Is Rice Good or Bad?

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Rice is a dietary staple for over 3.5 billion people worldwide, as shared in a National Geographic report. As a source of daily sustenance and energy, more than 515 million metric tonnes of rice are consumed yearly. Despite this, rice is often criticised for its high carbohydrate content and association with weight gain. Most fitness meal plans thus substitute rice with alternatives like soy, as we explain in our guide “Is Soy Good or Bad?” Nonetheless, rice can provide numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation, so it’s definitely worth keeping this grain in your diet.

Benefits of rice


Provides energy boosts


As mentioned, rice is carbohydrate-heavy. Contrary to the bad reputation rice has suffered because of this, carbs–and the glucose in them–are the body’s primary source of energy. To illustrate, Men’s Health reports that the brain uses 120 grams of glucose to function daily, while one cup of rice provides 45 grams. Depending on the number of rice meals eaten in a day, the math speaks for itself.


Maintains digestive health


Rice is likewise rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and fibre. The latter, in particular, is essential for maintaining good digestive health. According to a recent European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, fibre improves bowel function and mobility. This helps prevent digestive problems like constipation and lowers the risk of colon cancer. Moreover, fibre lowers cholesterol levels, which is key in weight management.


Aids in weight loss


Despite what many believe, rice can be beneficial for weight loss. Brown rice, especially, is a whole grain with the most amount of nutrients among the rice varieties. The Harvard School of Public Health explains that by retaining its outer bran layer, brown rice takes longer to digest and is thus more filling. This can prevent instances of overeating and invites consumers to be more intentional about how they prepare rice and rice-centric meals.


Make the most of rice



Measure portions


To optimise rice consumption, it’s best to measure portions. A rule of thumb is to eat just what you need: not under and certainly not over. To do so, use a measuring cup like the OXO Good Grips 4 Piece Stainless Steel ones, or a measuring scale like the Escali Primo Digital Scale to ensure precise portions. You can even log the numbers on a journal or app to keep track of how much you are eating, in turn ensuring you remain consistent.


Use fool-proof appliances


In addition to convenience, kitchen appliances help retain the flavor and integrity of your rice. Specifically, rice cookers ensure perfectly prepared rice with little fuss on your end. Gone is the need to watch over the pot to avoid burning or undercooking rice. Instead, newer models such as the Cuckoo rice cooker come with innovative features like a timer and multiple cook settings to allow you to prepare sticky rice, porridge, and more. Should you need to prepare a larger batch, you can alternatively use a slow cooker such as the “original” Crock Pot, which can also double as a means to cook thicker rice stews.


Experiment with ingredients


Increasing the nutritional value of rice can be a fun kitchen experiment. To start, you can use vegetable broth instead of water to cook the rice, as this provides flavour without adding salt, fat, or calories. Further, you can throw in herbs and spices to increase the depth and antioxidant levels. Lastly, you can mix in beans, nuts, and vegetables (carrots, peas, and broccoli, for example) for added fibre, vitamins, and minerals.


Despite its misgivings, rice can be an important part of any diet–even for health-conscious people. It’s easy to prepare and elevate with the right tools, and it is also an excellent source of important nutrients. As Food & Wine contributor Margaret Eby writes, “rice is everything, and it touches everyone.”






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Submitted by: JBeanland



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