Traditional Asian diets are characterised and dominated by high-glycaemic carbohydrates with primarily rice as the staple grain. Studies have shown that Asian rice, rice porridge, and glutinous (sticky) rice are extremely high in glycaemic index (GI). Plain rice has a high GI value of approximately 80, which elicits postprandial glucose responses close to that of pure glucose. Because rice and high GI foods are consumed in high amounts, the Asian diet is naturally high in glycaemic load (GL = GI x grams of carbohydrates). Even with rapid modernisation and increase in the intake of fats and protein, carbohydrates still accounted for more than 50% of the total calorie intake in the Asian Chinese populations.
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