Beans Cut Diabetes Risk More Than Rice

Researchers have determined that even though beans and rice are often eaten together, it is the beans that offer the highest level of protection against developing type 2 diabetes.

The study, which was conducted in Costa Rica, involved gathering data from some 2,000 individuals which took a look at risk factors for certain diseases, mainly heart disease and diabetes. Between 1994 and 2004, scientists discovered that those individuals who regularly substituted beans for white rice experienced a reduction in the risk of symptoms which lead to diabetes. The drop was a whopping 35 percent.

The findings of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Rice is very easily converted into sugar by the body,” said research team member Frank Hu. “It's very highly processed. It's pure starch and starch is a long chain of glucose.”

The news is of special interest to Costa Rica since many have moved from eating beans and have started consuming more rice. This change was brought forth by a change in the country's economics as more inhabitants have become wealthy and have replaced their urban diets with pricier food options.

Hu added: “Beans, compared with rice, contain much more fiber, certainly more protein and they typically have a lower glycemic index- meaning they induce much lower insulin responses.”

Experts believe that a large majority of the soaring number of diabetics in Costa Rica can be blamed on the increased consumption of white rice.

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