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When it comes to diet foods, white rice isn’t the best option due to its high-calorie content. Furthermore, even though it is sometimes lower in calories (depending on the type) compared to its healthier counterparts, a moderate serving size will not offer a considerable amount of protein, fiber or water, required to keep you full throughout the day.
However, if you pair a small amount of rice with healthy, high fiber, and high protein foods such as lentils or green leafy vegetables, you can significantly lower your calorie intake for the meal and still consume rice regularly without negatively affecting your weight.
Does Rice Make You Fat?
The calories in rice vary slightly between the types of rice you choose. White rice, being the most common option, offers 205 calories per cup, cooked. Cooked brown and wild rice on the other hand offer 215 and 165 calories respectively, along with higher amounts of fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, and other vital vitamins and minerals. If you’re a frequent consumer of rice, portion control is important as it is easy to place more than one cup of rice on a plate, whether you cook it with other unhealthy ingredients or have it with a side dish.
When you look at the calories alone, rice won’t make you fat but rice has certain psychological effects, which may contribute to weight gain. Most people are already aware of how addictive white rice can be due to their high refined carb content.
Many rice dishes are also prepared with ingredients containing excessive calories, such as butter (102 calories/tablespoon), margarine (76 calories/tablespoon), or vegetable oil (around 120 calories/tablespoon). Fried rice may contain more than 250 calories per 1 cup serving and beef stir-fried rice contains 345 calories per cup serving. When white rice is cooked with oil or ghee, expect the numbers to go above 300 calories per cup. Therefore, if you are concerned about gaining fat, consider having white rice boiled in water with a healthy side dish.
Brown rice is a whole grain that still has its natural fiber intact. When rice is polished and processed to produce white rice, its germ and bran have been removed, which means it’s not a whole grain anymore with rich fiber content. Although white rice can be enriched with vitamins and minerals, the fiber cannot be returned to it. Brown and white rice have roughly 45 grams of total carbohydrates per cup, cooked, but brown rice consists of 3.5 grams of fiber, versus 0.6 grams of fiber in white rice – that’s 6 times more fiber!
Consuming fiber is largely underrated, especially when it comes to weight loss. Fiber makes the bulk of whole foods and since it cannot be digested, it comes with zero calories. This factor ensures that your blood sugar levels are stable, you’re full after a meal and satiated enough to avoid snacking throughout the day.
Brown rice comprises the bran and side hull, unlike in the case of white rice, which is refined and polished. White rice, although popular, isn’t the most nutritious food you can find. It is so processed that it consists of very little nutritional value. It is stripped of magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamins, a high amount of fiber and other nutrients, even if it is labeled “enriched.” Although it is fortified, white rice doesn’t reach the minimum requirements per serving as specified by the FDA. Fortunately, brown rice does. Read on to find out more on its benefits –
1. Packed with fiber
Whole grains such as brown rice are linked to lowered levels of colon cancer, probably because of their high fiber content. Fiber adheres to cancer-causing toxic waste and microorganisms and takes them along with it out of the body. Brown rice helps stabilize digestion, prevents constipation and diarrhea, and helps promote bowel movements.
2. Promotes weight loss
Since it is rich in fiber and helps improve bowel function, brown rice boosts weight loss by improving metabolic function. The fiber gives you a higher feeling of satiation and fullness compared to white rice thus, preventing overeating.
3. Rich in manganese & selenium
Just one cup of brown rice will comprise 80 percent of your manganese requirement for the day. Manganese helps in the production of important fatty acids that form good cholesterol and improve nervous and reproductive functioning. Besides, it is also rich in the trace mineral selenium which reduces your risk of many illnesses.
4. Reduces cholesterol
Brown rice is rich in good cholesterol or HDL which helps in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
5. Packed with antioxidants
Brown rice is a great source of antioxidants that help combat free radical damage and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses and premature aging.
6. Contains slow-release sugar
White rice is highly processed therefore it is quickly digested and assimilated in the body, causing blood sugar spikes. However, brown rice stabilizes blood sugar levels and is digested slowly. This curbs your cravings and helps you lose weight. Also, it is a great choice for people with diabetes as compared to white rice which is a major no-no in their diet due to its high glycemic index.
Asia consists of a large population with type2 diabetes due to the consumption of white rice. According to research people who consume at least two servings of brown rice every week may lower their risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 percent.
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