Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Now it's Rice---what's next?--- not wine I hope!

Now it’s rice—actually white rice and even then I bet it is not basmati rice (which has a lower Glycaemic Index ---GI---) that is the culprit. Some research from Harvard is now pointing out that consumers of large amounts of processed white rice are more likely to develop Type Two Diabetes. That would mean that most of Asia and an increasingly large number of Westerners may be at risk.
Many of my Asian friends eat rice several times a day. Not only that, but the amounts are quite large. If you take a plate and describe the portions that veggies, carbohydrates (rice) and protein/fats make up, then what I see is a two thirds division. What’s that look like?
Well--- there is a huge heap of rice covering most of the plate (and that may be replenished at least once during the meal) with a topping of the meat and veggies. Yes it tastes great.
I have often wondered at this sight. If you add those horrible instant noodles to the mix then the problem is probably compounded.  Type Two Diabetes has been thought of as a disease that plagues the West--- not so--- the figures emerging from Asia must be causing concern.
So what is the answer? It seems pretty straight forward. Add more variety to our plates and be less dependent on white rice. However, when I point out such a solution to my friends, they look at me as if I am stupid. ‘What--- you trying to tell us not to eat rice?!’
NO--- just try to eat less and add some other types of food. Perhaps that ignores economics--- some of those foods are not always cheap. Take the cultural factor and such advice could be seen as downright patronizing.
The research pointed out something else too. The very processes involved in growing, harvesting and generally being physically active probably mitigates against the negative factors in eating white rice. City dwellers work hard but they want their food to be convenient and easily accessible. They may also not get anywhere near the exercise that their country counterparts get. The same applies in the West.
SO---VARIETY---EXERCISE maybe the antidote to the pathway to unwellness. Haven’t we known that for a long time?  Grandma knows best!