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Rice, a staple food for a significant portion of the world's population, holds a complex position in the context of blood sugar management. Understanding rice's glycemic index (GI) is crucial for individuals, particularly those managing diabetes or seeking to regulate their blood sugar levels. 

Different types of rice can vary significantly in their glycemic index, which affects how quickly they can raise blood sugar levels. Considering rice's diverse forms and preparation methods, the impact on overall health and blood sugar control may differ, making it essential to discern the implications of various rice types on glycemic response and health outcomes.

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Glycemic Index Table

The nutritional profile of unenriched, white, long-grain rice, serving size 100g, is as follows:

Glycemic Index (GI): 73²

Carbohydrate per Serving: 28.73g¹

Glycemic Load (GL) per Serving: Approximately 21

The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of how quickly it raises blood sugar levels after consumption compared to pure glucose. Foods with a high GI are rapidly digested and absorbed, causing a quick spike in blood sugar levels, while foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a gradual increase in blood sugar. 

Cooking methods can influence the glycemic index of rice, with overcooking or cooking with fat potentially increasing it, while cooling cooked rice can lower its glycemic index due to the formation of resistant starch. Understanding the impact of these factors is crucial for individuals, particularly those with diabetes, aiming to manage their blood sugar levels effectively.

Glycemic Index


Serving Size


Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

28.73 g

GL per Serving


Nutritional Facts

Rice is a staple food that provides a significant portion of the world's population with essential nutrients. It is a rich source of carbohydrates and contains small amounts of protein and negligible fat. Additionally, depending on the variety and processing, rice can also contain essential minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus.

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of white, long-grain rice.¹


130 kcal


28.73 g


2.69 g


0.4 g


0 mg


B6 (0.1 mg).


1 mg

Total Fat

0.28 g

Is Rice Good for Weight Loss?

The role of rice in weight loss depends on various factors, including portion size, type of rice, and the overall dietary context. According to research from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, incorporating moderate portions of whole grain rice, such as brown rice, into a well-balanced diet can provide essential nutrients and fiber, promoting a feeling of fullness and potentially supporting weight management. 

Additionally, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition emphasizes the significance of mindfulness during meal planning and suggests combining rice with lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats to create a balanced and satisfying meal that can contribute to a sustainable weight loss strategy. It is crucial for individuals aiming to lose weight to focus on overall calorie intake, portion control, and a holistic approach to their dietary habits for effective and sustainable results.

Is Rice Safe for People Living with Diabetes?

Individuals with diabetes can safely consume rice, provided it is incorporated sensibly into a well-balanced diet and portion sizes are controlled. According to the American Diabetes Association, choosing whole grain varieties, such as brown rice, can offer added benefits due to their higher fiber content and slower digestion, potentially leading to better blood sugar control. 

Additionally, the International Journal of Preventive Medicine highlights the importance of considering the overall dietary pattern, including the types of rice consumed, cooking methods, and accompanying foods, to effectively manage blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. It is crucial for individuals with diabetes to work with healthcare professionals to create a personalized meal plan that factors in their specific nutritional needs and glycemic control.

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Allergies to rice, although relatively uncommon, can manifest with a range of symptoms, including but not limited to skin reactions, gastrointestinal distress, and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, rice allergy is more prevalent in regions where rice is a dietary staple, such as Asia, and it can affect children and adults. 

While rice is often considered a hypoallergenic food, it's crucial for individuals experiencing adverse reactions to undergo comprehensive testing and seek guidance from healthcare professionals for accurate diagnosis and management.

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What is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.

Does Rice Spike Insulin?

Yes, rice can spike insulin levels. Rice is a high-carbohydrate food that can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, leading to a corresponding increase in insulin production. However, the extent to which rice spikes insulin levels can vary depending on factors such as the type of rice, the cooking method, and the individual's metabolic response. It is important to note that insulin spikes are a normal physiological response to carbohydrate consumption and are not necessarily harmful in moderation.

Is Rice Low Glycemic?

The glycemic index of rice can vary depending on the type and preparation method. Generally, white rice has a high glycemic index, while brown rice has a lower glycemic index due to its higher fiber content. Choosing whole grain rice options and practicing portion control can help manage blood sugar levels when consuming rice.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Rice?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat rice in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, it is important to choose whole grain rice and control portion sizes to manage blood sugar levels. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice.

Topics discussed in this article:


  1. USDA FoodData Central. (2023, April 20). Food Details - Rice, white, long grain, unenriched, raw. 
  2. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI News

About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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