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Control Glucose Spikes

Rice can spike glucose
Rice with meal

The whole family like rice, your mother would not understand if it was missing and your children are used to having it all the time.  A meal is not complete without rice. The rice you eat with almost every meal (Glycemic Index, GI = 78) may be contributing to your Type-2 Diabetes, (or pre-diabetes) by spiking your glucose (blood sugar) which then requires drugs like metformin or external insulin to keep it under control.  How can you change this for the whole family? 

All is not lost, but you need to approach this with stealth, like a military tactician, one step at a time.   There are many possible steps, but each must be deliberate. Let’s take a look.

The first thing you can easily do is to ensure that all rice that reaches the table was pre-cooked, then cooled overnight in the refrigerator before being used (hot or cold) the following day.  This changes the chemistry increasing the resistant starch level and reducing the glycemic index, (GI = 54) but does not change the taste or texture so no-one will suspect.

Another step is to add a green salad prior to the main dish with the rice.  If the dish that spikes glucose is delayed until the stomach has some food in it, the resulting glucose spike is reduced.  This also has the effect of adding additional nutrients, and may reduce the size of the rice portion, thereby reducing the impact the rice has on glucose levels.  Make sure you use a vinegar/olive oil dressing and avoid mayonnaise as these are often full of sugar and inflammatory seed oils.  Check labels.

You could introduce a pre-dinner drink consisting of a little apple cider vinegar (ACV) in pure water as this impacts digestive juices blunting the glucose spike from the food following.  This can also boost the stomach acid level which for many older people declines, leading to reflux issues and reducing their ability to absorb protein.  It might take a while to get the family used to the taste, perhaps start with just a teaspoonful in a large glass of water and over time progress up to 1 tablespoon in a tall glass.

You could add ingredients to the rice to boost overall nutrients and reduce the overall amount of rice used.  For example, adding some egg, some finely chopped bacon, smoked fish or other meat pieces.  These can add much needed protein while displacing rice.  If you are vegetarian, you could add some low GI vegetables such as lentils (GI = 29) or split peas (GI = 32).  These steps will reduce the resulting glucose spike and the insulin required to manage it.[1] 

Another option is to replace some of the rice with cauliflower rice (GI = 5-15), perhaps about 20% for starters and then slowly raise the percentage over time.  Keep it well salted or it may taste strange.  Each of these steps can help reduce glucose in the blood, flattening spikes and, therefore, improving health.  You could gradually combine some of these steps together for even better results, gradually changing the family taste buds and improving their health.

The final suggestion is that a 30-minute easy walk taken regularly after a meal will use up some blood glucose reducing the amount that requires insulin or drugs to control and minimizing the excess that would be converted to body fat and stored around your abdomen.

For more good quality dietary information like this, read my blog or buy my book on Amazon, linked here at   One on one or small group consulting available. Seek professional medical advice before making dietary changes, particularly if on medication.  Questions are welcome.  Good health, George Elder, Diet Research Reviewer, Diploma in Nutrition.

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