RICE FOR WEIGHT-LOSS
As a Nutrition Coach, I get to hear a lot of “I Stopped consuming Rice to lose weight” Or “I eat Brown rice because it helps to lose weight”.
I am sure a lot of quacks at the gym advise the same and even though we love consuming Rice, especially, White Rice, we end up torturing our taste buds because someone said White Rice is the cause of Obesity.
But what if I told you Rice is not the culprit which causes weight gain?
Intrigued? Read on…
Rice is one of the most consumed grains in the world, especially in Asian countries.
White rice is the refined version of Brown rice and has most of its outer husk (Fibrous part) removed.
White rice is high in carbohydrate just like brown rice but is linked to increased obesity and chronic diseases.
However, on the contrary, countries consuming white rice in high amounts have low levels of obesity and disease rates. (Have you ever seen a farmer whose staple food is White rice being obese or popping pills to control diabetes?)
Coming to the question- IS WHITE RICE REALLY FATTENING? Let’s understand it in an easier and much logical way…
What is Rice Composed of?
Rice is majorly composed of carbohydrates, some amount of Protein and a practically negligible amount of Fat.
The major carbohydrate present is Starch consisting of Amylose and Amylopectin.
There are varieties of Rice available in the market but White rice is consumed at higher rates followed by Brown rice.
Let us see what grain is composed of?
Brown Rice has the bran or outer husk intact, therefore, it is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals as compared to White rice.
How would you make up for that difference? Just add Vegetables to your White Rice and make up for the Fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Easy?
Now, when you will explain this to someone who frowns upon your consumption of White Rice, they will get into a term called “Glycemic Index”.
Let me simplify it for you…
Rice and Glycemic Index
All carbohydrates are not digested at the same rate by our bodies.
Glycemic Index helps us rank the digestibility of Carbohydrate-rich food and how they affect blood glucose levels.
So, a food having a lower GI (55 or less) will be slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized and cause a lower spike in Blood Glucose level and in turn, a spike in insulin levels.
White Rice has a higher GI compared to Brown Rice.
But what if I told you that you can lower the GI of White rice?
Scientifically, the major difference between Brown and White rice is the fiber content.
You can add fiber (through veggies) to white rice and increase the fiber content of white rice and this will help to reduce the GI of White rice by slowing the process of absorption.
Additionally, the addition of fats like Ghee or Oil and Protein-rich food like Lentils, Eggs, Meat also helps in reducing the GI of White rice by slowing the absorption.
Now you know how to relish your White Rice without worrying about spiking blood sugar levels.
Now, the quack will say, “Oh, but, Rice causes weight gain. Look at my 6 packs, I achieved it when I stopped eating rice”
Rice and Weight- Loss
Truth is, no one food can cause Weight gain or Loss or bless you magically with 6 pack abs.
What matters is Calories In Vs Calories Out.
Example: If your Maintenance calorie is 2000. You are consuming 1750 calories to create a deficit to lose weight then if you consume 100 gms of White Rice which has 356 calories. You still have 1394 calories left. This means you can eat White Rice and still be in a Calorie Deficit.
Look at food as a source of energy and not as Bad food or Good Food. Do your research before building a negative mindset towards food.