Rice is just one of many foods that cause diabetes

By Rose de la Cruz

When talking about diabetes or the weight loss regimens, rice is top of mind in what to cut or scrap from one’s daily diet. But this is not exactly true as rice is just one of at least 10 foods that cause acquired (or lifestyle) diabetes Type  2.

The Diabetes Council, online platform of diabetes specialists with the US Centers for Diseases Control cites 10 foods that that cause diabetes and they are: dark colored potatoes; processed meat; dairy; eggs; frying foods; soy; foods with high glycemic index; whole grain rich foods and sugar-laden foods.

Potatoes, a staple food for many Western people, have darker varieties in purple potatoes, Yukon golds and russets, which have greater risk of developing diabetes because they are high in resistant starch which the body can’t fully digest. The start winds up being metabolized by gut bacteria, yielding compounds that magnify the risk of diabetes. Choosing white potatoes is better, the Council said.

Beans and legumes, though said to be so healthy, multiply the risk of developing diabetes. The problem lies in how they are prepared, as they are usually ingested in unprocessed state.As a result they lead to large spikes in blood glucose levels increasing the risk of diabetes. But while one can unprocessed beans and legumes, one must control the blood glucose levels manually with medication.

Processed meat has been transformed by methods like smoking, curing, or fermentation. Examples include sausages, salami, hot dogs, bacon, ham, and other smoked or cured meats. This type of meat is associated with a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer because: 1) processed meats are high in saturated fat which increases the risk of heart disease and 2) they are often high in sodium which can increase blood pressure, a risk for heart disease. Processed meats also contain nitrates which can be transformed into carcinogenic compounds in the body.

Eating lots of dairy, as some studies found, leads to higher rates of diabetes. But this has been debated in the medical community. Regardless of the debates,  there is a chance that eating too much dairy can increase your risk of diabetes and many types of dairy products are high in saturated fat, which increases the risk of diabetes.

Eggs, just like beans and legumes, are eaten in an unprocessed state. They cause a  large spike in blood sugar, increasing the  risk of developing diabetes. But eating two eggs daily does not increase the risk of diabetes but some say it can actually reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Most people who eat a lot of eggs do so in sandwiches and other processed foods, and this increases the risk of diabetes, not the egg per se.

Frying foods oxidize and produce harmful compounds, which have been linked to increased risk of developing diabetes. Frying can also elevate blood glucose levels, making it harder to regulate blood sugar. In general, it is best to avoid frying foods because it is a healthy way to cook. Better ways include baking, roasting, and grilling. 

Soy is popular among vegetarians, vegans, and people who are trying to lose weight. However, many experts believe that it can cause diabetes and lead to weight gain as soy is rich in phytic acid, which can impede the body from absorbing nutrients. Phytic acid can cause blood sugar levels to rise and lead to diabetes. Avoid eating large amounts of soy foods like tofu, soy milk, and edamame.

A diet with a high glycemic index causes spikes in blood glucose levels, which is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. In fact, a high glycemic index has been shown to cause blood glucose levels to increase by 20–40% in people at risk of diabetes. But most people aren’t aware of the glycemic index of the foods they eat nor do they make an effort to eat healthier and reduce their risk of diabetes. An easy solution is by looking up the glycemic index of foods and choosing healthier alternatives.

Whole grain-rich foods are high in fiber and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Since they are usually processed, this makes them high in glycemic index. Whole grain-rich foods are linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes. A solution is to choose unprocessed whole grain-rich foods. 

Sugar-laden foods are associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes. Unfortunately, many people eat a lot of sugar-laden foods but don’t know that they could be increasing their risk of diabetes. The solution is to choose unprocessed foods, such as vegetables and fruits, instead of processed foods, such as sugary snacks.

Just recently, President Marcos was presented at the just-concluded 6th International Rice Congress with the first batch of ultra low glycemic index rice (GI is 44 compared to traditional rice of 70 to 92 GI) breed developed by the International Rice Research Institute for commercial release in two years by IRRI and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

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