When it comes to diet foods, white rice isn’t the best option due to its high-calorie content. Its serving size too cannot provide you enough protein, fiber, or water to keep you full throughout the day. You may offset this difference if you eat a small amount of rice with healthy, high fiber, and high protein foods like lentils or green leafy vegetables.
You can thus significantly lower your calorie intake for the meal and still consume rice regularly without negatively affecting your weight. Being one of the most popular staple foods in the world, it finds several million takers every day but this fact doesn’t vouch for it being a healthy and gluten-free food.
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. The former also comes with higher amounts of fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, and other vital vitamins and minerals.
This difference in calorie counts can be crucial to your body weight.
Please note that food addiction is usually uncontrollable. It manifests itself in excessive cravings for eating a certain type of food. This may include junk, sugary, salty, or carbohydrate-rich foods, and the person may feel helpless before eating them. The same goes for people who love eating rice every day.
If you prefer to eat rice every day, you should try to go by a rule called portion control.
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, you can expect the numbers to go above 300 calories per cup. If you are concerned about gaining any unwanted fat, you should consider having white rice boiled in water with a healthy side dish. Portion control can help you eat a fewer quantity of rice on smaller-sized plates and still make you think that you have had your fill.
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, it still cannot regain its fiber content once it is lost.
Tip: Cooked brown and white rice have roughly 45 grams of total carbohydrates per cup. However, the former has 3.5 grams of fiber versus 0.6 grams of fiber in white rice- a difference of six times.
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 and that you are satiated enough to avoid snacking throughout the day.
Brown rice is an excellent source of dietary fiber and magnesium. The two nutrients boost the metabolism process and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also has a lower content of fats so you can eat it in moderation without worrying about any weight gain.
Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked
Sources include: USDA
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.9 g --1%
Saturated fat 0.2 g -- 1%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg -- 0%
Sodium 5 mg -- 0%
Potassium 43 mg -- 1%
Total Carbohydrate 23 g -- 7%
Dietary fiber 1.8 g -- 7%
Sugar 0.4 g
Protein 2.6 g -- 5%
Vitamin A -- 0%
Calcium -- 1%
Vitamin D -- 0%
Cobalamin -- 0%
Vitamin C -- 0%
Iron -- 2%
Vitamin B-6 -- 5%
Magnesium -- 10%
*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The above values are taken from Wikipedia and are verified by USDA.
Brown rice comprises bran and side hull. This is much unlike as compared to white rice, which is refined and polished with little to no nutritious value. White rice is more popular because it is cheap to cultivate and sell but it has zero concentration of nutrients like magnesium, iron, and zinc. Even the “enriched” and “fortified” variants of this staple food are devoid of vitamins and fiber.
This is why it doesn’t reach the minimum requirements per serving as specified by the FDA.
Fortunately, brown rice does provide such nutrients and may be eaten every day as a part of the diet. It packs in a much better quantity of healthy nutrients and is a better alternative to its whiter counterpart. You might need some time to adjust to its nutty taste but that won’t matter much anyway.
Here are some of the health-centric benefits of having brown rice in your daily diet:
Whole grains such as brown rice are linked to lowered levels of colon cancer, probably because of their high fiber content. Fiber fights cancerous and toxic wastes and excretes them out of the body. This rice variant also stabilizes digestion, prevents constipation and diarrhea, and helps in normal bowel movement.
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.
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. This nutty-flavored food is also rich in selenium, an important trace mineral that reduces your risk of several chronic illnesses including thyroid and asthma.
Brown rice is rich in good cholesterol (HDL) and can also help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood. Bad Cholesterol is generally created in our body due to an intake of inappropriate foods and their buildup often leads to a lot of toxins in our digestive system.
Tip: Here’s an article explaining how you can eliminate toxins from your body quickly.
Brown rice is a great source of antioxidants that help combat free radical damage and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses and premature aging.
White rice is highly processed. It is quickly digested and assimilated into the body and may cause severe spikes in blood sugar levels. This is opposite to brown rice that stabilizes is digested slowly and keeps blood sugar levels normalized. It is also a great choice for people with diabetes because of its lower glycemic index.
Did you know? Asia consists of a large population with Type 2 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. No wonder, rice forms a major part of the staple diets in all the countries here.
Merely switching to brown rice alone won’t just cut it. You would also need to back it up with a fiber- and grain-rich diet that offers you a better combination of nutrients.
By relying on such a healthy diet, you can expect yourself to complement the goodness of the high fiber count of this rice variant with B vitamins and other minerals. This, and a fitness-centric lifestyle, would together help you cut down the risk of some chronic diseases by a huge margin.
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