What is the single most important staple food in the world?
About 1/2 of planet Earth depends on rice as a major part of their everyday diet.
Since billions of people eat it, you would expect there to be a lot of interest on how rice effects your health. Dr Michael Greger explained a recent health phenomena and its relation to rice in a recent video. This article is a recap of that video.
In 2012 a meta-analysis was published that followed about 350,000 people for up to 20 years and found that consumption of white rice increased the risk and was associated Type 2 diabetes in Chinese and Japanese populations. The study concluded that each serving of white rice was associated with an 11% increase in risk of diabetes in the overall population. The association was higher in Asians since they have a higher intake of white rice than most Western populations.
In fact China now has about the same diabetes rates as we do here in the United States (11% here, 10% in China) even though they have 7 times less obesity. 30% of the U.S. population is considered obese compared to only 3-5% of the Chinese population. Japan has an even lower rate of obesity yet recently there diabetes rates are higher that the U.S.
White rice consumption was not associated with increased heart disease or stroke! What a relief!
So the Japanese are skinnier but have a high incidence of diabetes…maybe it is because of the white rice they eat!
But if you look at the Cornell-Oxford based China Study, the most comprehensive nutritional study ever conducted, it actually showed that consumption of rice lowered the incidence of diseases of affluence. These included stomach, liver, colon, lung and breast cancers, coronary heart disease and…..diabetes.
So is white rice the culprit for the higher incidence of diabetes in Asian countries?
No it is not!
The incredible rise in the incidence of diabetes in Asian countries has been linked to the increase in consumption of animal products in the last 50 years and especially in the last decade. The consumption of animal source foods has tripled in China over the last 50 years and with it the higher incidence of these health conditions including diabetes. Rice has been eaten for 5000 but this incredible rise in diabetes is a recent change.
Asians historically had very low diabetes rates, So what happened?
In the past 20 years:
Vegetable oil consumption went up about 20%
Meat consumption in general and pork consumption went up about 40%
Intake of animal products and calories from fat increased and rice consumption dropped by about 30%.
So as rice consumption went down……incidence of Type 2 diabetes went up.
It seems that the incidence of diabetes is more linked to the adoption of the toxic western diet than to white rice as had been suggested.
Here is the simple fact you need to know:
High animal protein consumption and high fat consumption are associated with higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Here is what happens:
If you eat white rice your insulin will spike, that is normal after you eat
If you eat white rice in combination with animal protein (meat) you get twice the insulin spike and your pancreas works twice as hard!
On top of that, the more animal protein you eat the worse it gets! Even as little as 1/3 of a chicken breast can cause a significant insulin surge.
This is why people who eat plant-based Vegan diets have significantly lower rates of Type 2 diabetes.
It is not because we do not eat carbohydrates, my diet is 90% carbohydrates.
It is not because we do not eat sugars, 50% of my diet is fruit!
The vegan diet is associated with much lower insulin secretion because animal protein increases insulin secretion when eating carbohydrates.
We do not eat animal protein!
It is simple!
Eliminating meat and animal products from your diet:
– Lowers intake of saturated fats
– Lowers intake of cholesterol
– Lowers the probability of Heart Disease and Diabetes
– Helps to stabilize your blood sugar
– Makes a lot of animals……Happy!