Rice is a versatile, simple-to-cook, and nutritious dish. So it is no surprise that this grain has long been a staple of the Indian diet. Also, rice is neither harmful nor fattening. In actuality, rice is a plentiful source of fibre and carbohydrates. Three of the world’s most populous nations, China, India, and Indonesia, are rice-based societies. In India, one typically eats rice at least two times a day. From an Asian perspective, rice is the primary source of daily calories.
There are different varieties of rice, and each has slightly different nutrient profiles that can help you in your attempts to lose weight. The two most important factors for weight loss are the type of rice you eat and the portion size. So, let’s dig deeper and explore what rice is, what whole grain rice is, and how various rice varieties help in weight loss.
Asians and the Oh So Beloved Rice
Nearly half of the world’s population depends on rice. Rice is the star of every Asian cookbook. We have onigiri, sushi, rice cakes, pulav, mochi, rice bowls and a lot more given the versatility of this grain.
Rice has a unique subtle taste and sticky texture that brings out the flavour of other side dishes eaten along with it. However, it has a high glycemic index, meaning it can raise your sugar levels quickly while getting digested. Furthermore, because it digests fast, it makes you feel less satiated, encouraging you to consume extra calories.
The nutritional makeup of different types of rice varies depending on how the grain is processed, which also affects other variables that impact weight loss. As a result, many believe rice is fattening.
The HealthifyMe Note
Weight loss is not about eating more (or less) of one particular food, such as rice. Instead, switching to healthier rice varieties can help you to lower your calorie intake. But ultimately, you must have to make modifications to your overall diet and exercise routine.
Different Types of Rice
Learning about some of the different types of rice is a good idea because, depending on the variety and the amount you eat, rice consumption can make or break your weight loss goal.
Here are some common types of rice:
White rice is frequently the main ingredient in dishes served simply with curries and lentils. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries go well with white, steaming rice. White rice has to go through a lot of processing and refining processes and can be considered the least healthy variety of rice. It is, therefore, no longer a whole grain. It has almost all of its minerals, vitamins, and fibre removed. White rice also has a lot more calories than other varieties of rice. The glycemic index is high for this variety of rice. Thus, those intolerant to glucose, such as people with type 2 diabetes, avoid its consumption. You may add some protein-rich gravy and salads on the side before if you want to have it.
Brown rice contains bran and germ because it doesn’t undergo a thorough refinement process. The bran and germ are nutrient-dense and rich in fibre. Brown rice is healthy because it has all it’s nutrients intact. This kind of rice can fill you up, which could help you eat fewer calories. However, if you want to lose weight, it’s best to eat in moderation.
Compared to white rice, brown rice ingredients benefit people with diabetes by enhancing glycemic management. As per research, high-fibre foods can encourage feelings of fullness, aiding weight management and possibly combat obesity.
Red rice is a variety of naturally coloured rice grains renowned for having a wealth of nutritional benefits. Anthocyanin, an antioxidant that may help lower cholesterol levels as per a study, is the source of its rich colour. Additionally, it contains a lot of manganese. That supports the body’s metabolism and promotes a faster calorie-burning rate. As a result, it has more calories than other versions, though not by much. For better weight reduction results, look for those that are a darker, richer colour.
In general, the darker the colour of the rice, the more antioxidants it contains. Unpolished black or wild rice is another source of micronutrients like zinc, phosphorus, folate, and niacin. Further, black sticky rice is easy on the stomach but has more calories than white rice.
Which Rice Variety is Good for Weight Loss?
Around the world, people enjoy eating rice. Although rice is high in carbohydrates, brown rice, in particular, can help with weight loss and weight management. Brown rice is high in fibre since it is a whole, intact grain that still contains the bran and germ, whereas white rice goes through the refinement process. Removing the fibre from whole grain rice also makes it less nutritious.
The fibre in brown rice can help digestion, reduce stomach emptying time, make you feel fuller for extended periods, and smoothen bowel movements. All of which are crucial for weight management. The better your digestive system is functioning, the easier it will be to maintain your weight. Moreover, brown rice requires more chewing, naturally encouraging you to consume fewer portions.
The HealthifyMe Note
Brown rice, one of the most widely consumed healthy rice variants, possesses antioxidants and is rich in fibre and minerals. Therefore, brown rice is a better choice for weight loss. It benefits all age groups due to its nutritional supremacy and health advantages. However, ensure you consume it in moderation and maintain a balanced diet.
Recipes to Try
Brown Rice Pudding
Serves: 6 servings (Each serving is 1 cup)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Water: 4 cups
- Long grain brown rice: 2 cups (500 g)
- Almond milk: 1½ cups (375 ml)
- Pinch of salt
- Vanilla: ½ tsp (2 pinches of powder or two drops of essence)
- Cinnamon: 1 tbsp
Method of Preparation
- Bring water to a boil and add rice. Stir occasionally and cook for roughly 25 minutes.
- Add milk and other ingredients. Simmer for another 5 minutes while stirring continuously.
- The rice pudding should become thick.
- You can eat the pudding warm or cold, depending on your preference.
Vegetable Rice Soup
Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Olive oil: ½ tbsp
- Onion, diced: 1 medium (50 g)
- Carrot, chopped: 1 (30 g)
- Celery chopped: 2 stalks (25 g)
- Chicken broth: 1 cup (250 ml)
- Water: 1 cup (250 ml)
- Rice: ½ cup (125 g)
- Dried parsley: 1 tbsp
Method of Preparation
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onion, carrots, and celery.
- Cook 3-4 minutes, occasionally stirring, until translucent.
- Add water and chicken broth, and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice and parsley.
- Cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat.
- Serve hot.
Brown Rice Pulao
Preparation time: 25 minutes
- Brown rice: ½ cup
- Boiled peas: 2 tbsp
- Chopped onion: 50 g
- Chopped tomato: 75 g
- Chopped French beans: 50 g
- Chopped carrot: 30 g
- Chopped coriander leaves: 15 g
- Coriander seed powder: ¼ tsp
- Red chilly powder: ¼ tsp
- Turmeric powder: ⅛ tsp
- Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
- Star Anise: 1
- Bay leaf: 1
- Salt: ⅛ tsp
- Olive oil: 1 tsp
- Water as required
Method of Preparation
- Soak and cook brown rice
- Add olive oil, star anise, bay leaf, jeera, chopped onion, chopped french beans, boiled peas, chopped carrot, salt, coriander seed powder, turmeric powder, and chilly powder and saute well.
- Now add chopped tomato and cooked brown rice.
- Mix well to combine all the ingredients, and add chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with raita.
In all honesty, what matters is the type and quantity of rice. Give some thought to how much rice you need in a balanced diet. Most people need to switch up the kind of rice they eat. For instance, when consumed in moderation, white rice may not be as healthy for you as brown rice. A balanced diet should contain all kinds of nutrients, and carbs in rice are one of them. If we include such macronutrients as protein, carbs, and fat, the meal can be well-balanced, and we need not wholly avoid rice. You can add plenty of different kinds of veggies, lean meats, and healthy fats to enhance the flavour. Always remember that overeating any food group will impact your weight loss efforts.