Study Finds Rice Varieties with Low Glycemic Index

July 23, 2012

In looking at 235 different types of rice, researchers found the GI of rice to be anywhere from 48 to 92.

An extensive analysis of global rice varieties finds that many rice varieties bear a low-to-medium glycemic index (GI).

The glycemic index is used to measure how quickly foods can raise blood sugar. High-GI foods are traditionally warned against, especially for diabetics, who must take care to avoid spikes in blood sugar.

In looking at 235 different types of rice, researchers from the International Rice Research Institute and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Food Future Flagship found the GI of rice to be anywhere from 48 to 92. Swarna, a popular Indian variety, showed a low GI, while Basmati rice and Doongara rice showed a medium GI.

While the new findings could help formulators produce either low- or high-GI food systems-depending on the desired effect-another benefit is for creating diabetic-friendly rice foods.

“This is good news for diabetics and people at risk of diabetes who are trying to control their condition through diet, as it means they can select the right rice to help maintain a healthy, low-GI diet,” said Tony Bird, CSIRO Food Futures Flagship researcher.