If someone wants to lose weight, the first piece of advice they often hear is to avoid rice because it will make them fat. However, does rice really deserve the poor nutritional status it suffers from? First, let’s get some facts straight!
Rice is a staple food and a rich source of carbohydrates in our country, which is neither fattening nor unhealthy. However, it has a bad reputation as people regard it as the main cause of various health problems including obesity and diabetes among many other disorders. So now the question is whether rice is the real culprit for weight gain. Or is it how people consume it? Let’s find out!
Rice and weight management
According to research, rice is an essential part of a balanced and nutritious diet. It is low in fat and sugar, easy to digest, gluten-free and a good source of B vitamins.
Additionally, being one of the energy-dense foods, certain varieties of rice are a storehouse for other beneficial nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and iron.
Rice is a carbohydrate-rich food that provides energy to the body. Rice fiber helps regulate digestion and protein helps build and repair tissue.
Here’s how rice helps maintain optimal weight:
- The amino acids in rice help break down stored fats in the body.
- The B vitamins in rice play a vital role in fat metabolism and prevent bloating and mood swings.
- Consuming rice helps balance hormone levels, which is essential for reducing belly fat.
- Rice also helps regulate leptin resistance, preventing the individual from overeating and gaining weight.
- Studies show that certain varieties of rice have prebiotic benefits, which suit gut bacteria, ultimately helping to achieve optimal shape, size, and immune function.
Brown rice vs white rice
A typical health care debate revolves around the healthier choice between brown rice and white rice. Which type of rice is more nutritious, brown or white?
Brown rice is unpolished, which means it contains more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals and has high antioxidant properties. On the other hand, brown rice contains certain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, which can be reduced by increasing the soaking time and temperature. In addition, its high fiber content can make digestion difficult for people with intestinal problems.
Heavy processing often removes the nutrient layer from white rice, causing it to lack vitamins and minerals. Since white rice is refined, overconsumption can lead to obesity and other chronic health problems. Nevertheless, when it comes to losing weight, it is not favorable or harmful for weight loss. Make sure you’re getting the right amount, based on your job and lifestyle.
Will rice make you fat?
The prevalence of obesity and other related diseases, such as heart disease, is increasing in India. It makes people more aware of their food composition and habits and dispels myths.
Weight gain depends on the portion of food one consumes and not so much on the type. All foods are beneficial to your health in one way or another, but quantity can counteract the benefits.
Similarly, rice can lead to weight gain when you consume more of it than necessary. As a carbohydrate-rich food group, rice has a slightly high glycemic index at 64. As a result, it might raise blood sugar levels and affect insulin function.
Note from The Fitness Freak
Rice is one of the energy foods which, when eaten in the right proportion and with the right combination, will help in weight loss. Plus, adding brown rice to a daily diet will lower overall cholesterol levels and keep you feeling fuller for a long time. As a result, it will help you lose weight. However, the amount of consumption and the foods you eat with rice can significantly affect your weight loss journey.
Healthy tips for including rice in your diet
Simply put, rice can be a famous part of a balanced weight loss plan. The key is to use healthy grains of knowledge. Here is a list of effective ways to safely use rice in your daily diet without hampering your weight management.
Practice portion control
Rice is healthy but contains calories. It is therefore essential to adjust portion control according to your body’s needs so that you do not end up with excess calories. The correct serving size is ½ to 1 cup, which typically contains 200 calories. This may vary depending on the type of rice you have chosen.
Accompany it with vegetables
Rice is often called a “bad” food because of its high glycemic index. This means that the rice digests quickly, causing sudden spikes in blood sugar. Consequently, you will feel hungry in no time, consuming more calories. Pairing it with high-fiber, low-calorie vegetables will help manage that sudden spike in blood sugar.
Opt for healthy cooking methods
Rice in its form can be healthy. But when you make it into fried rice or add butter, heavy cream or ghee, it will cause excess fat, sugar and calories to increase your weight when eaten regularly. So be sure to boil your plain rice to get the most benefits.
Lasting weight loss should be a perfect combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet. You don’t have to give up your favorite food like rice if you’re trying to shed a few pounds.
In a nutshell, rice, a versatile food, on its own won’t make you gain weight or can help you lose weight. This is the entire meal or added food sources that affect the process.
When you can monitor portion sizes and the type of rice and cook it in a healthy way, you don’t need to cut rice from your diet to achieve your weight loss goals.