Brown Rice

Brown rice doesn’t have the wonderfully low GL of some other grains, like barley or oats. Nevertheless, it’s a far better choice for

Brown rice doesn’t have the wonderfully low GL of some other grains, like barley or oats. Nevertheless, it’s a far better choice for your blood sugar than most white rice. So, if rice is on the menu, better make it brown.

As a nutrient-packed, fiber-rich whole grain, brown rice has many of the good qualities you expect in a Magic food. Not only does it boast six times the fiber of white rice, it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and natural plant compounds made by nature to protect your health. And, as a whole grain, brown rice is part of the formula for lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Remember, we want you to aim to eat three servings a day of whole grains, which protect against metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. A serving of brown rice is 1/2 cup.

Regular brown rice takes about 35 minutes to cook. When time is of the essence, don’t opt for instant rice, white or brown, which has been partially cooked and dehydrated and has a high GL. You’d do better to opt for converted white rice, which has a GL similar to that of brown rice and many of the nutrients, too. While brown rice should always be your number one rice choice (more nutrients and fiber), converted white rice is the next best thing.

All rice starts off as brown rice. Only when it’s been refined and the bran and germ have been removed is white rice born. Different types of rice vary in their GL depending on the type of starch they naturally contain. Three rices to avoid: jasmine, Arborio (the kind used in risotto), and “sticky rice.”

Health Bonus
Brown rice offers more than just fiber. It’s rich in the bone-building mineral magnesium, the immune-boosting antioxidant selenium, and manganese, a mineral important for keeping up the body’s natural defenses.

Glycemic Load: Medium
Because brown rice contains some fat naturally found in the whole grain, it won’t stay fresh as long as white rice. You can store uncooked brown rice in the cupboard for up to 6 months. Put it in the refrigerator to make it last longer.

Menu Magic
Substitute brown rice for white rice in casseroles, stir-fries, and side dishes to lower the GL of a meal while adding a chewy texture and nutty flavor.

Perfect Portion: 1/2 cup
Stick with one serving, or 1/2 cup, per meal, since rice is, after all, a high-carb food. your health. And, as a whole grain, brown rice is part of the formula for lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Remember, we want you to aim to eat three servings a day of whole grains, which protect against metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. A serving of brown rice is 1/2 cup.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest