Intake of 'sugar-free rice' may not be healthy, no such variety in Andhra Pradesh: Experts

An expert said that the GI value difference between the so-called low GI rice varieties and the existing rice varieties in the country is very marginal.

Published: 05th July 2022 07:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2022 07:03 AM   |  A+A-

Rice Grains

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Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: In view of the hype being created about diabetic rice (sugar-free rice) to attract the attention of diabetic patients, who generally tend to avoid rice or minimise its consumption as rice has a high GI (glycemic index) value, experts advise caution. 

There is no such thing as low-GI rice variety in our State, for that matter in our country as the existing rice varieties are either of high GI value or mid-GI value. Sona Masuri and Samba Masuri rice varieties fall in the category of mid-GI value rice as their GI value is between 51 and 56.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, P Ramesh, retired principal scientist (rice) at the Regional Agriculture Research Station, Maruteru, said that the GI value difference between the so-called low GI rice varieties and the existing rice varieties in the country is very marginal.

"The value may be one or two points less than our BPT rice. Low GI means if the difference is more than 20 points, that is GI must be around 30 points. Such value is not possible in the existing rice varieties," he explained. 

Consumption of more low GI rice by diabetic patients could be counter productive as they may consume more rice than advised thinking it has low GI value, which leads to accumulation of more blood sugar, which could be harmful to them, he said. 

According to Ramesh, it is always advisable for diabetics to consume unpolished or single polished rice, which has lower GI value than polished rice, but in a very limited manner. "It is advisable to opt for millets as they are low in GI value," said another expert. 

"Millets can be the ultimate choice as they are abundant with nutrients, proteins and fibre," said a senior scientist at Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University. Compared to paddy, which requires 1,200 mm rainfall (water) per season, millets need less than half of it.

Further, millets have a low GI value, which is less than 50, while rice has a high GI value. The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar level.

"Consumption of rice results in near-instant conversion into glucose, but millets are slow in that aspect. Hence, doctors suggest diabetic patients to consume millets, which are also recommended for those suffering from obesity," he said.


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