Does Brown Rice Affect a Diabetic?

Eating for diabetes means selecting your foods wisely and choosing the best carbohydrates to suit your meal plan. Brown rice is a nutty, earthy flavored whole grain rice that is an ideal replacement for high carbohydrate white rice. Brown rice is still a member of the grain family, however, and does contribute carbohydrates. Be sure to account for them properly to reduce the impact on your blood sugar.

Brown rice is a nutrient-wise selection to replace starchy white rice. (Image: bit245/iStock/Getty Images)

Nutrition Information

Brown rice contains 150 calories per 1/2-cup of dry rice, which nets an average of 1 cup of cooked rice. The single gram of fat per serving contributes only 10 calories from fat. There is an average of 30 g of carbohydrates in each serving. The 2 g of dietary fiber per serving contribute to digestive health and slowed carbohydrate absorption.


Every 1 cup of cooked rice is the equivalent of two carbohydrate choices on the diabetic meal plan. Each carbohydrate choice will cause a moderate rise in blood sugar, and brown rice is no exception. The added whole grains and dietary fiber will slow the process, however, causing a more gradual increase in blood sugar. Diabetics who use insulin should account for each serving of brown rice, measuring insulin accordingly.


It's best to work brown rice into your diet in moderation, and pair it with lean proteins to reduce the carbohydrate impact. Brown rice can be consumed in place of other starchy foods, such as white rice or potato, and can be added to non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits for a well-balanced meal.

Health Benefits

Brown rice is cholesterol free, and has no trans fats, sodium or gluten. The potassium, B vitamins and iron supplied are necessary nutrients. It can be cooked in low-sodium chicken broth to add flavor and protein without unnecessary salt.

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