Eating White Rice Excessively May Increase Risk Of Heart Disease, Comparable To High-Sugar Diet: Study

Eating White Rice Associated With Increased Risk Of Premature Heart Disease

Here in Asia, most meals are complete with a bowl of piping hot rice.

However, a recent study found that refined grains like white rice might increase the risk of heart disease and that such a diet is comparable to a high-sugar diet.

Previously, research had suggested a link between the intake of various types of grains and the risk of coronary artery disease.

However, this study is more specific, assessing the relationship between the consumption of whole and refined grains and the risk of developing the same disease.

Refined grains like white rice do not have “important” nutrients

According to a study by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), refined grains have been processed to extend their shelf life. The process apparently removes some “important” nutrients.

Examples of refined grains include white rice.

Source: makafood on Pexels

On the other hand, the study describes whole grains as containing the “entire” grain.

Source: Pexels

Eating white rice excessively increases risk of developing heart disease

Conducted in Iran, the study enlisted 1,168 healthy patients and 1,369 patients with coronary artery disease.

In order to analyse their dietary habits, participants completed a food frequency survey.

The goal of the survey was to determine the relationship between consuming the two types of grains, and the risk of developing PCAD in those without a history of heart disease.

In the end, the survey concluded that higher consumption of refined grains increases the risk of PCAD in such individuals.

Diet with lots of refined grains comparable to one with unhealthy sugar

Putting things into perspective, Dr Mohammad Amin Khajavi Gaskarei – the lead author of the study – likened a diet containing high amounts of refined grains to one comprising a lot of unhealthy sugars and oils.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the human body rapidly breaks down refined grains, causing a spike in blood sugar levels that can gradually damage our blood vessels.

Dr Gaskarei also pointed out that there are several reasons why people may consume more refined grains instead of whole ones. Some of these include personal lifestyle choices and socio-economic status.

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Featured image adapted from @pillepriske on Unsplash

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