By Salma KHALIK
During our holidays we like eat white rice. It is the great feast of our celebrations. And yet, the studies showed that this rice is causing the disease of diabetes as sugary drinks.
Sharing his battle plan to reduce the risk of diabetes, Health Promotion Board chief executive Zee Yoong Kang said that obesity and sugary drinks are the major causes of the condition in the West.
But Asians are more predisposed to diabetes than Caucasians, so people do not have to be obese to be at risk. Starchy white rice can overload their bodies with blood sugar and heighten their risk of diabetes.
One, it showed each plate of white rice eaten in a day – on a regular basis – raises the risk of diabetes by 11 per cent in the overall population.
Two, it showed that while Asians, like the Chinese, had four servings a day of cooked rice, Americans and Australians ate just five a week.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said last month that this disease is already costing the country more than $1 billion a year. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations in Singapore.
The reason why
One bowl of rice has more than twice the carbohydrate content of a can soft drink. Carbs become sugar in the body. The pancreas produces insulin so sugar can be absobed by muscle and fat.
In food like white rice, the sugar is absorbed into the blood very quickly. This sugar spite makes the pancreas work harder. When this happens too often, the pancreas is less efficient in producing insulin, and the body in absorbing sugar.
Sugar left in the blood can damage the kidneys. This is diabetes. Much of what Asians take is refined carbs, like rice and noodles, which have more sugar.
Dr Stanley Liew, a diabetes expert at Raffles Hospital, advised people to eat less rice. He added that most junk food and sodas are just as bad and should be discouraged.
www.straitstimes:The rice you eat is worse than sugary drinks
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