Abstract

Refined carbohydrates, such as white rice and white flour, are the mainstay of the modern Asian Indian diet, and may contribute to the rising incidence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in this population. Prior to the 1950s, whole grains such as amaranth, barley, brown rice, millet, and sorghum were more commonly used in Asian Indian cooking. These grains and other non-Indian grains such as couscous, quinoa, and spelt are nutritionally advantageous and may be culturally acceptable carbohydrate substitutes for Asian Indians. This review focuses on practical recommendations for culturally sensitive carbohydrate modification in a modern Asian Indian diet to reduce type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in this population.

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