As Sri Lankans, we love our rice. Sometimes not eating a meal of rice can make us feel unsatisfied. However, it is important to be more aware of portion size and variety especially for people with diabetes. This is because rice is a source of carbohydrates and some varieties of rice (such as white rice) have a high glycemic index (approx. 70) which can rapidly increase your blood sugar level. In order to seriously maintain your blood sugar level, substituting high GI rice with other low GI varieties of rice or other foods that have a low glycemic index value is highly recommended. But remember, just because you choose a low GI carbohydrate option, it doesn’t mean you can eat to your heart’s content; portion control is still important.
Here are some suggestions for alternatives:
With a low glycemic index and fibre, corn makes a good option as a substitute for rice. Furthermore, the resistant starch and fibre is difficult to digest which helps better stabilize blood sugar levels.
Not only is wholegrain low in the glycemic index, it is high in fiber. This combination makes it very beneficial for diabetic as it can slow down glucose absorption in the blood. Moreover, wheat is rich in vitamins and minerals. Other than substituting high GI rice with Low GI rice or other healthier choice, you can also enrich your meal with other high in fiber foods. Fish, chia seeds, various kinds of nuts, and green vegetables can complement your food.
We rely heavily on our carbohydrate sources to give us a feeling of fullness after a meal. Choose high fiber foods can give us the same sense of fullness.
Remember, to eat a variety of leafy vegetables. They are low in calories and usually good sources of vitamins and minerals.
Don’t forget to manage each portion of your meals according to your body’s needs.