We have all heard that rice can make you gain weight. Is this true or is rice being maligned without any scientific reason? We have the answer for you!
What exactly is rice?
Rice is a kind of cereal that has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. There may be different variants of rice, but a whole grain of rice consists of-
- Bran- the protective outer layer of the seed which contains minerals, antioxidants and fibre.
- Germ- the core of the seed which is rich in proteins, vitamins, vital fats, carbohydrates and antioxidants.
- Endosperm- the inside of the seed which chiefly contains carbohydrates and a small amount of proteins.
The rice that we usually consume is white rice. It is just the endosperm with the bran and germ removed through processing. The nutrients present in the bran and germ are stripped away, leaving behind mostly carbohydrates.
Brown rice, on the other hand, is the whole grain and contains all three of the components. It is more nutritious than white rice.
What is the link between rice intake and obesity?
Contrary to popular belief, rice will not make you fat. There is no direct link between rice intake and obesity. Rice contains carbohydrates. Carbs are nothing but sugars. Your body breaks them down to create energy that acts as a fuel to drive your body. In other words, rice is made of simple carbs which can be disintegrated even faster. They immediately enter your bloodstream. Your pancreas senses their presence and triggers the production of insulin that mops up the excess sugar. This is how your body utilizes carbs and gets rid of the excess.
But, if you consume more carbs than your body requires, then the excess sugars will be converted into fats that will be stashed away in different parts of your body. Moreover, if you do not exercise, even the stored up fats will not be eliminated. Unrestrained rice consumption and lack of physical activity can contribute to obesity. In fact, this also increases your risk of getting diabetes.
Is brown rice good for you?
Since white rice is digested rapidly, you are likely to feel hungry soon after a meal. This is another reason you have to exercise caution and limit your consumption when your diet is heavily reliant on white rice. You can opt for brown rice, which your body breaks down slowly keeping you full for a longer period of time. Besides, brown rice provides more nutrition than white rice. In fact, at 112 calories per 100 grams, brown rice contains fewer calories than white rice, which has 130 calories per 100 grams. So, if you are already overweight, you can replace white rice with brown rice to stay satiated for a longer time. But even so, you have to eat small portions of brown rice and rely on vegetables and fruits to keep you full.
There is no direct link between rice intake and obesity. It’s only overconsumption of rice that may cause you to put on kilos.