Eating white rice can cause an insulin spike that has been linked to type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that the more white rice people ate, the higher their chance of developing the condition seemed to be, based on a study of 350,000 people.
Experts from Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School found that Asian people have a higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, with those who ate the most at highest risk. But the researchers said "relatively high white rice consumption may still modestly increase risk of diabetes" in the West, too.
Contrastly, brown rice was found to decrease diabetes risk. But Dr Bruce Neal from the University of Sydney said more, bigger studies were needed on the issue before comprehensive diet advice could be given.
Dr Glenys Jones, nutritionist at the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research centre in Cambridge, said: "It is important to note that this study does not show or prove that white rice consumption causes diabetes but is an analysis of four observational studies which, when combined, showed that those with the higher rice intakes were associated with higher reported diabetes incidences.
"However, from these studies it cannot be concluded that the increased diabetes incidence occurred because of the higher rice intakes and could be due to other lifestyle factors."