White rice spikes blood sugar levels in the body and has almost the same effect as eating pure table sugar, according to Harvard Medical School (HMS).


In a post on its website, the institution’s health publishing arm, which dishes out basic healthy tips, advised people to reduce their intake of high glycemic foods to avoid diabetes.

The US-based institution also added that high glycemic foods result in a quick spike in insulin and blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, while low glycemic foods have a slower, smaller effect.

“A serving of white rice has almost the same effect as eating pure table sugar — a quick, high spike in blood sugar. A serving of lentils has a slower, smaller effect,” it said.


“Picking good sources of carbs can help you control your blood sugar and your weight. Eating healthier carbohydrates can help prevent a host of chronic conditions, especially diabetes, but it can also ward off heart disease and various cancers.

“One way to choose foods is with the glycemic index (GI). This tool measures how much a food boosts blood sugar. The glycemic index rates the effect of a specific amount of a food on blood sugar compared with the same amount of pure glucose.”

The institution also urged that instead of taking white rice and other high glycemic foods such as instant oatmeal, cornflakes, baked potato, white bread and corn, people should go for low glycemic ones.


Low-glycemic foods, it said, include: brown rice or converted rice, most fruits and vegetables, beans, minimally processed grains, pasta, low-fat dairy foods and nuts.

HMS is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. Founded in 1782, it is one of the oldest medical schools in the United States.

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