The Truth about Rice

Posted by Lachmi Deb Roy on Sun, Nov 28, 2010  
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For many dieters rice is considered to be the main cause of weight gain and hence it is the first food to be eliminated by them. But choosing your rice right is the best way to keep your weight under control.


One of the healthiest varieties of rice is the brown rice. The difference between brown and white rice is not in the colour. A whole of grain rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull is removed to produce what is called brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional values of the rice and avoids unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. In the case of white rice, the husk and the bran is removed and polished to the maximum which results in the loss of several essential nutrients. The complete polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 80 per cent of vitaminB1, 90 per cent of Vitamin B6, half of manganese, 60 percent of iron and essential dietary fibre.


Some medical tests have indicated that the health benefit of brown rice helps in controlling high blood pressure. It is good for people who are at a risk of getting colon cancer. Brown rice has less shelf life than white rice. This is because of the natural oils in the bran layer becoming stale with time.

If one has never eaten brown rice before and wants to develop a taste for it, then the best way to do it is to mix one portion of brown rice and one portion of white rice when cooking. Then gradually go on decreasing the portion of white rice and increasing the portion f brown rice. Soon you will develop a taste for the flavour and texture of brown rice.


 According to yogic diet, the basmati variety of rice is considered sattvik or pure. It is considered a great source of balancing metabolism and a great source of energy too. But is white rice is consumed in excess, it causes weight gain. Excess starch when enters the body gets converted into fat. It is best to avoid white rice in the night time because there is hardly any physical activity after dinner time. One can consume one cup of white rice twice or thrice a week. But one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that one should not go to bed immediately after consuming rice, be it afternoon nap or night sleep.

To keep weight under check, dinner should be the lightest and completely free from starchy food. It is always better to take out the starch from the rice as much as you can by boiling it well and with water and pouring it over a strainer. It is also important to  wash rice thoroughly with cold water before cooking it because there is a lot of starch clinging on the grain.


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