Is Parboiled Rice Good for Diabetics? Find Out the Benefits

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Is Parboiled Rice Good for Diabetics

Hi There! We know that being diabetic means having limited food choices especially in rice. Converted rice seems to be fine but is parboiled rice good for diabetics? Find out how and why in this new blog post.

What is Parboiled Rice?

It is no longer a secret that rice is one of the most consumed foods globally. In fact, over 50% of the earth’s human population is consuming rice on a daily basis.

There are numerous varieties of rice that can be prepared in different ways coming from various places around the world.

One of the most popular rice variants has to be the parboiled rice. It is also known as converted rice because it has been semi-boiled.

The rice is boiled inside the husk of the grain and basically changes the rice from brown to white.

Parboiling Process


During the parboiling process, the rice typically goes through three main stages of preparation that include soaking the rice, steaming and then drying the grains. The goal is to make the hand processing stages easier.

As we know soaking or pre-cooking rice can change the texture and increase its nutritional properties. This technique is popular in the Asian continents and later on spread across the globe.

What About the GI?

diabetes medications

If you are a diabetic, I bet you can resonate with the fact that it is hard to settle on a diet that does not set you up for health infractions.

To be honest, making meal decisions as a diabetic is quite the uphill task.

Parboiled rice has a GI ranging from 50-70, it is classified as a medium glycemic index food. However, when we combine rice with other foods, as rice is usually served as an accompaniment, the GI is reduced. The glycemic index applies to a single product without additives.

Most people do not consume rice alone, usually we eat rice in combination with vegetables and meat or fish. The presence of other food slows digestion and thus slows blood sugar spikes caused by rice.

Therefore, suggesting only the glycemic index is wrong, we should look at the glycemic load, i.e. the sugar response after eating the whole meal with all ingredients, not just rice.

When you prepare a meal with rice, you should mainly suggest this parameter.

Parboiled Health Benefits

health benefits

Parboiled rice can be used as one of the staple foods for diabetics. However, it is important to be very cautious while selecting different brands to ensure that you don’t compromise your GI.

The steaming part of the parboiling process is integral in ensuring that the rice grains absorb all the nutrients then converts to starch.

Keep in mind, while the parboiled rice goes through soaking and steaming, it is very easy to assume that the cooking time has automatically been lessened.

The assumption that is also quite the misconception is that parboiled rice has been precooked The truth of the matter is that your rice will still take up to 20 minutes for preparation and cooking to perfection as well because it has not been precooked.

When it comes to the nutritional profile, parboiled rice is rich in nutrients. As we will see below, it is a great source of B Vitamins, fiber, potassium and calcium as well.

B Vitamins

Vitamin B

When rice goes through the parboiling stage, it is basically under high levels of steam and heat. This forces the nutrients that are present in the bran to be absorbed into the germ and the endosperm.

During the drying stage, the bran falls off by itself. One of the nutrients present in parboiled rice is B Vitamins.


It is rich in niacin also known as nicotinic acid that helps the body to convert food to glucose that is used to produce energy. The B vitamins also aid in making neurotransmitters and hormones in the body. Even more, it gets rid of homocysteine, which is an amino acid and converts it to other useful substances.

The presence of too much homocysteine compromises the health of your heart and may put you at risk of heart diseases. By eating a cup of parboiled rice is equivalent to 23% of the daily-recommended intake.

Further, your body will also benefit by getting up to 19% of the daily Vitamin B6 intake. This is twice the amount you would normally get from eating a plate of normal white rice.



If you consume a cup of cooked parboiled rice, you will be getting 41 out of 130 grams of the daily-recommended carbohydrate intake. This is equivalent to a third of the required intake per day.

A cup of cooked parboiled rice provides 1.4 grams of fiber, which technically equates twice the amount that you will find in your white rice. Now the best thing about this rice variant is that it has a low GI score of just 38. Remember, that diabetics need to stick to meals that have a GI score of 70 and even less.

This score means that the inclusion of carbs in this meal can’t make your blood glucose go higher than the recommended level.


Now, we all know how minerals are important to the functional and operational activities of the body and its organs. 1 cup of parboiled rice will provide you with up to 3% of the recommended daily intake of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.

The zinc content is the highest as one serving potentially boosts your zinc intake by 0.58 Mgs. Diabetics are known to be naturally deficient in zinc and eating parboiled rice helps to supply this mineral.

Zinc helps in the formation of the structural profile of proteins that help to regulate DNA and it is also integral in the fighting of infections and bacteria.

Other Rice Types Allowed

Parboiled rice is not the only rice type that a diabetic can eat with additional ingredients without having any serious implications on their health.

However, you need to keep in mind that it is one of the best due to the fact that the starch contained in the rice is highly gelatinized.

This allows your body to digest the rice at an easier and faster pace. While you can’t consume normal white rice that has a GI of 89, other types of rice that you can safely consume without spiking your blood sugar levels include:

  • Basmati Rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Black Rice
  • Wild Rice
  • And finally, Sweet, Sticky, and Waxy Rice

Talk To Us

You will never go wrong with parboiled rice in terms of the nutritional benefits as well as the health goodness it provides your body and most importantly your glycemic index.

I hope you learned something from this article. Do you have any interesting parboiled rice recipes that our readers can try? Please tell us about them in the comment section!