Being a diabetic means having to make some difficult food choices at times. You’ve got to keep your glycemic index in check, making sure that your blood sugar levels don’t spike into a dangerous range. Parboiled rice, which is sometimes called converted rice, is a type of grain that has actually been boiled in its husk before being dried again and prepared for sale. It comes from brown rice that’s been soaked and pressure steamed and is called “converted” because the process changes the grain from brown to white.
It can be used as a staple food for diabetics, but you’ve got to be careful in your selection of brands and types because you can still have a high glycemic index with this food product.
It Still Provides High Levels of Nutrition
Because it is essentially brown rice, you’re going to get a lot of vitamins and nutrients when consuming parboiled rice. The difference, however, is that the glycemic index of this type of rice is 30 points lower at its starting point than its brown rice neighbors. The issue that people have with converted rice, however, is that the GI can actually top off above 80, which can create blood sugar problems for diabetics.
To that extent, knowing what the GI of the products you’re purchasing is becomes critically important to the dietary process. Many of the boxed, pre-packaged versions of parboiled rice that you’ll find on grocery store shelves will fall into the 60’s or 70’s, which are comparable to standard forms of rice that are a bit cheaper. Some forms of converted rice can get near 90 on the GI. On the other hand, the Sungold brand provides a product that has a GI of just 27. That’s a big difference.
How Long You Cook the Rice Matters Too
The key to adding rice to the diabetic diet is to closely monitor how long this grain is being cooked. If the boiling process takes the entire husk of the grain off, then the body can digest it a lot faster than if it were still on. This will increase blood sugars more rapidly and cause a flood of glucose to eventually enter the blood stream.
With parboiled rice especially, cooking it less is an advantage because it can become very sticky when it is overcooked. It’s a really good rice to use if you want to make a dish like a risotto as a diabetic because it can stay firm with a quick cooking and you can add in other items that are on your diet plan, like vegetables, without giving yourself tons of added calories. Just stay away from the cream and the butter if it’s in the recipe.
Eating the diabetic diet can be difficult at times, but with parboiled rice that has a low glycemic index, life can become a little bit more like normal. Try picking some up the next time you have a grocery list that needs to be completed and see how you feel after eating it. Chances are that you’ll have discovered a wonderful addition to your diet.
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