La. company puts rice back on the menu for people with diabetes, celiac, hypertension

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 7:45 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Rice is usually off the menu for people with diabetes, celiac disease or even high blood pressure.

Now there is a new option that could be a game changer, and it is grown here in Louisiana.

Low-glycemic rice was developed by scientists at the LSU AgCenter using different breeding, or combinations, to help regulate blood sugar levels at a much steadier pace.

“Typically rice has an average glycemic index of 73, but this particularly low-glycemic rice has a measurement or rating of a 41, so significantly less than traditional rice’s glycemic number of 73,” said AgCenter nutrition agent Mandy Armentor.

Armentor said this means when a diabetic person consumes this rice, their sugar levels won’t spike immediately as they would with regular rice.

“We have about 505,000 people in Louisiana, and this is adult population, that have diabetes, and then we have an additional at any given time a little over 100,000 people, adults again, that have it, they just haven’t been diagnosed formally,” she said.

The nutritional value can be beneficial to anyone, including those with diabetes, celiac disease and high blood pressure, Armentor said.

“It does have a higher protein content than traditional rice. So traditional rice has one to two grams of protein per half cup serving. This rice has five grams of protein per serving,” she said.

As a rice farmer and owner of the Parish Rice brand, Michael Frugé said he exports a lot of rice out of the United States to poor countries like Haiti with the intention to increase the protein in their diet.

“What we didn’t realize was that the higher protein was going to change the rate at which the carbs break down in your body and turns to sugar, and that’s what basically the glycemic value tells us,” Frugé said.

This is another added benefit to maintain a balanced diet.

Low-glycemic rice is sold online and at all Rouses locations, as well as many other grocers across the gulf coast. For a list of stores, CLICK HERE.