It’s a good thing that Chinese food is so popular here in the West. Not because it’s so delicious (though it really is), but because it helps introduce into your diet food types and nutrients that you would never otherwise have in a regular American meal plan. Lots of Chinese take-out items on the menu, if you would take the trouble to notice, have the option of substituting the white rice part of the package with the brown whole-grain kind. Brown rice of course isn’t a whole new variety – it’s the regular rice you eat, except that it hasn’t been subjected to industrial polishing that will turn the brown skinned natural grain into the white familiar rice you know to inhabit the packages on the shelf at the supermarket. Brown rice has a great peel of bran that has lots of great nutrients, vitamins and roughage. Eating brown rice also has a great part to play in diabetes prevention – brown rice has a lower glycemic index. What that means is, it doesn’t get your blood glucose levels up the way white rice can.

Here is the killer proposition in switching to brown rice – a Harvard research report says that if America would only switch entirely to brown rice – if brown rice were to be part of your meal twice a week, you would bring down your risk of Type II diabetes by a tenth.This rice happens to be a part of your diet every day, and if you happen to replace it with brown rice all the time, you get twice the benefit in diabetes prevention. The bottom line is this – it’s not that white rice doesn’t help you with diabetes prevention and brown rice does. It’s that white rice actively increases your risk of diabetes, and brown rice actively fights it. It works for all other kinds of grain too. White bread will increase your risk of diabetes while complete whole-grain bread will lower it.

The study actually got its data from 100,000 people who reported on their own food habits. One wonders how much truth one can hope to get when all one has are self-proclaimed facts. Those survey-takers can claim anything; they may have no real need to lie; but they can be careless and work on inaccurate memory. And of course, if you think about it, the people who take the trouble to buy whole-grain stuff for their meals in general are a bunch that are more concerned with their health, than people who don’t really care about the exact ingredient that goes into their food. These are people who would exercise, eat less fat, start their day on the glass of orange juice and a salad and so on. Of course, people with healthy habits don’t get diabetes as often.

But the scientists have a possible explanation for why brown rice and other brown grains are likely to help you with Type 2 diabetes prevention. To begin with, as mentioned, the fact that brown rice doesn’t send up blood sugar levels as much as white rice does, does matter. Quite apart from that though, brown rice comes with rich quantities of magnesium. And that has always been a diabetes prevention champion.

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