rice for a Diabetic?

Not all types of rice available in the market are beneficial for the management of diabetes. Doctors advise to consume only below forms of rice that are low in GI index.

  1. brown rice
  2. basmati rice
  3. wild rice

All the above types of rice provide a nutritional punch to your body without raising the blood glucose in the body. This type of rice is superior than white rice in terms of fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and GI Index.

Packed with fiber, a vital aspect for diabetes management, these healthier versions of rice get slowly metabolized by the body. This causes a steady increase in blood glucose levels and prevent any discomforting, and unmanageable situations. One can eat it regularly as part of their balanced diet.

Let us know more about the GI Index of different types of rice:

GI index of short-grain white rice is 70 or more that comes in the category of high GI food. This high starch food is a strict No for diabetes.

The Gi index of the three healthier versions of rice as basmati rice, wild rice, and brown falls in between 56 to 69 on GI scale. They are considered to be moderately good for consumption in diabetes.

Other Healthier Alternatives to Rice

A diabetic should not completely rely on Rice as their primary staple when designing their meal. It is advised to include a few other types of Low GI grains that will not just add more nutrition to your diet, but also help in effective management of your diabetes.

  1. steel-cut or rolled oats
  2. bulgur
  3. barley
  4. quinoa
  5. buckwheat
  6. millet

Healthy ways to include rice

A diabetic doesn’t need to completely eliminate carb rich food from the diet. Keep a watch on the type and quantity of carbohydrates you eat. In regards to rice, you should stick to only healthy versions of rice and eat it in moderation.

Pairing it with protein rich low GI foods like legumes, vegetables, fruits, and pulses, will prevent your blood sugar to rise abruptly in the body. In this way, you will be able to avoid fluctuations in blood glucose, and achieve improved control on diabetes over a longer term.

As cooking increases the GI index of the food, it is advised not to overcook rice. Ensure you eat only small portions of rice. Half a cup of healthier versions of rice only gives you 15 grams of carbs. You can fill the remaining half with your choice of vegetables, and legumes to balance the overall GI level, and enhance its nutrition.


When you have Type 2 diabetes, your meals should comprise of an adequate mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, to keep blood glucose in normal levels throughout the day. Diabetics should restrict their consumption of rice in small amounts. If you suffer from prediabetes, it is important to watch your calorie intake, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.