Saturday, July 2, 2016

Malaysia - Rice worse than sugary drinks, says health expert

Asians are more prone to diabetes compared with Caucasians due to the high intake of rice, studies have shown.

KUALA LUMPUR: Quoting health authorities, the Singapore Straits Times reported that consuming white rice is even more potent than sweet soda drinks in causing the disease.

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board chief executive Zee Yoong Kang told the daily that while obesity and sugary drinks are the major causes of diabetes in the west, Asians who are generally not obese yet run a higher risk of contracting the disease.

Quoting a collection of four major studies carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health, involving more than 350,000 people over four to 20 years, and published in the British Medical Journal, Zee said a plate of white rice a day can raise the risk of diabetes by 11% in the overall population.

The Straits Times quoted Zee as saying that starchy white rice can result in an overload in blood sugar, thus heightening the risk of diabetes.

He added that it was still okay to eat rice but for healthier varieties to be added to the daily diet.

He said long grain white rice is better than the short grain variety, and suggested that Asians should try adding at least 20% of brown rice to the daily rice intake, as it could amount to a 16% reduction in the risk of diabetes.

“There is no need to fully replace what they now eat. Just increase the quantity of whole grain and brown rice,” he said, according to the Singapore daily.

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