Brown or white?

I've always heard that brown rice is healthier than white, but I've notice that when I eat brown my BG leves tend to skyrocket hours later, I'm guessing its because digesting it takes longer, so when the glucose is produced, I don't have any insulin left, any thoughts ?

I find either type of rice very tough and now eat quinoa instead. I dose at 22g of carb per hundred and usually don't have any problems.


Sadly, much of the argument that brown rice is better than white rice is based on it being a more "complex" carb and digesting slower. But a carb is a carb and if you bolus with a rapid insulin a complex carb may miss being covered by the insulin and only be digested later when your insulin has mostly worn off. If you look closely at the carb counts, they are not really that different. If you choose to eat brown rice, that is fine, it is higher in fiber, you can use an extended or dual wave bolus.

I have found that I can only have rice in quite limited quantities, say a little less than 1/4 cup , either brown or white. I limit the other carb intake on the meal if I have rice. Rice is Just one if my "spikers"...hard for me to bolus for. I have tried both an extended and a dual wave and it is trial and error, still. I just try to avoid it. Though I like sushi, curried rice and shrimp jambalaya w/ rice, I just cannot do them very often because I know to expect a blood sugar shoot up.
God Bless,

The best amount of rice for me is the amount I can't see! As a vegetarian I ate a lot of rice when I was diagnosed and it did take several experiments to convince me that brown wasn't "healthier" (for my blood sugar). I think the whole brown vs white foods debate revolves mainly around nutrition value. If you're going to spike your blood sugar best to do it with something that has more nutritive value. But I'd rather not bother.

Here's my latest eating out story (apropos of nothing). I had to go to the cardiologist for tests yesterday and couldn't have my morning cappuccino. By the time I got out at 3PM I had a major caffeine withdrawal headache. So I went to an unfamiliar cafe that advertised food. They had a good size list of salads and wraps on the menu but with cutesy names and no descriptions. I told the barrista, who said he could make anything to order I wanted something vegetarian and not sweet. (I rarely say low carb as it's just too many requests, I figured I'd be fine with salads). He named one salad that sounded like a taco salad with beans and chips, nope, I said, too many carbs. I finally despaired of the salads and just pointed at the "vegetarian wrap" figuring I'd bolus for the wrap. I wanted to sit down and drink my capp! He said "I guess you don't want the chips that come with it" and I told him that was the case. The wrap came and it was filled with beans. A bean sandwich??? Of course, despite bolusing my blood sugar soared. Or maybe the tech bumped my infusion set which I'd warned her about. Sigh.

That could be the reason why, I have read about this. I have had huge spikes into 250's with any high carb grains even when compensating properly and waiting 15 minutes before eating so I have eliminated rice, potatoes, bread and almost anything like that from my diet. I also sometimes had hypos if I overcompensated a bit for them to try to avoid a spike like that. Now I keep my carbs to 30-40g per day and the result so far has been a much more stable bg overall. I still have spikes and lows but the spikes are not so dramatic and I think they are more related to insulin dosing/exercise and other factors probably other than my diet.

I hope this continues for me. I replaced all the high carb starchy foods with low carb veggies, good fats and more protein. So far I'm doing ok with this and I hope I can continue with this diet when the weather gets colder.

Eating the whole grains really only made a slight difference for me, white refined grains were a lot worse most of the time, but the spike was usually quick for me not later. I do notice my bg does tend to go up more at night so far and I'm not sure why yet. I think I will need to split my basal dose and reduce it again at some point. I only take 1-2.5 units for meals now which is helping to control the lows more and I test a lot so I can often see when I'm going lower and then have a low carb high protein snack without coverage to boost me up if needed and avoid a lower low.

You could maybe do a correction later if you know around when you tend to start spiking and it has been 3 hours after your last dose if you're using a pen, I'm not sure about pumps. Do you wait to eat at all after the meal dose? The amount of fat and protein can also affect when the carbs will hit you, especially fat according to my diabetes educator/nutritionist- she also said not to eat more than 3 0z protein per meal.


I like what bsc is saying here. Extended or dual-wave works best for me, although there is still a fair amount of experimentation that goes on.

Also, as others have said, portion control is really critical. When I eat out and get a cup of rice delivered, I have the best results by immediately giving at least half back to the waiter.

Wow, meee, for how recently you were diagnosed your management is spot on!

Thanks everyone, I tried to reduce drastically my starch intake but ended up loosing too much weight, so I got back on them, pretty difficult subject for me. Any other options besides rice, potatoes, bread .. etc ? IT seems that I need some of those just to keep my weight. I walk a lot so I burn a lot of calories, but its true that starchy food is really hard to control.

I do notice that brown rice or a mixture of brown and wild rice causes lower peaks for me than white rice. I weigh the cooked portion on an electronic food scale and bolus appropriately for it, and so far it seems to work. At least on me it digests while the insulin is still active... I start to see the BG rise on my CGM about 30-40 minutes after eating, about the same time the insulin starts to hit.

High fat with the rice can slow it down as can some meds - Symlin, metformin, etc.

And of course gastroparesis.

Thanks Zoe, I have had a lot of help from my family, my brother in particular & my doctors and I have also been reading a lot online and in books and here, I couldn't have done this on my own and it's still very much a work in progress :)

Hi Santiago,

When you cut carbs do you increase your protein and fat? Maybe more of those would help to keep your weight up? I have been trying to eat a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio of protein to carbs and that seems to keep me more stable most of the time too.

Sounds like a good idea, I might try it if start lowering carbs again, thanks