What Is The Best Rice For Diabetics? [Revealed!]

by Ella

For individuals living with diabetes, managing their diet is crucial for blood sugar control and overall health. Among the various dietary choices, rice is a staple food in many cultures, but not all types of rice are equal when it comes to their impact on blood glucose levels. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on the best type of rice for individuals with diabetes, considering factors such as glycemic index, nutrient content, and health benefits.

Understanding Diabetes and Dietary Considerations:

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high blood glucose levels resulting from the body’s inability to produce or use insulin effectively. Proper diabetes management often involves maintaining stable blood sugar levels through a balanced diet, regular exercise, and medication when necessary.


When selecting the best type of rice for diabetes, it is essential to consider its glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI are rapidly digested and absorbed, leading to sharp spikes in blood sugar, while those with a low GI are digested more slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood glucose levels.


The Best Types of Rice for Diabetes:

1. Brown Rice:

Brown rice is a highly recommended option for individuals with diabetes due to its low GI and high fiber content. Unlike white rice, brown rice retains the bran and germ, which contain valuable nutrients and fiber. The fiber in brown rice slows down the absorption of glucose, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. Additionally, brown rice is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, providing a more nutrient-dense alternative to white rice.


See also: Is Brown Rice Safe if You Have Diabetes? [Revealed!]


2. Basmati Rice:

Basmati rice is a long-grain rice variety commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It has a lower GI compared to most types of white rice, making it a suitable choice for individuals with diabetes. Basmati rice has a distinct aroma and flavor, making it a favorite among rice enthusiasts.

3. Parboiled Rice:

Parboiled rice is partially precooked before milling, which helps retain some of the nutrients found in the rice bran. As a result, parboiled rice has a lower GI compared to regular white rice. It also maintains a firmer texture and is less likely to cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.

4. Black Rice (Forbidden Rice):

Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is a type of whole grain rice with a deep purple-black color. It is rich in anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants known for their health benefits. Black rice has a moderate GI, making it a suitable option for individuals with diabetes who enjoy its nutty flavor and unique appearance.

5. Red Rice:

Red rice is another whole grain variety with a moderate GI and a nutty taste. It contains higher levels of antioxidants and nutrients compared to white rice, making it a healthier choice for individuals with diabetes.

6. Wild Rice:

Wild rice is not technically rice but a type of aquatic grass seed. It has a low GI and is high in fiber, protein, and essential minerals. Wild rice offers a delightful texture and flavor when combined with other rice varieties or used in grain-based dishes.

See also: The Varied Types of Rice for Diabetes: All You Need To Know

How to enjoy rice in diabetes?

Don’t stress a lot to find a rice variety with a low or moderate glycemic index. Just look for a parboiled single polished version.

It has been seen the glycemic index of rice dramatically drop while added with dal or vegetables. Having rice with dal, sabzi, or fish/ chicken/ egg is already a part of our tradition. So enjoy your meal.

Focus on the quantity of rice. Take double the amount of vegetables, dal, fish, curd, etc then the amount of rice. Only 1/4th of your plate should get covered with rice, rest 3/4th should have dal, veggies, etc.

Tips to Prepare Rice for Lower Glycemic Index

1. Choose the Right Rice Variety:

To prepare rice with a lower glycemic index, it is essential to choose the right rice variety. Opt for whole grain or unprocessed rice varieties over refined white rice. Brown rice, basmati rice, parboiled rice, and wild rice are excellent options with lower glycemic indexes compared to white rice.

2. Soak the Rice Before Cooking:

Soaking rice before cooking can help reduce its glycemic index. Place the rice in a bowl and cover it with water. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes, or even up to 12 hours, before cooking. This pre-soaking process helps break down some of the starches in the rice, making it easier to digest and reducing its glycemic index.

3. Cook with Healthy Fats:

Adding healthy fats to the rice during cooking can help lower its glycemic index. Use heart-healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil to cook the rice. The presence of fats slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar levels.

4. Use the Rice Cooker:

Using a rice cooker is an efficient way to cook rice with a lower glycemic index. The rice cooker steams the rice, keeping it moist and preventing overcooking, which can lead to a higher glycemic index. Additionally, using a rice cooker allows for precise control over the cooking time and temperature, resulting in perfectly cooked rice with a lower glycemic index.

5. Add Vinegar:

Adding a splash of vinegar to the cooking water can help lower the glycemic index of rice. The acidity of the vinegar slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, leading to a slower and more controlled increase in blood sugar levels.

6. Combine Rice with Protein and Fiber:

Pairing rice with protein and fiber-rich foods can help reduce its impact on blood glucose levels. For example, serve rice with lean proteins like grilled chicken or fish and incorporate plenty of vegetables or legumes for added fiber.

7. Avoid Overcooking:

Overcooking rice can cause it to become mushy and lead to a higher glycemic index. Cook rice just until it is tender and avoid overcooking to preserve its texture and nutritional value.

Other Grain Alternatives to Consider for Diabetics

For individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels, incorporating a variety of whole grain alternatives can be beneficial. These grains offer lower glycemic indexes, higher fiber content, and essential nutrients that contribute to better blood sugar control and overall health. Below are some grain alternatives to consider for diabetics:

1. Quinoa:

Quinoa is a versatile and nutrient-rich grain that is an excellent option for diabetics. It has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice and is a good source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals like magnesium and iron.

2. Barley:

Barley is a whole grain with a low glycemic index and a high soluble fiber content. It can help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve heart health. Barley can be used in soups, salads, and pilafs.

3. Bulgur:

Bulgur is a wheat grain that is parboiled, dried, and cracked. It has a lower glycemic index than white rice and is a good source of fiber and protein. It is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

4. Farro:

Farro is an ancient grain that is rich in fiber, protein, and nutrients. It has a low glycemic index and a chewy texture. Farro can be used in salads, soups, and side dishes.

5. Buckwheat:

Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is gluten-free. It has a low glycemic index and is a good source of protein and fiber. Buckwheat is commonly used in soba noodles and as a base for porridge.

6. Millet:

Millet is a gluten-free grain that has a low glycemic index and is rich in fiber and nutrients. It can be used in pilafs, porridge, and baked goods.

7. Wheat Berries:

Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels that have a low glycemic index and are packed with fiber, protein, and vitamins. They can be cooked and used in salads, side dishes, or as a breakfast cereal.

8. Amaranth:

Amaranth is a gluten-free grain that is high in protein, fiber, and minerals like iron and calcium. It has a lower glycemic index compared to other grains and can be used in porridge or as a base for salads.

9. Teff:

Teff is a tiny grain that is native to Ethiopia. It is gluten-free and has a low glycemic index. Teff can be used to make injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread, or as a hot cereal.


When it comes to selecting the best type of rice for individuals with diabetes, opt for whole grain varieties like brown rice, basmati rice, parboiled rice, black rice, red rice, and wild rice. These options have lower glycemic indexes, higher fiber content, and more nutrients compared to refined white rice. By incorporating these healthier rice choices into a balanced diet, individuals with diabetes can enjoy their favorite rice dishes while effectively managing their blood sugar levels and promoting overall health.

It is crucial to remember that individual responses to foods can vary, and consulting a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is recommended for personalized dietary recommendations for individuals with diabetes. Additionally, pairing rice with other nutrient-rich foods, managing portion sizes, and practicing portion control are essential strategies for maintaining blood sugar stability and achieving overall well-being in diabetes management.



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023