Rice is a staple food in most of the households especially those that live in Asia. Unfortunately, rice is associated with some undesirable health features and even inhibits proper absorption of minerals and vitamins. As a result, a section of the population has switched to a no rice diet. To know the main reason behind their decision to abstain from rice diets, just read on.
Just as eating one certain food won’t guarantee weight loss, eliminating a specific food doesn’t equal an easy fix when it comes to weight management. Any food, in moderation, can be a part of your weight-loss strategy, as long as you limit your calories. If you emphasize healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, while monitoring your calorie intake, you can easily incorporate rice without sabotaging your weight-loss goal. But in many instances rice has been a problem with weight management. And simply eliminating this grain has helped some to lose weight.
There are many different types of rice like red, black, brown and white rice. None of the rice types is so good to make you abandon the no rice diet plan. Since we cannot discuss all the types of rice at once, we shall look at the two most popular types of rice first: brown rice vs white rice.
What determines the color of rice
Naturally, the color of the bran determines color of the rice. The germ on the other hand determines the color of the bran. So, brown rice has a brown germ, and black rice has a black germ. After removing the bran and the germ, what remains is the white rice. Thus, the end product of processing black, brown, or red rice is white rice.
Brown rice has its husk removed but still has the bran. On further processing which removes the bran, endosperm/ embryo, and the germ, the brown rice turns to white. Even up to that point we can see that white rice doesn’t have a majority of the nutrients that you might expect to get in rice. This does not give the brown rice any advantage since it, contains Phytates that inhibit minerals and nutrients absorption. Arsenic in brown rice is another thing that puts it out as our meal option.
Putting those factors into consideration, the best solution is to switch to no rice diet and try to supplement your diet with other foods better than rice.
How bad is white rice that makes a no rice diet a better option?
As we have mentioned before rice is not naturally white, it’s the processing activities that remove the color. Processing removes more than 95% of rice color as well as a significant number of minerals and nutrients. The main cons associated with white rice that makes even a no rice diet better are as follows:
White rice has no bran nor germs:
Bran is the nutritious whole grain section. The germ, on the other hand, is the part that gives rice germination capability. As you might have guessed, this part of the grain contains proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates since it is the first source of food after germination when the seed dies. Removing this part gives the rice a longer shelf life, but it robs the grain of essential minerals and nutrients. Thus eating rice without the germ and the bran is just like eating sugar in its raw state.
It’s an empty source of calories:
Empty calorie foods are those that just as the name suggests are rich in calories but empty on everything else. These are the foods you should avoid because they do not contribute to your overall well being. You will require carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, fats, and a bunch of other micronutrients. In a bid to get all those while you have already consumed empty calories, you might end up with more calories than you require. The consequence of such is definitely weight gain.
While it’s a good idea to monitor your calories from rice, your overall caloric intake plays the most significant role in weight loss. Too many calories from any source, rice included, can prevent you from reaching your weight -goals. Ultimately, you need to consume 500 to 1,000 calories fewer than you burn each day to support weight loss of up to 2 lb. per week. Rice is high on the glycemic index and can spike your blood sugar levels and you body’s insulin response, leading to weight gain.
It increases the risk of developing diabetes due to its high glycemic index:
GI is the measure of how carbohydrates foods affect the blood sugar levels. Both brown rice and white rice have high glycemic index considering that brown rice has 55 while white rice has approximately 65. These figures are a threat to those with diabetes and a health hazard to those who don’t have. As such; a no rice diet is better than a rice diet if you want to stay safe as far as GI influences are concerned.
White rice and weight gain
Unhealthy weight gain results from eating more calories than your body requires. In today’s world majority of the population spend their days working in the office and don’t exercise after work. Putting this together with the eating habits, the probability of gaining weight is really high. Eating habits also contribute to weight gain.
One of the common foods people eat is white rice. The nutritional composition of rice is approximately 90% carbohydrates, 8% protein, and 2% fat. A cup of white rice contains approximately 210 calories. On average a normal man requires 2200 to 3000 calories while women require 1800 to 2400 calories per day. This definitely depends on the activity level.
From the above data, one cup of rice supplies more than 10% of your daily calorie requirements. Remember that a healthy diet needs to be balanced. Thus, considering, that white rice has little nutritional value but high levels of calories, we can classify it as an empty calorie.
As a result, we have to eat a balanced diet that is almost the same as if we never ate anything before. Now factoring in the fact that we can even eat two cups of rice per day, there is a real need for a no rice diet to fully eliminate those empty calories that add no nutritional value to us. Aim at consuming a diet that supplies all the nutrients in modernity.
Is brown rice the better option to ditch the no rice diet?
Brown rice is high in nutritional values since the endosperm and the bran are not removed. These contain high levels of proteins, vitamins, and fibers. However, the bran and generally most of the outer part of the grain has high levels of Phytates which inhibits the absorption of mineral and nutrients. For example, these antinutrients reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron and zinc. Phytates also works against pepsin which is an important enzyme in the breakdown of proteins and secretion of amylase.
The brown rice also contains arsenic which is a toxin. Its concentration is 80% higher than in white rice. These toxins are associated with chronic diseases such as cancer, hypertension, and diabetes. Brown rice contains high levels of tungsten, cadmium, and lead.
How to get started on a no rice diet:
If you are used to taking rice more often, you might think that there are no alternatives to rice diets. That is not the case, but the best solution is to visit your nutritionist and get the relevant advice to avoid messing up with your dieting.
Another viable option of shifting slowly to a no rice diet is consuming it as a cheat option once or twice in a week. It is hard to stop something you have done for long at once. Thus, to cheat your cues, you can be consuming one or two cups of rice weekly but aim at cutting consumption of rice at the end.
Another alternative to getting started with a no rice diet is eating what you like. There is always at diet that makes you look forward to the next time you will eat it. When the urge to eat rice comes up, look for that meal that makes you satisfied. You can treat yourself to a snack too.
The final take:
Adopt a no rice diet as a measure to control weight gain or accelerate weight loss. However, never make a mistake of adopting a no rice diet and then embarking on other foods that have more calories than rice and expect to lose weight. If you get confused on the best course of action to take after a no rice diet plan; visit your dietician and get relevant advice on how to move forward in order to achieve your goals.
References and sources used:
- Anon, (n.d.) Arsenic In Your Food Investigated – Consumer Reports. [Online] Available at: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/arsenic-in-your-food/index.htm.
- sg. (2018). Brown rice vs White Rice: What's the difference?. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.sg/factually/content/brown-rice-vs-white-rice-whats-the-difference [Accessed 31 Mar. 2018].
- Nerd Fitness. (2018). Is Rice Healthy For Me? Does White vs Brown Rice Matter?. [online] Available at: https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/is-rice-healthy-for-me-does-white-vs-brown-rice-matter_v_coaching/ [Accessed 31 Mar. 2018].