Rice is a staple in many households, especially among Asians. While most people can consume rice regularly without compromising their health, people with diabetes should be more careful about taking in too many carbs.
Jasmine rice is one of the unsuitable sources of carbs that people with diabetes should avoid. Jasmine rice has a glycemic index of 60 and a glycemic load of 27, which is higher than most carbohydrate sources.
Read on as I discuss everything you need to know about this topic.
Table of Contents
What is Diabetes? An Overview.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels. It is caused by either a lack of insulin production in the body or an inability to use insulin properly.
As a result of the body's inability to use insulin properly, glucose builds up in the blood and the body's ability to use energy is disrupted.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes - Juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes - Diabetes Mellitus or adult-onset diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes Mellitus - Appears during pregnancy and often goes away after delivery.
Although there is no current cure for type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you can help prevent complications by eating healthy foods, losing weight, and exercising.
Insulin replacement therapy is the main way to treat diabetes, but changes in diet and exercise are also very important in helping to control the disease.
Long-term complications of diabetes include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
Is Jasmine Rice Good For Diabetics?
While people with diabetes can still eat jasmine rice in small amounts, experts do not recommend jasmine rice as the primary source of carbohydrates for people with diabetes.
Jasmine rice has a high glycemic load, a glycemic index of 60 to 80, a high carbohydrate content, little fiber, and provides little nutrition to the body. While brown jasmine rice offers more fiber than the white variant, it still has a high glycemic load.
Why Is Jasmine Rice Not Suitable For Diabetics?
Jasmine Rice Has A High Glycemic Index
Jasmine rice has a glycemic index of 60, which is higher than other carbohydrate sources. Although the glycemic index of 60 means it is in the medium range, jasmine rice contains high amounts of carbohydrates, increasing its glycemic load.
The glycemic index (GI) is a numerical system for measuring how quickly your body converts carbohydrates that you consume into glucose.
Foods with a high glycemic index are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream by your body. This causes your blood sugar level to rise quickly. In the same way, it takes more time for your body to absorb foods with a lower glycemic index, resulting in a more gradual rise in blood sugar.
Eating foods with a low GI can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions.
People with diabetes should watch out for foods with a high glycemic index and glycemic load. These two factors determine how food affects your blood sugar level.
Foods with a GI of 70 or higher are usually highly processed, low in fiber, and sometimes high in sugar. These elements play a part in the unexpected spike in your blood sugar.
Jasmine Rice Has A High Glycemic Load
A cup of uncooked jasmine rice has a glycemic load of 44, which means it belongs to the foods with a high glycemic load.
Glycemic load measures how much a particular food affects your blood sugar levels. It is calculated by multiplying a food's glycemic index (GI) by the number of carbohydrates in a serving, then dividing that by 100.
Here's a quick guide on the glycemic load range:
- Low Glycemic Load - 0 to 10
- Medium Glycemic Load - 11 to 19
- High Glycemic Load - More than 20
For instance, if you eat one cup of cooked jasmine rice, which has 45 grams of carbohydrates, multiplied by its glycemic index of 60, you get a glycemic load of 27, which is considered high.
When you eat foods with a high glycemic load, your blood sugar level can rise quickly, which makes insulin production rise quickly. This can lead to a cycle of high and low blood sugar levels, which can cause dizziness, fatigue, and other symptoms.
If you don't have enough insulin to cater to the sugar, it will stay in your bloodstream and eventually cause complications.
Jasmine Rice Has Low Fiber
A cup of cooked white jasmine rice contains only 2 grams of fiber, while cooked brown jasmine rice has 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. According to UCSF Health, you must take 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily to maintain healthy digestion.
Fiber is essential for managing diabetes. Dietary fiber helps to slow the absorption of carbohydrates and sugar, which helps to maintain a healthy blood glucose level.
Additionally, fiber has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. Finally, fiber helps to promote satiety, which can help with weight management and reduce the risk of obesity, which is a significant risk factor for diabetes.
Since jasmine rice has low levels of fiber and a high glycemic load, I do not recommend it as a daily source of carbohydrates if you have diabetes.
Can Jasmine Rice Lower Blood Sugar Level?
No. There are no scientific studies that prove the ability of jasmine rice to lower blood sugar levels.
Can Jasmine Rice Increase Blood Sugar Level?
Yes. A 2016 study found that eating different kinds of rice, like jasmine rice, raised the blood sugar level and the chance of getting diabetes.
Although jasmine rice is a long grain with a lower glycemic index than other rice variants, it is still unsafe to make it a staple energy source if you have diabetes.
Healthier Jasmine Rice Alternatives For Diabetics
While there is no harm in eating jasmine rice from time to time, even if you have diabetes, you may want to find alternatives that provide more nutrients, such as fiber, and have a much lower glycemic index. Here are my top 10 jasmine rice substitutes that you should try.
This ancient grain, packed with protein, fiber, and essential amino acids, is a great energy source for people with diabetes. It is also gluten-free and has a light and fluffy texture when cooked.
Although a cup of cooked quinoa has 39 grams of carbohydrates, it has 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein.
Barley is one of the best grains for people with diabetes. It has the lowest glycemic index among all grains and is rich in dietary fiber, making it one of the best energy sources for people with diabetes.
Although barley is 73% carbohydrates, most of it is dietary fiber, and it has a glycemic index of 25, the lowest among all grains.
3. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate that breaks down slowly and helps keep blood sugar levels steady. It also contains fiber, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals beneficial for diabetes control.
Brown rice has a glycemic index of 55 and has 23 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. You can also use other rice varieties, such as black rice or wild rice, which have a much lower glycemic index than brown rice and jasmine rice.
4. Rolled Oats
Oats are a good choice for people with diabetes because they have a lower glycemic index than jasmine rice, which means the body digests them slowly, helping to keep blood sugar levels more stable.
A cup of rolled oats also contains 7.5 grams of dietary fiber, around 25% of the daily required fiber intake.
Millet is a good choice for people with diabetes because it is a low-GI food that helps to regulate blood sugar levels, has a moderate amount of protein and fiber, and is rich in micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins.
Bulgur wheat is another whole grain that provides fiber with a low glycemic index, making it perfect for managing diabetes, especially when you're on a weight-loss journey.
A cup of bulgur wheat has 8.1 grams of dietary fiber and a glycemic index of only 46.
It has a glycemic index of 35, 5.68 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of fiber, and important nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
Buckwheat also has a low carbohydrate content, with only 33.5 grams per cup.
Farro is another grain with a high dietary fiber content of 5 grams and 8 grams of protein. It also has a medium-range glycemic index of 45, lower than jasmine rice.
It has three times as much fiber as brown rice and a glycemic index of 43, which is lower than jasmine rice. Freekeh also improves insulin sensitivity, which is excellent for people with diabetes.
10. Vegetable-based Rice
If you wish for a more nutritious alternative to rice, you should go for vegetable-based rice, such as cauliflower rice, broccoli rice, cabbage rice, chickpeas, and green peas.
The quick answer is yes; basmati rice, including brown basmati rice, is healthier than jasmine rice as it has a glycemic index of 50, lower than jasmine rice.
People with diabetes should not consume sticky rice daily, as it is high in carbohydrates and has a high glycemic index (90).
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