When dealing with diabetes, the health authorities have identified one of their biggest concerns: white rice. It is more effective in causing this disease than sweet soda.
In sharing his battle plan to reduce the risk of diabetes, Zee Yoong Kang, chief executive of the Health Promotion Council, said that obesity and sugary drinks are the main reasons why Westerners suffer from this disease.
However, Asians are more likely to develop diabetes than whites, so people do not have to be obese to develop diabetes. Starchy white rice will make the body's blood sugar too high and increase the risk of diabetes.
Mr. Zee has the data. The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a meta-analysis of four major studies involving more than 350,000 people. After 4 to 20 years, the study was published in the British Medical Journal and came up with some shocking findings.
One of them shows that eating a plate of white rice a day (regularly) increases the risk of diabetes for the entire population by 11%.
Second, it shows that Asians eat four servings of rice a day like the Chinese, while Americans and Australians only eat five servings a week.
But Mr Zee does not intend to ask Singaporeans to stop eating rice, which is a popular feature of dining here. He hopes to see more people turn to healthier varieties.
Long-grain white rice is also better than short-grain white rice in raising blood sugar-elevated sugar levels cause the pancreas to produce more insulin, and frequent increases can lead to diabetes.
He also hopes that people will try to add 20% brown rice to white rice. This amount is enough to reduce his risk of diabetes by 16%. "There is no need to completely replace the food they are eating now. Just increase the amount of whole grains and brown rice."
Health Minister Kim Kim Yong said last month that the disease costs the country more than US$1 billion each year. In Singapore, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputation.
Dr. Stanley Leow, a diabetes specialist at Raffles Hospital, advises people to eat less rice. He added that most junk food is as bad as soda and should be discouraged.Retrieved from: Hermes. (2019, November 24). Diabetes: The rice you eat is worse than sugary drinks. Retrieved January 12, 2021, from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/diabetes-the-rice -you-eat-is-worse-than-sugary-drinks