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Rice is one of the most widely consumed grains in the world. It’s mostly comprised of simple carbs, which have consistently been linked to obesity and chronic disease. However, countries with a high rice intake have low levels of these exact diseases. So what’s the deal with rice? Is it weight loss friendly or fattening? This article gets to the bottom of this question.
What Is Rice?
Rice is a cereal grain that has been grown for thousands of years. It’s a staple food in many countries and one of the most common cereal grains in the world. Several types are available, but varieties of white rice are the most popular, followed by brown rice. To better understand these different types, it’s best to start with the basics.
All whole grains are composed of three major components:
- Bran: A rough and hard outer layer that protects the seed. It contains fibre, minerals and antioxidants.
- Germ: A nutrient-rich core containing carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other plant compounds.
- Endosperm: This is the largest part of the grain. It consists almost entirely of carbs (starch) and a small amount of protein.
Brown rice is an intact whole grain that contains both the bran and germ. Therefore, it’s nutritious and rich in fibre and antioxidants. On the contrary, white rice has had both the bran and nutritious germ removed, ultimately stripping it of all its nutritional parts. This is generally done to improve its taste, prolong its shelf life and enhance its cooking qualities. As a result, white rice varieties are almost entirely made up of carbs in the form of starches, or long chains of glucose known as amylose and amylopectin. Different types of rice contain different amounts of these starches, which affects their texture and digestibility.
Rice that does not stick together after cooking is high in amylose, while sticky rice is generally high in amylopectin. Because of these variations in starch composition, different types of rice can have different health effects.
Brown Versus White Rice
Since nothing has been stripped from brown rice it is generally higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals than white rice. The table below compares the nutrient contents of 100 grams of cooked white and brown rice.
|White v/s. Brown Rice||White||Brown|
|Carbs||29 grams||24 grams|
|Fiber||0 grams||2 grams|
|Protein||2 grams||2 grams|
|Fat||0 grams||1 gram|
|Manganese||19% RDI||55% RDI|
|Magnesium||3% RDI||11% RDI|
|Phosphorus||4% RDI||8% RDI|
|Vitamin B6||3% RDI||11% RDI|
|Selenium||11% RDI||14% RDI|
White rice is higher in calories and contains fewer nutrients and fibre than brown rice.
Rice Is a Staple Food in Many Countries
Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population, particularly Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea and India. These are all countries that, until recently, had relatively low percentages of people who were overweight or obese. White rice is the predominant source of carbohydrates in those countries. For example, Koreans consume almost 40% of their total calorie intake from rice. In these countries, rice may be consumed an average of 20 times per week and up to six times per day. Even so, rice consumption seems to protect against weight gain and high blood pressure in these populations. In elderly Chinese people, a dietary pattern high in rice and vegetables seems to help prevent weight gain, large waist circumference and obesity. The same results were found in a study including over 200 overweight Iranians. No association between the frequency of white rice consumption and body mass index or belly fat was found. However, this trend may be changing, as diets in these countries become influenced by the Western Diet. In fact, the numbers of overweight and obese people have skyrocketed in many of these countries in the past few years.
One study among Iranian adolescents showed that those who had the highest rice intake had the worst diet quality. This indicates that these adolescents may be consuming rice with foods that older generations did not eat, potentially leading to weight gain. At this point, it seems that rice intake itself has a neutral effect, while its health effects — positive or negative — depend on a person’s overall diet. In short, it can be fattening if eaten with an unhealthy diet, but weight loss friendly if eaten with a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Some Types May Spike Blood Sugar Levels
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how much and how quickly a food spikes your blood sugar levels. Foods high on the glycemic index cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and have been linked to overeating and weight gain. On the other hand, foods with a low glycemic index cause a more gradual increase in blood sugar levels. They are believed to be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes, as they control blood sugar and insulin levels. Generally speaking, whole grains have lower GI scores than refined grains. This is one of the reasons why diets high in whole grains have been linked to a 20–30% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That being said, not all studies have found a link between refined grain consumption and risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The starch composition of rice may be a key factor in explaining this. Sticky rice is generally high in the starch amylopectin, which has a high GI. Therefore, it’s rapidly digested and may cause blood sugar spikes. Alternatively, non-sticky rice is high in amylose and has a low GI, which slows down the digestion of starch. It may even contain resistant starch, which is a type of healthy fibre. So regardless of whether rice is white or brown, its GI can range from relatively low (43) to very high (109), depending on the type and variety. If you are diabetic or sensitive to blood sugar spikes, picking non-sticky rice, which is high in amylose, would be your best bet to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Any Food Can Be Fattening If Portion Sizes Aren’t Controlled
As with most things in nutrition, the dose determines the poison. There is nothing particularly “fattening” about rice, so its effects on weight must come down to serving size and the overall quality of your diet. Studies have repeatedly shown that serving food in a larger container or dish increases intake, regardless of the food or drink being served. This has to do with the perception of the serving size. Serving large portions has been shown to increase calorie intake significantly, without people realizing it. Also, since people don’t realize that they are eating more than usual, they generally don’t compensate by eating less at the next meal. Studies that have analysed the effects of serving size have shown that reducing the size of the “rice bowl” is an effective way to reduce calorie intake, body weight and blood sugar levels. Therefore, depending on the serving size, rice can be both weight loss friendly and fattening.
The Bottom Line
There doesn’t seem to be anything specifically fattening about rice. Different studies link it to both weight loss and weight gain. However, of the two types of rice, there is no question that brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice. Non-sticky rice may also be the better choice for people who are sensitive to blood sugar swings or have diabetes. It all seems to boil down to watching your serving size and following an overall healthy and balanced diet. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Vitamins are very important and essential for the body. Vitamins are a form of nutrients, which must be consumed strictly for proper body functioning and building strong immunity. Vitamin pills are an ideal and easy source of essential vitamins. However, having food items, which are rich in vitamins is a much healthier option. Eating foods rich in vitamins helps your body obtain abundant nutrients as per the requirement of the body. In this manner, you will be able to gain all the required vitamins by eating various types of foods.
Here is a list of the primary vitamins, which are essential for the body, along with the food items where they can be found.
- Vitamins B6 and B12: These vitamins help in proper blood circulation and nerve functioning and can be found in bananas, whole grains, beans, nuts, eggs, pork, fish, chicken, wheat germ and other poultry products.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is an antioxidant and fights free radicals which damage DNA. It also helps in strengthening the body immunity. The best source of vitamin C includes citrus fruits and citrus juices, red and green pepper, brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, kale, strawberries and collard greens.
- Calcium: Calcium is very essential for maintaining bone health, bone density and prevents osteoporosis. All dairy products are very rich in calcium. Calcium is also present in legumes and dark green, leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and lack of vitamin D may lead to osteoporosis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and several cancers as well. Vitamin D is present in fatty fishes such as tuna and salmon. Major sources of vitamin D are fortified food products such as cereals and milk.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and helps in eye health. Enough intake of vitamin E can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Foods rich in vitamin E include avocados, vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, canola and olive oil. It is also found in wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds and other nuts.
- Folic acid: The insufficient intake of this vitamin may lead to several birth defects during pregnancy like spina bifida. Deficiency of folic acid may also lead to heart diseases, stroke and cancers. The best food sources of folic acid are leafy vegetables, strawberries, wheat germ, broccoli, asparagus, beans, whole grains and folic acid fortified cereals or breads.
- Iron: Iron prevents iron-deficiency anemia and supports the immune system. The best sources of iron are red meat, clams, egg yolks, fish and chicken. Iron is also found in fortified grains, legumes and cereals.
Vitamins are very essential for the body as they prevent the body from several diseases, which in turn help in healthy functioning of the organs. It is better to eat your vitamins directly, instead of taking vitamin pills. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
A cup of coffee or tea is not just enough to keep you alert throughout the day. They might be good for an early morning kick off. But you need a lot more in your diet to increase your concentration power.
Here’s a list of food items that work wonders in gifting you a focused mind:
- Coconut Oil: When it comes to your brain, coconut oil full of benefits, too. Coconut oil works as a natural anti-inflammatory, suppressing cells responsible for inflammation. It can help with memory loss as you age and destroy bad bacteria that hangs out in your gut.
- Dark Chocolate: It has been found that dark chocolate boosts the production of serotonin and endorphin. These are essential for increasing concentration. Dark chocolates are also useful antioxidants and are rich in vitamins, and minerals, including potassium and copper. It is believed by many that regular intake of cocoa improves the blood supply to the brain and thus increases concentration power.
- Blueberries: Are you fond of the tasty blueberries? There’s good news for you then. Blueberries are not just good for taste, they are memory boosters. According to a study published in 2010 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it has been found that people, who drank blueberry juice daily for two months, ended up having improved memory and concentration power.
- Egg Yolks: Yolks contain large amounts of choline, which helps in fetal brain development for pregnant women. It also breaks down bethane, a chemical that produces hormones related to happiness. That’s right, eggs can make you happy! If you’ve kept away from eating eggs whole because of cholesterol concerns, there’s good news. Studies show that eating eggs had no effect on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults and might, in fact, help raise good cholesterol levels.
- Walnuts: It turns out that eating walnuts can keep you from going nuts. Just munching on a few walnuts a day can improve your cognitive health. Their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals also improve mental alertness. The vitamin E in the nuts can also help ward off Alzheimer’s.
- Salmon: Believe it or not, but salmon improves your memory and concentration to a great extent. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is needed for rebuilding brain cells. Omega-3 is also good for enhancing the synapses in the brain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist and ask a free question.
Foods that you must eat to gear up your metabolism and they will help you lose weight:
- Protein rich foods: Protein rich foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds, could help increase your metabolism for a few hours. They do so by requiring your body to use more energy to digest them. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TEF refers to the number of calories needed by your body to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meals. Research shows that protein-rich foods increase TEF the most. Protein-rich diets also reduce the drop in metabolism often seen during weight loss by helping your body hold on to its muscle mass. What’s more, protein may also help keep you fuller for longer, which can prevent overeating.
- Iron, zinc and selenium rich foods: Iron, zinc and selenium each play different but equally important roles in the proper function of your body. However, they do have one thing in common: all three are required for the proper function of your thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism. Research shows that a diet too low in iron, zinc or selenium may reduce the ability of your thyroid gland to produce sufficient amounts of hormones. This can slow down your metabolism. To help your thyroid function to the best of its ability, include zinc, selenium and iron rich foods like meat, legumes, nuts and seeds in your daily menu.
- Chilli peppers: Capsaicin, a chemical found in Chilli peppers, may boost your metabolism by increasing the number of calories and fat you burn. Capsaicin may have appetite-reducing properties.
- Coffee: Studies report that the caffeine found in coffee can help increase metabolic rate by up to 11%. Furthermore, caffeine may also help your body burn fat for energy and seems especially effective at boosting your workout performance. However, its effects seem to vary from person to person, based on individual characteristics such as body weight and age.
- Tea: According to research, the combination of caffeine and catechins that’s found in tea may work to boost your metabolism. In particular, both oolong and green tea may increase metabolism by 4–10%. This could add up to burning an extra 100 calories per day. In addition, oolong and green teas may help your body use stored fat for energy more effectively, increasing your fat-burning ability by up to 17%. Nevertheless, as is the case with coffee, effects may vary from person to person.
- Legumes and pulses: Legumes and pulses, such as lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and peanuts, are particularly high in protein compared to other plant foods. Studies suggest that their high protein content requires your body to burn a greater number of calories to digest them, compared to lower-protein foods. Legumes also contain a good amount of dietary fiber, such as resistant starch and soluble fiber, which your body can use to feed the good bacteria living in your intestines. Legumes are also high in arginine, an amino acid that may increase the amount of carbs and fat your body can burn for energy. In addition, peas and lentils also contain substantial amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which may help increase the number of calories burned during digestion.
- Metabolism boosting spices: Certain spices are thought to have particularly beneficial metabolism-boosting properties. For instance, research shows that dissolving 2 grams of ginger powder in hot water and drinking it with a meal may help you burn up to 43 more calories than drinking hot water alone. This hot ginger drink also seems to decrease levels of hunger and enhance feelings of satiety. Similarly, adding cayenne pepper to your meal may increase the amount of fat your body burns for energy, especially following a high-fat meal. However, this fat-burning effect may only apply to people unaccustomed to consuming spicy foods.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar may increase your metabolism. In one study, mice given vinegar experienced an increase in the AMPK enzyme, which prompts the body to decrease fat storage and increase fat burning. In another study, obese rats treated with vinegar experienced an increase in the expression of certain genes, leading to reduced liver fat and belly fat storage. Apple cider vinegar help you lose weight in other ways, such as slowing stomach emptying and enhancing feelings of fullness. If you’d like to give apple cider vinegar a try, be careful to limit your daily consumption to two tablespoons (30 ml).
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is experiencing a surge in popularity. That may be partly because coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). This is contrary to most other types of fats, which usually contain higher amounts of long-chain fatty acids. Unlike long-chain fats, once MCTs are absorbed, they go directly to the liver to be turned into energy. This makes them less likely to be stored as fat. In addition, researchers report that a daily intake of 30 ml of coconut oil may successfully reduce waist size in obese individuals.
- Water: Drinking enough water is a great way to stay hydrated. Additionally, it seems that drinking water may also temporarily boost metabolism by 24–30%. About 40% of that increase may come from your body trying to match the water’s temperature to its own. Yet, the effects only seem to last for 60–90 minutes after drinking it and may vary from one person to another.
Your heart isn't one of the most important organs of your body, just like that. But it is nowadays, in constant danger with the rampant growth of heart disease, a leading cause of deaths around the world. Apart from your lifestyle choices, what you consume on a regular basis has a huge impact on the health of your heart. Unhealthy foods are the main reason the world is fatter and sicker than ever before. Surprisingly, some of these foods are considered healthy by many people.
Here are 6 health foods that are really junk foods in disguise:
- Processed 'Low-Fat' and 'Fat-Free' Foods: The 'war' on saturated fats is the biggest mistake in the history of nutrition. It was based on weak evidence, which has now been completely debunked. When this started, processed food manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon and started removing the fat from foods. But there is a huge problem, food tastes horrible when the fat has been removed. That's why they added a whole bunch of sugar to compensate. Saturated fat is harmless, but added sugar is incredibly harmful when consumed in excess. The words 'low-fat' or 'fat-free' on a packaging usually mean that it is a highly processed product that is loaded with sugar.
- Fruit Juices, Which are Basically Just Liquid Sugar: A lot of people believe fruit juices to be healthy. They must be, because they come from fruit, right? But a lot of the fruit juices you find in the supermarket isn't really fruit juice. Sometimes, there isn't even any actual fruit in there, just chemicals that taste like fruit. What you are drinking is basically just fruit flavoured sugar water. That being said, even if you are drinking 100% quality fruit juice, it is still a bad idea. Fruit juice is like fruit, except with all the good stuff (like the fibre) taken out, the main thing left of the actual fruit is the sugar. If you didn't know, fruit juice actually contains a similar amount of sugar as a sugar sweetened beverage.
- Heart Healthy & Whole Wheat: Most whole wheat products are not really made from whole wheat. The grains have been pulverized into very fine flour, making them raise blood sugar just as fast as their refined counterparts. In fact, whole wheat bread can have a similar glycemic index as white bread. But even true whole wheat may be a bad idea, because modern wheat is unhealthy as compared to the wheat our grandparents ate. There are studies showing that modern wheat may cause inflammation and increased cholesterol levels, at least when compared to the older varieties. Whereas, wheat may have been a relatively healthy grain back in the day, the stuff most people are eating today is best avoided.
- Margarine: Butter was demonized back in the day, due to the high saturated fat content. Various health experts started promoting margarine instead. Back in the day, margarine used to be high in trans fats. These days, it has less trans fats than before, but is still loaded with refined vegetable oils. Margarine is not a food, it is an assembly of chemicals and refined oils that have been made to look and taste like food. If you want to improve your health, eat real butter, but avoid processed margarine and other fake foods like the plague.
- Vegetable Oils: We are often advised to eat seed and vegetable oils. This includes Soybean oil, Canola oil and numerous others. This is based on the fact that these oils have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, at least in the short term. However, it is important to keep in mind that blood cholesterol is a risk factor and not a disease in itself. Even though vegetable oils can improve a risk factor, there is no guarantee that they will help prevent actual hard endpoints like heart attacks or death, which is what really counts. In fact, several controlled trials have shown that despite lowering cholesterol, these oils can increase the risk of death from both heart disease and cancer. So eat healthy, natural fats like ghee, cold pressed coconut oil, cold pressed sesame oil, cold pressed mustard oil and olive oil, but avoid processed vegetable oils as if your life depended on it (it does).
- Most Processed Breakfast Cereals: The way some breakfast cereals are marketed, is a disgrace. Many of them, including those that are marketed towards children, have all sorts of health claims plastered on the box. This includes misleading things like 'whole grain' or 'low fat'. But when you actually look at the ingredients list, you see that it is almost nothing, but refined grains, sugar and artificial chemicals. The truth is, if the packaging of a food says that it is healthy, then it probably is not. The truly healthy foods are those that do not need any health claims like whole, single ingredient foods. Real food doesn't even need an ingredient list, because real food is the ingredient.
I have gain lots of weight from some months. I want to decrease my weight. How can I do it without doing any diet?
My weight 65 kg. And I want to loose this so pleased success my dally diet plan. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and, dinner. And also success any drinks, yaa what you think maple syrup. And witch company. Please let me know about all thanks. Regards Kalpana Goswami.
I am unable to gain weight and I do a lot of exercise push ups but it's still same. Pls tell me how can I gain weight? And should I use the mass gainer ?
Belly fat is more than just a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight. Fat inside the belly area is also termed visceral fat, and it is seriously harmful. This type of fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, to name a few. Many health organizations use bmi (body mass index) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease. However, this is misleading. People with excess belly fat are at an increased risk, even if they look thin on the outside. Although losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess fat.
Here are 10 effective tips to lose belly fat.
1. Eat plenty of soluble fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system. Make an effort to consume high fiber foods every day. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include flaxseeds avocadoes, legumes and blackberries.
2. Avoid foods that contain trans fats
Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats such as soybean oil. They're found in some margarines and spreads, and they're also added to some packaged foods. These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain. To help reduce belly fat and protect your health read ingredients label carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated fats.
3. Don't drink too much alcohol
Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it is seriously harmful if you drink too much. Observational studies link heavy alcohol consumption with significantly increased risk of central obesity — that is, excess fat storage around the waist. Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don't need to give it up altogether if you enjoy it, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.
4. Eat a high-protein diet
Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight control. High protein intake increases release of the fullness hormone pyy, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness. Protein also raises your metabolic rate and helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss. Be sure to include a good protein source at every meal, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, whey protein or nuts.
5. Reduce your stress levels
Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. research shows high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage. What's more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds to fat gain around the middle. To help reduce belly fat, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods.
6. Don't eat a lot of sugary foods
Sugar contains fructose, which has been linked to several chronic diseases when consumed in excess. These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease observational studies show a relationship between high sugar intake and increased abdominal fat. It's important to realize that more than just refined sugar can lead to belly fat gain. Even healthier sugars (such as real honey) should be used sparingly.
7. Do aerobic exercise (cardio)
Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an effective way to improve health and burn calories. Studies also show it is one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat. However, results are mixed regarding whether moderate-intensity or high-intensity exercise is more beneficial.
8. Cut back on carbs, especially refined carbs
Reducing carb intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat. Diets with under 50 grams of carbs per day cause belly fat loss in overweight people, those at risk of type 2 diabetes and women with pcos. You don't have to follow a strict low-carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat. Consumption of whole grains are less likely to have excess abdominal fat than those who consumed diets high in refined grains.
9. Replace some of your cooking fats with coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. Studies show that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil may boost metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high calorie intake. To boost belly fat loss, it's best to take about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day, which is the amount used in most of the studies reporting good results. However, keep in mind that coconut oil is still high in calories. Instead of adding extra fat to your diet, replace some of the fats you are already eating with coconut oil.
10. Perform resistance training (lift weights)
Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass. Based on studies in people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, resistance training may also be beneficial for belly fat loss. A combination of strength training and aerobic exercise leads to the greatest decrease in visceral fat. If you decide to start weight lifting, it is a good idea to get advice from a certified personal trainer.