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From Massachusetts, USA:

As an immigrant from India, my vegetarian diet uses rice as a main ingredient. Is there a concern associated with the use of rice regularly in one's diet? Is wheat better than rice?

I am 69 years of age and have had Type 2 diabetes for about two years. I am taking 5 mg of Glyburide [a sulfonylurea pill for diabetes] and 5 mg of Prinivil (for the kidneys) in the morning. My sugar level gets to be in the range of 160 - 200 mg/dl measured at about 9:30 P.M. two hours after dinner.


Wheat products in common daily use are likely to be higher in fiber, marginally higher in protein, and more frequently supplemented with B vitamins than supermarket polished rice. Wheat starch is also somewhat more slowly broken down to sugars in the digestive tract. The difference is not really critical nutritionally if you are on a vegetarian diet. There are advantages too, especially at your age, in continuing on a diet with which you are familiar. However your evening blood sugars are rather high and when you next visit your doctor I think you should bring this up and at the same time arrange to see the diabetes team nutritionist just to make sure that your diet does in fact meet recommended dietary allowances.


Original posting 20 Apr 97


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