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A staple dish in more than 100 countries, rice is often looked at as the enemy to a fit and healthy body. Denigrated as the food that causes unhealthy weight gain and bulgy tummy, rice has been at the receiving end of a lot of flak - (no) thanks to the 'fitness experts,' popping up on social media like mushrooms on a monsoon morning.
So How And Why Did Rice Become The Villain?
Rice is indeed a high-carbohydrate food, but carbs are not necessarily harmful. Yes, really. Carbohydrates and glucose are the most important energy sources for your brain and muscles.
Each hour, our brains consume five grams of glucose. This equates to 120 grams of glucose per day. The carbohydrate content of one-third cup of cooked rice is 15 grams, which suggests that it can be a healthy food option .
It is important to note that the nutritional value of rice varies according to its variety. In addition to carbohydrates, rice also contains a small amount of protein and a small amount of fat. Brown rice grain is a whole grain. In other words, it contains all the components of the grain - the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ, and the carb-rich endosperm. In white rice, only the endosperm is present; the bran and germ have been removed. Therefore, compared to white rice, brown rice has a greater amount of fibre, nutrients, and antioxidants .
Brown rice and white rice contain approximately 200 calories per cup when cooked. Both contain approximately 44 grams of carbohydrates. The protein content of brown rice is five grams, while the protein content of white rice is four grams. The amount of fibre in white rice is less than one gram, while the amount in brown rice is three to four grams. There are only 0.4 grams of fat in white rice and 1.7 grams in brown rice .
For weight loss:
Brown rice, particularly, is beneficial for weight loss despite its high carbohydrate content.
- Brown rice contains a high amount of fibre due to the intact outer bran layers.
- In addition to aiding in digestion, fibre also helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time, all of which contribute to weight control.
- Additionally, brown rice requires more chewing, resulting in smaller portions consumed .
- The consumption of large amounts of white rice has been linked to metabolic syndrome or risk factors that may increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes .
White Rice Or Brown Rice?
Brown rice has a better nutritional profile than white rice, so it should be used at least 50 per cent of the time instead of white rice. Keep serving sizes to about half a cup .
What About Other Types Of Rice?
There are other types of rice that have positive health attributes in addition to white rice and brown rice .
The antioxidant content of Indonesian and Thai black rice is the highest of all rice varieties. In addition, they contain high levels of anthocyanins, or plant flavonoids, which may help prevent the development of cancer .
In addition to being high in fibre, Himalayan and Thai red rice varieties also contain antioxidants called quercetins that are beneficial for the prevention of chronic diseases and cancer .
Even though wild rice is not a grain, it is commonly used as one. Compared to white rice, it provides three times as much fibre and may be anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-hypertensive, and immune boosting .
Best Ways To Eat Rice, The Healthy Way
As a healthy anti-inflammatory side dish, rice can be combined with broccoli, garlic, and olive oil, or it can be combined with cauliflower and coriander for a lower-calorie dish.
Buddha bowls are all the rage right now, and they provide a great example of how rice can be used to build a meal. Simply add fresh and/or cooked vegetables, protein, and rice to the bowl, and top with a sauce or dressing. Consider adding grilled vegetables such as mushrooms and squash, cooked chicken or beans, and a creamy tahini dressing.
So, Is Rice Healthy?
Rice, in particular brown rice, is a rich source of fibre, antioxidants, manganese, selenium, iron, magnesium, copper, and B vitamins. Specifically, fibre can improve digestion and cholesterol levels and help you feel full for longer, all of which are important for heart health, weight management, and diabetes prevention. In addition to the immune system, the other nutrients contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases and cancer.
When shopping for rice, look for whole grain brown rice to get all the health benefits described above. During the preparation of brown rice, nutrients are embedded within the bran layers. In contrast, they are removed when white rice is made .
Tips For Cooking the Best Rice
- Rinse your rice thoroughly. There is a significant amount of extra starch in the rice, which can be removed by rinsing.
- Rather than using water for cooking your rice, use something more flavourful, such as chicken stock.
On A Final Note...
For a good reason, rice is a staple food in many countries around the world. In addition to providing food for more than half of the world's population, it is an important and nutritious cereal crop. As part of a healthy diet, brown and white rice can be consumed as frequently as desired -in appropriate portions. While brown rice is often preferred to white rice, both grains originate from the same plant. In general, it is best to consume any food in moderation.
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