White rice is positioned high on the glycemic index, which ranks carbohydrates on the basis of how rapidly they affect blood sugar. And now researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found that high intakes of white rice can elevate the risk of type 2 diabetes. The investigators looked at the results of four studies, (one performed in China, one in Japan, one in the U.S. and one in Australia) to postulate that the risk of developing diabetes goes up by 10 percent with each 5.5 ounce serving of white rice eaten daily, particularly among women. Since Asians eat more rice than westerners, the investigators concluded that they’re at a higher risk. While a considerable amount of additional research would be needed to confirm these findings, the Harvard team suggests eating whole grains instead of white rice to help lower diabetes risk and noted that brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice, including more fiber, magnesium and vitamins. It also ranks nine points lower on the glycemic index than white rice. The study was published online on March 15, 2012 on bmj.com.