White rice is a highly controversial food item. On the one hand, some nutritionists call it a source of numerous calories and recommend avoiding it. Others consider it a safe source of starch and say that everything is in order. What are the benefits and harms of white rice in reality?
The so-called Japanese paradox is known, which sounds like this: “They eat rice all the time and live long, so it’s worth doing the same and live up to 100 years.” In addition, the harmony of the Japanese who constantly use this product is constantly mentioned.
Unlike modern wheat, which has been hybridized and modified, and can be a problematic product for many people (like most other crops), rice is unique and potentially less harmful.
White rice and brown (brown): what is the difference?
What are the benefits and harms of white rice? Brown grain is often considered more beneficial than white. However, the latter option can also be healthy food. At the same time, any rice contains a certain level of anti-nutritional substances, such as phytates, which can complicate the absorption of the minerals contained in it. In brown rice, the content of these substances is quite high.
White rice is considered safer in this regard if you consume it in moderation. The reason is that when this cereal is processed, bran is removed. This process, which makes rice white, removes almost all phytic acid. This method makes the product more digestible and reduces the amount of coarse fibers, which can sometimes be harmful to the intestines. This is the only difference between the difference between brown rice and white.
Brown rice actually has more nutrients, but they are inaccessible to the body, and bran is the most problematic part of this grain in terms of phytic acid content. White contains less of this unhealthy substance than most nuts, seeds, and certainly other grains.
Is there arsenic in rice?
In 2012, research results were published warning that rice might contain high levels of arsenic. At the same time, the level of this poison was significantly higher in brown rice. This is because arsenic is often found in bran. This is another difference between brown rice and white.
Some of the brown rice samples tested contained 50% more arsenic than allowed, and some almost doubled the safe limit. The processed foods from this unrefined grain turned out to be especially harmful in this case: rice syrup, pasta and cereal. The saddest thing is that such foods are usually consumed by proponents of a healthy diet or a gluten-free diet. In this case, the person consumes clearly more than one portion per day of such products. Obviously, brown rice is a food that should not be a daily dietary product or even eaten on a regular basis.
The lowest levels of arsenic were found in white rice (jasmine or basmati), which was imported from eastern countries. Grain washing, traditionally performed in many cultures, further reduces the level of harmful impurities. You should not forget about this when analyzing the health benefits and harms of white rice.
This is gluten free food.
Rice, naturally, does not contain gluten, so the most problematic part of many grains is already missing in it. This makes it generally a safe choice for celiac sufferers, and those who refuse to use gluten for any other reason. This is an important feature when it comes to the benefits and harms of white rice.
At the same time, many people need good sources of healthy carbohydrates, and this grain can be a relatively safe option. The benefits and harms of white rice for weight loss are as follows.
Women especially often notice that too long following a low-carb diet disrupts the hormonal balance in the body. Of all the grains, it is generally a safe option for carbohydrate intake.
Does rice cause diabetes?
A 2012 study claimed that white rice consumption was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and this is often mentioned as a reason to exclude it from the diet. Nevertheless, residents of Asian countries, characterized by high consumption of this product, note a low incidence of diabetes.
This means that studies simply demonstrate the relationship between the risk of diabetes and rice consumption, rather than the actual disease. In any case, the incidence of diabetes decreases with increasing consumption of this grain. Countries with the highest consumption of white rice, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh, have very low incidence rates.
What do experts say about rice?
This is a surprisingly controversial product, according to different opinions of nutrition experts. The health benefits and harms of white rice are not so straightforward. Some people think that it is completely safe, but it should be used with caution by some people. From this point of view, rice is a safe source of starches. However, others speak of its high glycemic index, as well as arsenic content.
It is safe to say that rice is in its own category. It differs significantly from other modern grains, since it has not undergone any modification. The safety of its consumption, apparently, varies greatly depending on the body, eating habits and the rest of the diet.
What are the benefits and harms of polished white rice? For those who consume a lot of food high in other carbohydrates and low in minerals, rice (or any grain) is definitely not the best option. Those who adhere to a healthy diet, devoid of products that provoke inflammation, can safely eat this cereal.
Experts recommend consuming it during hard training or after a lot of activity and always in combination with foods that are high in nutrients. Rinse it first to remove any remaining arsenic. You can sometimes enjoy a serving of quality sushi after a workout or rice with meat and vegetables, but do not consider it a staple food.
What is this product?
Rice is a starchy grain used as the main food ingredient in more than half of the world's population. To a large extent, this is due to its versatility and ability to combine with any products and seasonings. Being an important ingredient in almost any kitchen, it has a soft texture that allows you to cook various dishes with it. The calorie content of white rice is about 120 calories per hundred grams, so the dishes with it are completely dietary.
In addition, it is an inexpensive food. All grain is initially brown, as it grows with bran attached. White rice is made by grinding. During this process, the grain passes through a special machine on which it is rolled, and the bran is gently scraped off, leaving the white core intact. This makes the grain processed and refined, and it is no longer whole. Grinding also reduces cooking time and extends the shelf life of the product. Whole grain brown rice retains more fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The calorie content of boiled white rice (one cup or 200 grams) is 240 calories. The product is considered a starchy source of carbohydrates. If you are considering carbohydrates because you have diabetes or are on a low-carb diet, you need to carefully measure your serving size.
Benefit for health
What is the use of white rice? Depending on the type of grain you choose, it can serve as a good source of B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, fiber and iron. The grain also contains a lot of manganese and magnesium. Fortified rice contains vitamins and minerals added to it after grinding.
Thiamine is a vitamin B that helps with carbohydrate metabolism. Magnesium is a structural component of bones that is involved in hundreds of enzymatic reactions involved in the synthesis of DNA and proteins, and is necessary for proper nerve conduction and muscle contraction. Manganese is a component of antioxidant enzymes that help in carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
Brown rice contains more vitamins than regular white. In addition to thiamine and magnesium, it contains selenium, which affects the function of the thyroid gland and is important for the production of antioxidant enzymes. Brown rice has about seven times more fiber than white rice. One cup of cooked medium-grain white rice contains 0.5 grams of fiber, while the same portion of brown rice is 3.5 grams. Calorie content of white rice is 25 calories less than brown. In addition, it contains seven grams more carbohydrates.
Varieties of cereals
Species of rice are divided into categories based on seed size. It can be long-grain, medium-grained or round. Within these varieties, there are also various types of processing.
For example, steamed rice is steamed to remove surface starch. This makes it easy to sand. Steamed grain stores more nutrients and cooks a little faster than regular crushed white. On the other hand, there is instant cereal, which is more like cereal than grain. This treatment removes some nutrients and aroma, but makes the product convenient to use.
Some of the most popular types of cereals include the following:
- Arborio, known as cereal for risotto. It is a reddish-white rice with a mild flavor. It is used in Italian dishes.
- Sticky rice is a reddish grain used in many Asian cuisines. It is also known as sticky or sweet. It can be crushed into flour and used for ravioli and for cooking rice vinegar and sake.
- Brown or brown is a whole grain with a high fiber content, the preparation of which usually takes longer than white.
- Basmati and jasmine are varieties of long grain that have a unique flavor.
- Wild - these are seeds of an unrelated reed aquatic plant. It is commonly used as a side dish and contains more vitamins, minerals and fiber than white rice varieties.
- Wild Beijing is a unique long-grain rice with a rich nutty flavor.
Rice and Metabolism
The product can be included in most diets, even for people who restrict carbohydrates and calories. White rice can be safely consumed if you control your portion. If it is the only source of starch in your food, try to consume from two-thirds to three-quarters of a glass of cooked product. What are the benefits and harms of white polished rice?
Eating large amounts of rice can lead to excessive consumption of calories and carbohydrates. The latter turn into glucose in the body, and any excess is stored as fat. Refined, processed carbohydrates can cause an increase in blood sugar, which leads to an increase in insulin levels in response. For people with diabetes or insulin resistance, this may be undesirable. Round-grain rice has a higher glycemic index than long-grain, medium-grain and brown. This means that it rises blood sugar faster. The highest glycemic index for instant white rice is 90.
Selection and storage of rice
Try to buy whole grain brown rice whenever possible, as it contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Bran is still contained in the product and the grains are not damaged. Which white rice is healthier? It is best to opt for steamed long-grain varieties. Avoid instant cereals whenever possible, as it does not contain some of the nutrients.
Store white rice in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. At a temperature of 15 ° C or lower, cereals can be stored for ten years or more. Brown rice can be stored for about six months in a cool, dry place, but if you put it in the freezer, it will be stored for about a year.
Once you have cooked the rice, store it in the refrigerator and use it for three to four days. You will understand that the product has deteriorated if it has become hard and dry or has an unpleasant odor. It can not be eaten.
Useful Rice Cooking Methods
Most types of rice available on the market are free from contamination and parasites. It does not need to be rinsed if the package does not recommend rinsing or soaking the product. The standard ratio for cooking white rice is two parts liquid to one part cereal. However, this amount may vary and depends on the variety and type of grain. One glass of raw cereal usually gives about three to four cooked cups.
Use rice as a side dish, serve with vegetables or as a component of stews and soups. It can also be taken for making puddings, bread or as a complement to salads.
Speaking about the benefits and dangers of white rice, the following can be noted. Rice is a gluten-free grain, and therefore it has gained popularity among those who avoid wheat products. However, it may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome. This is the common name for a group of factors that can increase the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
- High blood pressure.
- High fasting sugar.
- High triglycerides.
- Fat at the waist.
- Low HDL cholesterol.
Studies have shown that people who regularly eat large amounts of white rice have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome. However, as follows from the above, if one can recognize a certain relationship between the consumption of this cereal and diabetes, such a relationship with heart disease is still unclear. Meanwhile, brown rice consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
For example, adults eating the most whole grains can reduce their risk of heart problems by 21%. Brown rice also contains lignans - plant compounds that help lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of fat in the blood.
The effect of this product on weight is mixed
What are the benefits and harms of white rice for weight loss? It is classified as processed grain because it is devoid of bran and seedlings. Many studies have linked a high-refined diet to obesity and weight gain, but this does not fully apply to rice. Some observations do not confirm this connection.
In addition, it has been shown that diets based on the consumption of white rice contribute to weight loss, especially in countries where it is everyday food. In short, this product is apparently neither harmful nor beneficial for weight loss. Therefore, white rice for weight loss can be used, but will not bring great results.
Nevertheless, eating foods high in whole grains, including brown rice, more consistently demonstrates weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. Thus, an unprocessed product is a good choice for getting rid of extra pounds, since it is more nutritious, contains more fiber and provides a good dose of antioxidants to fight diseases.
Who can he be recommended?
Doctors may prescribe a low-fiber diet if you have digestive problems. Such a diet can reduce the burden on the digestive tract, which allows it to not work at full strength.
These diets are temporary and can alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms that result from Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and other digestive disorders.
Adults, often suffering from heartburn, nausea and vomiting, or recovering from medical procedures that affect the digestive system, should also follow a low-fiber diet. , , .
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Calculate two glasses of water for each glass of rice. Pour it into a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt, stir. Let the water boil and put rice in it. Stir with quick movements. Use a wooden spoon to break any lumps. Do not overdo it: this can lead to rice becoming sticky. Cover tightly. Reduce the heat to a minimum. Let the grits cook for about 18 minutes, then remove from the stove and leave in a saucepan under the lid for another five minutes.
Immediately before serving, gently stir the cereal with a fork to separate the grains from each other. Do not open the pan or stir rice during cooking.
Most white rice types are enriched with vitamins, such as folic acid, to improve nutritional value. In addition, a low fiber content can help with digestive problems.
However, brown rice is ultimately more healthy and nutritious. Studies have shown that it is better suited for diabetes, heart disease and weight maintenance. However, it is worth remembering the arsenic content in it, so you should not consume this cereal every day.