Is White Rice Good for You?

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White rice remains a food staple for much of the world’s population. Many cultures eat rice for several meals each day. Though white rice is produced through a refining process that removes much of the inherent nutritional factors, it still provides us with many nutrients and health benefits through diet.

Is White Rice Good for You?

Nutritional facts of white rice per 100 g

 

Nutrients

Value (amount and % daily intake)

Calories

130

Total Fat

0.3 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Sodium

1 mg

Dietary fiber

0.4 g (1%)

Potassium

35 mg (1%)

Total carbohydrates

28 g (9%)

Protein

2.7 g (5%)

Calcium

1%

Iron

1%

Vitamin B6

5%

Magnesium

3%

Health benefits of white rice

  • Provide energy. All forms of activity require energy. Carbohydrates are the quickest source and white rice is rich in carbohydrates. Skip this important component of your diet and you will feel sluggish and lack energy.
  • Promote muscle growth. White rice contains important amino acids and when rice is served with a meat dish, the diet is fairly complete in terms of required muscle building amino acids. White rice is a good choice for vegans and vegetarians seeking to develop their physique.
  • Treat and prevent gastrointestinal distress. Due to the low fiber content, white rice is beneficial for those suffering form diarrhea, colitis and morning sickness. Be cautions if your physician has prescribed specific medications for a chronic gastrointestinal problem.
  • Other benefits. White rice has mild diuretic properties and serves as a digestive aid and natural anti-inflammatory. The protein content is important for muscle development and preserving lean body mass. The manganese content helps boost the immune system. The thiamine content is important for cognitive processes. The low sodium content makes white rice a good choice for those with high blood pressure and kidney problems.

White rice and diet

Despite the recent negative press about carbohydrates, white rice remains a staple food for over half of the world’s people. It is not so much the rice that is bad, but rather what is served along side or put into the rice during the cooking process. White rice is actually full of nutrients and has health advantages over other carbohydrates.

Cooking tips:

  • Rinse thoroughly before cooking
  • Use a heavy bottom pot to prevent crusting
  • Add one tablespoon of olive oil when cooking to prevent sticking
  • Do not stir while cooking. Stirring damages the rice and makes it sticky

Precautions of Eating White Rice

Health risks

White rice is considered a high glycemic index food or fast carb. This means it is rapidly broken down into sugar in the body. This can contribute to insulin resistance, glucose spikes after eating white rice and was shown that eating white rice five times a week increased the risk for type 2 diabetes. Brown rice is lower on the glycemic index and actually decreases the risk of diabetes for those who ate two servings per week.

Considerations

  • White rice lasts longer and can be stored much longer than brown rice. All types of rice are low in terms of allergy risk. White rice is a good choice for those trying to avoid wheat products.
  • Parboiled versions of white rice take a bit longer to cook, but retain many more nutrients. White rice is low in fiber and high in carbohydrates. In fact, a single cup of cooked rice has 17% of the recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates. White rice doesn’t have a large amount of vitamins and minerals and is quickly digested. That been said, a diet without balance and excess white rice will lead to hunger and eating more frequently.
 
 
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