While scarfing down a takeout container of white rice, did the thought of diabetes ever cross your mind? Well, it crossed the minds of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health when they compared white rice consumption in Asia and U.S. populations and discovered that higher white rice intake is linked with a boost in type 2 diabetes risk. (High consumption means three to four servings per day, versus one or two servings per week.)

“Because it is a simple carbohydrate, white rice is a high glycemic food and can be responsible for high spikes in blood sugar, even for people without diabetes,” says Karen Congro, R.D. from the Brooklyn Hospital Center.

No need to cancel reservations at your favorite Japanese restaurant: Soba noodles (buckwheat) help promote blood flow to keep your vessels clear and a healthy glow on your face. And whole grains like barley—packed with soluble fiber—are good alternatives to control blood sugar levels.