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April 16, 2024
May 20, 2024
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Wild rice, often overlooked in discussions of grains and their glycemic impact, deserves a closer look for its unique nutritional profile. Unlike many other grains, wild rice boasts a low glycemic index, making it a favorable option for individuals managing blood sugar levels. Additionally, it is rich in essential nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins, offering benefits beyond mere carbohydrate content.¹ Understanding the glycemic impact of wild rice can provide valuable insights into its role in a balanced diet and its potential benefits for overall health and well-being.

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Glycemic Index Table

Wild rice typically contains approximately 21.34g of carbohydrates per 100g serving.¹ To calculate the glycemic load, we multiply the GI (which we will determine shortly) by the amount of available carbohydrates (i.e., total carbohydrates minus fiber) per serving.

The glycemic index of wild rice can vary depending on factors such as cooking methods and processing. Generally, wild rice has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice due to its higher fiber content and slower digestion. Cooking methods that preserve the integrity of the grain, such as steaming or boiling, may help maintain a lower glycemic index.

To determine the glycemic index, we would ideally refer to scientific studies measuring blood glucose responses to wild rice consumption. Unfortunately, the USDA FoodData Central does not provide this specific information. However, we can estimate the glycemic index based on similar grains and their glycemic responses. For instance, brown rice, which is also high in fiber like wild rice, typically has a medium glycemic index ranging from 55 to 69.² Given wild rice's similar characteristics, it's reasonable to assume that its glycemic index falls within a similar range.

Using this estimation, we can calculate the glycemic load per serving of wild rice:

Glycemic Index (estimated): 55-69

Carbohydrate per Serving: 21.34g

Glycemic Load per Serving: 11.92 to 14.71 (using the estimated glycemic index range)

These calculations provide insights into wild rice's potential impact on blood sugar levels and its suitability for individuals managing glycemic control. Additionally, it underscores the importance of considering factors like fiber content and cooking methods when assessing the glycemic impact of foods.

Glycemic Index

55-69

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

21.34 g

GL per Serving

13.31

Nutritional Facts

Wild rice is a nutrient-dense grain known for its rich protein content, providing approximately 14.73 grams per 100-gram serving, along with significant amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, wild rice contains essential nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. These nutritional attributes contribute to wild rice's reputation as a healthful whole-grain option.¹

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of cooked wild rice.¹

Calories

354 kcal

Carbs

21.34 g

Protein

14.74 g

Fiber

6.2 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

C (0 mg)

Sodium

0 mg

Total Fat

1.04 g

Is Wild Rice Good for Weight Loss?

Wild rice can be a beneficial addition to a weight loss diet due to its high fiber content, which promotes feelings of fullness and helps regulate appetite. Additionally, its low glycemic index can contribute to stable blood sugar levels, potentially reducing cravings and aiding in weight management. Incorporating wild rice into meals in moderation, alongside a balanced diet and regular physical activity, can support weight loss efforts.¹ However, it's essential to consider portion sizes and overall calorie intake when incorporating wild rice into a weight loss plan.

Is Wild Rice Good for People Living with Diabetes?

Wild rice can be a safe and beneficial option for individuals with diabetes due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content. Its slow digestion may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, wild rice contains essential nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins, which can support overall health and metabolic function in individuals with diabetes.¹ However, portion control and overall dietary balance remain important considerations for individuals managing diabetes.

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Allergies

While wild rice allergies are rare, they can occur, particularly in individuals with sensitivities to grains or seeds. Symptoms may include itching, swelling, hives, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases. It's essential for individuals with known grain allergies to exercise caution when consuming wild rice and to seek medical advice if any adverse reactions occur. Additionally, cross-reactivity between wild rice and other grains or seeds may also pose a risk for those with existing allergies.

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FAQs

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 Wild Rice Spike Insulin?

No, wild rice does not spike insulin. Wild rice is a complex carbohydrate that has a low glycemic index, meaning it is digested and absorbed slowly by the body, resulting in a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. This slow release helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent insulin spikes. Therefore, wild rice can be a healthy choice for individuals looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

Is Wild Rice Low Glycemic?

Yes, wild rice is considered to be low glycemic. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI value (55 or less) are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Wild rice has a GI value of around 45, making it a suitable choice for individuals looking to manage their blood sugar levels or follow a low glycemic diet. Its high fiber content and complex carbohydrates contribute to its low glycemic nature.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Wild Rice?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat wild rice. Wild rice is a nutritious whole grain that is low in fat and high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. It also has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice, meaning it has a slower impact on blood sugar levels. However, portion control is still important, as wild rice does contain carbohydrates. It is always recommended for individuals with diabetes to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice.

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References

  1. USDA FoodData Central. (2019, April 1). Food Details - wild rice, cooked. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168897/nutrients
  2. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI Newshttps://glycemicindex.com/

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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