Rice to the occasion

White rice has been targeted in the fight against diabetes.
White rice has been targeted in the fight against diabetes. PHOTO: TNP FILE

I empathise with Ignatius Low's preference for white rice to brown rice (Sweet Taste Of Childhood, Life, May 15).

My family and I had great difficulty switching over to brown rice too. However, its taste improves significantly when I mix it with other healthy ingredients such as corn, sweet potato, yam and pumpkin.

Not long after I switched to brown rice, I reaped benefits. I used to need at least two heaped bowls of white rice for every meal. I now need just one bowl of brown rice to feel satiated. My wife no longer has hunger pangs in between meals and does not need to look for unhealthy snacks.

I find Mr Low's reason to keep the heritage of white rice - despite its ill effects on health - preposterous. Imagine if we insisted that our wives and daughters keep the Chinese tradition of having "threeinch golden lotus" (bound feet). Considering the proven effects of white rice on diabetes, we should avoid it most, if not all of the time, rather than settle for striking a balance.

I am sure that dietitians and food technologists at the Health Promotion Board can come up with delicious brown rice recipes. With our talents, Singapore could present to the world an endearing, award-winning future food heritage. Let us start a new rice revolution, the uniquely Singapore way.

Chang Nam Yuen

Thank you for sticking up for our heritage, not least white rice.

I understand our Government's concern about the prevalence of diabetes in Singapore and applaud its fight against the disease. But I was upset to see a barrage of articles targeting white rice.

The Health Promotion Board should be promoting healthy and controlled eating because Type 2 diabetes is more often linked to obesity and the overconsumption of processed food. It is not white rice we should be concerned about, but sugary drinks, sweets, overeating and the lack of exercise that contribute to diabetes.

I agree with Mr Low that everything should be done in moderation, but there is a thin line between raising awareness and creating a climate of fear about white rice. I, too, cannot fathom eating brown rice chicken rice or brown rice nasi lemak.

Li Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe