How much sugar in rice?

Rice is poor in sugar. A serving of white, yellow, or brown rice contains no more than 1 g of sugars. But, we should consume rice in moderation, as it may spike blood sugar levels!

Sugar & health

Excessive sugar consumption may be bad for health. It has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Also, too much sugar may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased uric acid and high cholesterol.[1]

How much sugar can we consume a day?

We shouldn’t consume too much sugar. The maximum safe intake of extra sugar is 5% of the consumed calories.

So, people who follow a typical 2,000-calorie diet shouldn’t consume more than 25 g of sugar a day. But, sugar is added to sodas, sweets, and many other highly processed products.[2,3]

But, cutting down sugar isn’t easy. Sugar interferes with the reward system of the brain, affecting eating behavior and causing overeating. Also, excessive sugar causes weight gain because it prevents the production of the leptin hormone. This hormone helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.[4]

How much sugar in white rice?

Actually, rice is poor in sugars. It consists mainly of starch. A serving of white, yellow, or brown rice contains no more than 1 g of sugars.

In fact, consuming reasonable amounts of rice is good for maintaining a healthy body weight. You could eat brown rice at dinner. Among other health benefits, it supports a good night’s sleep.

On the other hand, the best time of the day to eat white rice for weight loss is after exercise.

Most noteworthy, rice contains decent amounts of protein and fiber. So, it can keep us full for a long time. Foods high in protein, fiber, and water have the greatest satiating effect.[5]

What’s the sugar content of other rice products?

Most rice products are poor in sugars.

Only rice milk is particularly rich in sugars. A serving may contain more than 12 g of sugars. In fact, there are rice milks containing up to 25 g of sugars per glass! Manufacturers add high amounts of extra sugar for flavor. You better avoid them.

Rice flakes are packed with extra sugar as well.

sugars (g)
per 100 g
sugars (g)
per serving
rice milk5.312.7
rice flakes123.3
rice bread4.71.3
wild rice0.71.2
yellow rice0.40.7
brown rice0.20.5
rice crackers0.90.3
rice cake0.90.3
white rice00
rice noodles00
Sugar content of rice products.[6]

Furthermore, rice bread contains moderate amounts of sugars. You could consume other bread types with less sugar, though.

Can people with diabetes eat rice?

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes can eat reasonable amounts of brown rice, as well as other whole-grain products. In contrast, they better avoid white rice and refined, highly processed carbohydrate foods.[7]

Actually, white rice is low in fiber, polyphenols, and micronutrients such as magnesium that may benefit glucose metabolism. In addition, white rice has a pretty high Glycemic Index. It significantly affects blood sugar levels. According to several studies, higher white rice consumption is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.[8]

Certainly, people with diabetes can consume reasonable amounts of brown rice (less than one bowl of rice a day), as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Replacing white rice with brown rice could cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by a third. It doesn’t mean that brown rice protects from diabetes. It’s a much better food option than white rice, though.[9]

You should avoid consuming rice in combination to other foods containing sugars, like bread and beans.

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