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Is eating rice really bad for health, and should you avoid including it in your meals if you are trying to lose weight?
[ Is eating rice really bad for health, or is it a misconception? And should you avoid including it in your meals if you are trying to lose weight? ]
Rice features as a critical component of an Indian balanced diet. In fact, rice is a staple food in most Asian countries, and it is one of the most consumed cereal grains worldwide. Right from white rice to red rice to brown rice, there are numerous varieties that you can try.
Yet over time, many myths have been making rounds on social media claiming rice is unhealthy primarily because of its starchy composition. As a rice lover, I found these claims disheartening. This got me to do some research of my own on this versatile grain.
So if you are a rice lover like me and wondering is rice really bad for health, then read on!
How do brown rice and white rice compare to each other: a cup of cooked brown rice is marginally higher in calories, protein, fat and fibre as compared to its white counterpart. Brown rice’s germ and bran content give it an edge in specific vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins and phosphorous.
However, it’s important to note that when white rice is paired with other nutritious food like healthy protein, vegetables and healthy fats, the differences between white rice and brown rice become negligible.
White rice has its bran and germ removed; thus eliminating the fibre and fat content that goes along with it. Rice is a natural carbohydrate source responsible for boosting energy levels. It contains a chain of complex carbohydrates that takes the body some time to break down.
Hence, rice makes you feel fuller for a longer duration. This makes white rice ideal for those who need a quick dose of energy, like athletes or anyone engaging in workouts or activities for long periods.
It’s astonishing how the myth is rice really bad for health even came about, considering that rice is a powerhouse of several nutrients. All varieties of rice are rich in minerals like calcium and iron. It is also a great source of minerals like niacin, vitamin D, thiamine, fibre, and riboflavin.
Rice is easily digestible and has less saturated fats. It also has more good cholesterol than other foods. Thus, making it great for heart health.
Those who suffer from digestive issues and other stomach ailments find it hard to digest complex carbs, fats, fibre and protein. Such people can turn to rice as a healthy alternative to minimize irritation and uncomfortable bloating. Rice is light, easy to digest and has fibre content.
Even if you are not battling any digestive problems, white rice is great to eat even when dealing with a nasty bout of diarrhoea.
White rice is the most readily available when compared to other varieties of rice and is readily available to people of all strata of society. In areas, especially where healthy food options are unavailable, white rice may be the only grain accessible at the local grocery stores.
By laying the doubt is rice really bad for health to rest, we can encourage people to pair this versatile grain with other nutritious dishes to reap its myriad benefits.
It is loaded with minerals and nutrients and has a high glycemic index. However, these high glycemic index levels can lead to diabetes. The presence of starch in rice takes more time to break down the carbs. Hence, avoid overeating rice, especially the white rice variety, to protect yourself from different lifestyle diseases.
Numerous studies recommend choosing a rice-based diet to lose weight, as it has less saturated fats and more fibre. On the other hand, a few studies have pointed out that overconsumption of white rice could lead to weight gain.
The best part about white rice is that you can serve it with almost anything. From vegetables to meat curries to ghee, steamed rice paired with any of them can make a delicious and comforting dish. As a rice lover, I ensure that I eat rice at least once daily. It keeps me satiated and content for more extended periods.
So, is rice really bad for health?
While white rice may not be as rich in nutrients as brown rice, there are several other benefits it has to offer that make its lack of nutrients insignificant. Since we often pair our rice with other food groups, it makes for a complete and balanced meal.
Also, just like any food, one must eat even rice in moderation. Overeating any food will only cause more harm than good.
Image source: suodhsathe and intellistudies, via Getty Images, free and edited on CanvaPro
I am a mom who works from home and dabbles with writing when time permits.An avid reader since childhood, blogging and writing helps me de-stress.My five year old keeps me on my read more...
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