White rice and type 2 diabetes

White rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis and systematic review
BMJ 2012;344:e1454 (Published 15 March 2012)

Objectives: To summarise evidence on the association between white rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and to quantify the potential dose-response relation.

Design: Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

Data sources: Searches of Medline and Embase databases for articles published up to January 2012 using keywords that included both rice intake and diabetes; further searches of references of included original studies.

Study selection Included studies were prospective cohort studies that reported risk estimates for type 2 diabetes by rice intake levels.

Data synthesis: Relative risks were pooled using a random effects model; dose-response relations were evaluated using data from all rice intake categories in each study.

Results: Four articles were identified that included seven distinct prospective cohort analyses in Asian and Western populations for this study. A total of 13 284 incident cases of type 2 diabetes were ascertained among 352 384 participants with follow-up periods ranging from 4 to 22 years.
Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations had much higher white rice consumption levels than did Western populations (average intake levels were three to four servings/day versus one to two servings/week).
The pooled relative risk was 1.55 (95% confidence interval 1.20 to 2.01) comparing the highest with the lowest category of white rice intake in Asian populations, whereas the corresponding relative risk was 1.12 (0.94 to 1.33) in Western populations (P for interaction=0.038). In the total population, the dose-response meta-analysis indicated that for each serving per day increment of white rice intake, the relative risk of type 2 diabetes was 1.11 (1.08 to 1.14) (P for linear trend<0.001).

Conclusion: Higher consumption of white rice is associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations.

Rice and beans

A higher ratio of beans to white rice is associated with lower cardiometabolic risk factors in Costa Rican adults.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):869-76.
Mattei J1, Hu FB, Campos H.

A high intake of white rice is associated with the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Costa Ricans follow a staple dietary pattern that includes white rice and beans, yet the combined role of these foods on cardiometabolic risk factors has not been studied.

We aimed to determine the association between intake of white rice and beans and the metabolic syndrome and its components in Costa Rican adults (n = 1879) without diabetes.

Multivariate-adjusted means were calculated for components of the metabolic syndrome by daily servings of white rice and beans (<1, 1, or >1) and by the ratio of beans to white rice.
The OR for the metabolic syndrome was calculated by substituting one serving of beans for one serving of white rice.

An increase in daily servings of white rice was positively associated with systolic blood pressure (BP), triglycerides, and fasting glucose and inversely associated with HDL cholesterol (P-trend <0.01 for all).
An increase in servings of beans was inversely associated with diastolic BP (P = 0.049).
Significant trends for higher HDL cholesterol and lower BP and triglycerides were observed for 1:3, 1:2, 1:1, and 2:1 ratios of beans to white rice.
Substituting one serving of beans for one serving of white rice was associated with a 35% (95% CI: 15%, 50%) lower risk of the metabolic syndrome.

Increasing the ratio of beans to white rice, or limiting the intake of white rice by substituting beans, may lower cardiometabolic risk factors.

journalistic version:
beans are the more nutritious part of the pair.
beans are a low-glycemic-index food that makes a person feel full, so they eat less of other things.
Beans are also full of fiber, potassium, folate, iron, manganese and magnesium, and they are cholesterol- and fat-free.
They’re a superfood.


Bean varieties