Which Rice is The Best for Diabetes? (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Updated and medically reviewed by Dr. Sharon Baisil MD on 29 April 2023

As a doctor, it is important for me to provide patients with the best dietary recommendations for managing diabetes. Rice is a commonly consumed carbohydrate source, making it an important consideration for those with diabetes. By understanding the glycemic index and other nutritional factors of various types of rice, individuals with diabetes can make informed choices about their diet to help manage their condition effectively.

In this article, we will explore the different varieties of rice and examine which ones may be more beneficial for individuals with diabetes.

What is the Glycemic Index (GI) Of Rice And Why Is It Important For Diabetes Management?

The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a measure of how quickly carbohydrates in food are broken down into glucose and absorbed by the bloodstream.

Rice, which has an average GI score of 73, is categorized as a high glycemic food source. This makes it important for people with diabetes to choose rice varieties with lower GI scores to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Veggie causing Diabetes

White rice has a higher GI score than brown or wholegrain Basmati rice, making these options better choices for diabetic patients. The impact of cooking methods on the GI value of rice should also be considered when selecting types of rice to consume.

Wheat is another low GI grain that can be preferable over rice for diabetic individuals seeking to manage their blood sugar levels effectively. It is therefore essential to take into account the importance of GI for overall health and incorporate other low-GI grains into one’s diet plan alongside appropriate portions of moderate-to-low carbohydrate foods.

What is the Recommended Type Of Rice For Regular Consumption By Diabetic Patients?

When it comes to rice consumption for diabetic patients, brown rice or brown basmati rice are the recommended types due to their high fiber and phytonutrient content. These components can help manage blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance in individuals with diabetes.

The lower glycemic index of brown rice also makes it a better option than white rice as it releases sugars into the bloodstream slowly, maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Other varieties such as black rice, red rice, and wild rice have similar benefits due to their low GI score.


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Additionally, semi-polished or single-polished parboiled rice is another good choice for regular consumption because of its decent fiber content. However, it is crucial to choose these options in moderation while considering other factors like cooking methods and nutritional value when incorporating them into a diabetic diet plan.

Rice alternatives may also be considered depending on individual preferences and dietary restrictions.

What Are The Benefits Of Including Whole Grain Basmati Rice, Black Rice, And Wild Rice In A Diabetic Diet?

Including whole-grain basmati rice, black rice, and wild rice in a diabetic diet can provide several benefits.

Whole grain basmati rice has a lower GI score than traditional white rice due to its intact bran layer and germ that are removed during processing. This means it releases glucose into the bloodstream more slowly, leading to less fluctuation in blood sugar levels.

Black rice is another great alternative as it contains anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It also has high fiber content and a low glycemic index making it an excellent choice for people with diabetes.

Wild rice is another good option since it is not technically a type of rice but rather a grass seed. Its lower GI score indicates that it will cause less of a spike in blood sugar compared to white or brown rice. Additionally, wild rice provides protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and other essential nutrients needed by diabetics.

When deciding on which variety to use for diabetic-friendly recipes, it’s important to consider their nutritional value along with the impact of how they are processed on their GI scores.

Overall, incorporating these alternatives into meals can help maintain stable blood sugar levels while providing various health benefits that support managing diabetes effectively.

Can Diabetics Eat Any Rice?

Let’s face it, rice is a staple food in many cultures, and avoiding it entirely can be tough for people with diabetes. The question remains: Can diabetics eat any rice?

Well, the short answer is yes, but with some caveats. Diabetic rice alternatives such as brown rice, black rice, red rice, and wild rice are good options due to their lower glycemic index score and high fiber content that helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. Parboiled single-polished rice is also a decent option for regular consumption as it contains an adequate amount of fiber.

However, portion control plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels so it’s essential to keep portions small when consuming any type of rice. Additionally, cooking methods also matter for people with diabetes. Opting for steaming or boiling instead of frying can help prevent spikes in blood glucose levels caused by added fats and oils.

So while there are various types of rice that diabetics can consume in moderation, keeping portion sizes under control and opting for healthy cooking methods should always remain top priorities for maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Is Brown Rice The Best Option For People With Diabetes?

When it comes to choosing the best rice for people with diabetes, brown rice is a good option due to its medium glycemic index score and high nutrient content. However, there are other white rice alternatives that may be suitable as well, such as red rice and wild rice, which also have lower GI scores.

It is important to consider the nutritional value comparison when selecting the type of rice to consume. Brown rice contains high germ and bran value along with fiber, making it a wholesome food choice. Cooking tips can also help in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, such as opting for parboiled single-polished rice or using portion control while consuming any variety of rice.

In sum, while brown rice is an excellent choice for those with diabetes because of its moderate glycemic index score and nutritional qualities, other options should not be overlooked if they offer similar benefits or meet dietary restrictions/preferences.

Is Basmati Rice Ok For Diabetics?

Basmati rice can be a suitable option for people with diabetes, as it has a medium GI score and lower GI than other white rice varieties. However, portion control is important when consuming this type of rice due to its high carbohydrate content.

To maintain stable blood sugar levels, basmati rice should be consumed in moderation and paired with protein and fiber-rich foods. Cooking methods also play a role in the nutritional content of basmati rice. Boiling or steaming the rice instead of frying it can help preserve its nutrients while reducing calorie intake.

It is crucial for individuals with diabetes to monitor their food intake and make informed choices about the types of carbohydrates they consume. By practicing portion control and choosing healthier cooking methods, basmati rice can be incorporated into a balanced diet for those living with diabetes.

Is Brown Rice Ok For Diabetics?

As a physician, it is important to consider the impact of food choices on blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.

Brown rice is an excellent option for people with diabetes due to its lower glycemic index score and high fiber content compared to white rice.

However, it is crucial to choose appropriate portion sizes and cooking techniques when consuming brown rice as part of a healthy diet.

Other types of rice such as wild or black rice may also have potential benefits for people with diabetes due to their higher nutritional value and unique flavor profiles.

Nonetheless, incorporating moderate amounts of brown rice into meals alongside protein and fiber-rich foods can aid in regulating blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity in individuals with diabetes.

Is Sona Masoori Rice Good For Diabetes?

Sona Masoori rice can be a good option for people with diabetes due to its low glycemic index score and high fiber content.

However, it is important to consume this type of rice in moderation and pair it with protein and fiber-rich foods to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

For those looking for alternatives, there are other types of rice that have a lower GI score than Sona Masoori, such as Basmati or Jasmine rice, which may be better suited for some individuals.

Additionally, when comparing the nutritional value of different types of rice, brown rice tends to have more nutrients and fiber than white rice varieties.

Therefore, incorporating a variety of whole grains into one’s diet can provide additional health benefits beyond just managing blood sugar levels.

Is Surti Kolam Rice Good For Diabetes?

According to studies, Surti Kolam rice has a high glycemic index score, which can rapidly increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. However, it is important to note that there are healthier options available for those managing their blood sugar levels.

To paint a clearer picture, here is an interesting statistic: on a scale of 0-100, Surti Kolam rice has a GI score of 83, while brown rice only has a score of 50. This means that Surti Kolam raises blood sugar levels much more quickly than brown rice.

For individuals with diabetes looking to make healthier choices, consider the following bullet points:

  • Opt for rice varieties with a lower GI score
  • Choose whole-grain options such as brown rice, basmati rice, red rice, and wild rice
  • Pair rice with protein and fiber-rich foods to maintain stable blood sugar levels
  • Consume rice in moderation

It is crucial for individuals with diabetes to take control of their diet to manage their blood sugar levels effectively. By making informed choices and incorporating healthy alternatives, individuals can still enjoy their favorite meals without compromising their health.

Is Indrayani Rice Good for Diabetes?

As a diabetic, the choice of rice can significantly impact your blood sugar levels. Indrayani rice is an excellent option due to its low glycemic index score, which releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slower pace than other types of rice.

However, if you’re looking for alternatives to Indrayani rice, brown rice, whole grain basmati rice, red rice, black rice, and wild rice are also beneficial options that have lower GI scores and high fiber content.

In addition to being an ideal food for diabetics, Indrayani rice also provides several nutritional benefits such as vitamins B1 and B6 and minerals like iron and magnesium.

To cook Indrayani rice on a diabetic diet, it is recommended to use healthy cooking methods such as steaming or boiling instead of frying or sautéing with oils.

Serving Indrayani rice with protein-rich foods like chicken breast or fish along with vegetables will slow down digestion further and provide stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Which Kerala Rice Is Good For Diabetes?

The popularity of Kerala Matta rice has significantly increased in recent years due to its purported health benefits, particularly for people with diabetes. This rice variety is known to be 70% healthier than white rice and may help prevent insulin resistance while increasing glucose uptake, making it an ideal option for individuals with diabetes2.

While Kerala Matta rice is a good choice for people with diabetes, there are other suitable options available as well. Basmati rice, for instance, has a lower GI score compared to other white rice varieties, which makes it another excellent option for individuals with diabetes. Brown rice, whole grain basmati rice, red rice, black rice, and wild rice have also proven to be beneficial for people with diabetes as they have a lower GI score and are high in fiber, aiding in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Is Biryani Rice Good For Diabetes?

Biryani can be a delicious dish, but it may not always be the best option for people with diabetes. However, there are alternatives that can help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Brown basmati rice is an excellent alternative to white biryani rice as it has a lower glycemic index score and is high in fiber, which slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Additionally, incorporating whole grains like quinoa or barley instead of rice can also provide similar benefits while adding variety to your meals.

Portion control is another important factor when consuming rice dishes. Eating large portions of any type of rice can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, so it’s essential to measure out appropriate serving sizes and pair them with protein and fiber-rich foods.

Cooking methods for diabetic-friendly rice dishes include steaming instead of boiling or frying as this helps retain more nutrients and keeps the texture intact without adding extra oil or salt. With these options and considerations in mind, individuals with diabetes can still enjoy flavorful and satisfying rice dishes without sacrificing their health goals.


Choosing the right type of rice can play a crucial role in keeping blood glucose levels under control for people with diabetes. When selecting from various options available, one should prioritize lower-GI varieties like whole grain basmati, black or wild rice over refined white or high-GI options like biryani rice.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Nayar, S., & Madhu, S. V. (2020). Glycemic Index of Wheat and Rice are Similar When Consumed as Part of a North Indian Mixed Meal. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 24(3), 235–239. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijem.IJEM_4_20
  2. Kaur, B., Ranawana, V., & Henry, C. J. K. (2016). Low glycemic index rice—a desired trait in starchy staples. Nutrients, 8(3), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030143
  3. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (n.d.). Whole Grains. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/whole-grains/
  4. Medical News Today. (2021). Rice 101: Nutrition facts and health effects. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/rice-nutrition-facts-and-health-effects
  5. Nanri, A., Mizoue, T., Noda, M., Takahashi, Y., Kato, M., Inoue, M., & Tsugane, S. (2010). Rice intake and type 2 diabetes in Japanese men and women: The Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 64(12), 1472–1477. https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2010.178
  6. Foster-Powell, K., Holt, S. H. A., & Brand-Miller, J. C. (2002). International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76(1), 5–56. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/76.1.5

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