Shiro-Gohan [white rice]

I think back to the time when my Dad lived with us in Japan. He was a type two diabetic, he used no insulin and watched his diet carefully. Basically he controlled his blood sugar a low by a low glycemic diet, Metformin and exercise – he was perfect when he lived with us!

I recall discussing with him about eating white rice and he couldn’t understand why, or if he could. I did a trial by feeding him white rice (Shiro-Gohan) and a combination of Tsukemono, “pickled Japanese vegetables” preserved vegetables usually pickled in salt, brine or a bed of “Nuka” rice bran. When he combined the Japanese white rice with other foods such as sushi, his blood sugars didn’t go bizzurke.

In diabetes type 2, there is a deficiency of insulin which results in improper and slow breakdown of food. This results in sugar level spikes immediately after a meal, which can be harmful. Hence, diabetics must have food stuffs which have a slow release rate so as to not cause any spikes.

I was surprised, as I thought white rice was not a choice for diabetics but after some investigation, I discovered the opposite. Rice that is high in amylose which has a lower Glycemic Index number. This is because amylose is harder to break down than simple sugars like glucose and ensures a sustained release of sugar into blood without spiking immediately after a meal.