SUNDAY PALEO / March 25, 2012


Hungry for a bowl of white rice? Instead, switch from white rice (one of the lowest quality foods) to blueberries (one of the highest).

This Sunday we look at some recent nutritional wins and losses. 

Wins: The Paleo diet

On March 16, Reuters reported

Eating more blueberries, apples and pears may be linked to lower risk of diabetes, according to a new U.S. study.

The study revealed, “blueberry-lovers had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who ate no blueberries.” Consuming apples and pears was also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Medical professor Dr. Loren Greene, not part of the study, noted:

While fruit sugar raises blood glucose levels rapidly, other substances in fruit such as fibers and pectin may have diabetes-related benefits.

The study abstract is located here

Take care of your health: Add some blueberries, apples, and pears to your diet in place of processed foods or the lowest quality foods you think you consume.

Losses: The typical modern diet

According to an article in the March 16 MyHealthNewsDaily, Harvard School of Public Health researchers in Boston reviewed “four previous studies examining the link between eating white rice and the risk of Type 2 diabetes.” The results suggest:

Eating white rice regularly may raise your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found “the more white rice eaten, the higher the risk of Type 2 diabetes.” The risk of developing diabetes increased by “11 percent with each increased daily serving of white rice." 

Professor Bruce Neal of the University of Sydney in Australia, not part of the study, cautions that the findings do not prove cause-and-effect between white rice and diabetes. The study reveals an association between the two. While Neal notes, “more work is needed to substantiate the idea that white rice increases the chances of getting Type 2 diabetes,” he also adds:

... diet-related ill health is now widely believed to be the leading cause of chronic diseases around the world.

If future studies reveal a cause-and-effect relation between consumption of white rice and Type 2 diabetes, what could be the mechanism?

The researchers said that rice has a high glycemic index, which means the body rapidly converts the carbohydrates in rice into glucose. The glycemic index of white rice is about 64, on a 100-point scale. (From comparison, ice cream has a glycemic index of 61, and orange juice rates a 50, according to data from Harvard.)

The study's conclusion:

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

Take home advice: Switch the lowest quality foods in your diet with the highest. Ditch the white rice and add blueberries, apples and pears, or any of the many healthful foods from the original human diet. Try some of the recipes below.

Paleo diet recipes

Living Paleo