How to consume rice with other foods and beverages to reduce its sugar impact

SINGAPORE - Eating white rice on its own is bad, as it can push up blood sugar or glucose significantly. But how much of it is eaten, what it is eaten with, and even how it is eaten can make a big difference, said Professor Jeyakumar Henry, head of the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre.

Reducing the sugar in the blood that comes from eating starchy and sugary foods puts less stress on the pancreas and could delay the onset of diabetes, so it helps not just diabetics but also healthy people.

Here are some tips on how to reduce the glucose response to the foods you eat:

Drink soup first when eating chicken rice

This primes your pancreas to produce insulin to more rapidly remove sugar produced by the rice.

Eat rice with some protein

The best results are when eating rice with tofu - but chicken, fish or other meats also help.

Drink milk or soya 30 minutes before a meal

You can also drink it with your meal, but the response is better when taken half an hour before your meal. The sweetened version of soya sold in Singapore is fine.

Drink Brand's Essence of Chicken

By consuming the essence 15 minutes before your meal, it reduces the sugar in your blood by a third. Again, the highest benefit comes from drinking it before food, but it helps even if taken 30 minutes ahead, or with the meal.

This article was first published on June 06, 2016.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.