Category Archives: white rice
Posted by angiemabute in food, health.
The human body was never meant to consume rice! You see, our genes have
hardly changed in more than 30,000 years. However, our food choices and
lifestyle have changed dramatically. The caveman would hardly recognize
our food or way of life.
Caveman food was never cooked as fire was not yet tamed. Thus, he ate
only those foods that he can eat without treatment with or by fire. He
ate fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts and meat. Yes, even meat. You
can even eat meat raw if you were starving in the forest. You have the
necessary enzymes to digest meat.
However, rice – like wheat and corn – cannot be eaten raw. It must be
cooked. Even if you were starving in the desert, you cannot eat rice in
the raw form. This is because we do not have the system of enzymes to
break rice down. We were never meant to eat rice. To make matters
we not only eat rice, but also make it the bulk of our food.
In some parts of Asia , rice forms up to 85% of the plate. Even if we
take rice, let’s keep it to a minimum. Remember, it is only for our
tongue… not our body. Actually, rice and other grains like wheat and
corn are actually worse than sugar. There are many reasons:
Rice becomes sugar – lots of it!
This is a fact that no nutritionist can deny: rice is chemically no
different form sugar. One bowl of cooked rice is the caloric equivalent
of 10 teaspoons of sugar. This does not matter whether the rice is
white, brown or herbal rice. Brown rice is richer in fibre, some B
vitamins and minerals… but it is still the caloric equal of 10
teaspoons of sugar. To get the same 10 teaspoons of sugar, we need to
consume lots of kangkong… 10 bowls of it.
Rice is digested to become sugar.
Rice can be digested only when it is thoroughly cooked. However, when
thoroughly cooked, it becomes sugar and spikes circulating blood sugar
within half an hour… almost as quickly as it would if we took a sugar
candy. Rice is very low in the “rainbow of anti-oxidants” .
This complete anti-oxidant rainbow is necessary for the effective and
safe utilization of sugar. Fruits come with a sugar called fructose.
However, they are not empty calories as the fruit is packed with a
host of other nutrients that help its proper assimilation and
Rice has no fibre.
The fibre of the kangkong fills us up long before our blood sugar
spikes. This is because the fibre bulks and fills up our stomach. Since
white rice has no fibre, we end up eating lots of “calorie dense” food
before we get filled up. Brown rice has more fibre but still contains
the same amount of sugar.
Rice is tasteless.
Sugar is sweet. There is only so much that we can eat at one sitting.
How many teaspoons of sugar can we eat before we feel like throwing up?
Could you imagine eating 10 teaspoons of sugar in one seating?
Rice is always the main part of the meal.
While sugar may fill our dessert or sweeten our coffee, it will never
the main part of any meal. We could eat maybe two to three teaspoons of
sugar at one meal. However, we could easily eat the equal value of two
to three bowls (20 – 30 teaspoons) of sugar in one meal. I am always
amused when I see someone eat sometimes five bowls of rice (equals 50
teaspoons of sugar) and then asks fo tea or coffee without sugar!
There is no real “built in” mechanism for us to prevent over-eating of
How much kangkong can we eat? How much fried chicken? How much steamed
fish? Think about that! In one seating, we cannot take lots of chicken,
fish or cucumber, but we can take lots of rice. Eating rice causes us
eat more salt.
As rice is tasteless, we tend to consume more salt… another villain
when it comes to high blood pressure control. We tend to take more
that has salt to help flavor the rice. We also tend to consume more
ketchup and soy sauce which are also rich in salt.
Eating rice causes us to drink less water.
The more rice we eat, the less water we will drink as there is no
mechanism to prevent the over-eating of rice. Rice, wheat and corn come
hidden in our daily food. As rice is tasteless, it tends to end up in
other foods that serve as rice substitutes. .. like rice flour, noodles
and bread. We tend to eat the hidden forms which still get digested
sugar. Rice, even when cooked, is difficult to digest.
Can’t eat raw rice? Try eating rice half cooked. Contrary to popular
belief, rice is very difficult to digest. It is “heavy stuff”. If you
have problems with digestion, try skipping rice for a few days. You
be amazed at how the problem will just go away.
Rice prevents the absorption of several vitamins and minerals.
Rice when taken in bulk will reduce the absorption of vital nutrients
like zinc, iron and the B vitamins.
Are you a rice addict?
Going riceless may not be easy, but we can still go riceless. Eating
less rice could be a lot easier than we think. Here are some strategies
that we can pursue in our quest to eat less rice:
1. Eat less rice – Cut your rice by half. Barry Sears, author of the
Zone Diet, advises “eating rice like spice”. Instead, increase your
fruits & vegetables intake.
2. Take more lean meats and fish.
3. You can even take more eggs and nuts. Have “riceless” meals. Take no
rice or wheat at say, breakfast. Go for eggs instead.
4. Go on “riceless” days – Go “western” once a week. Take no rice and
breads for one day every week! That can’t be too difficult. Appreciate
the richness of your food. Go for taste, colors and smells. Make eating
a culinary delight. Enjoy your food in the original flavors.
5. Avoid the salt shaker or ketchup. You will automatically eat less
6. Eat your fruit dessert before your meals . The fibre-rich fruits
“bulk up” in your stomach. Thus, you will eat less rice and more
White rice has a higher glycaemic index than brown rice
Replacing white rice with brown rice and wholemeal bread could cut the risk of diabetes by a third, US experts say.
White rice poses a diabetes threat because it causes steep rises in blood sugar, say Harvard researchers in Archives of Internal Medicine.
Brown rice and other wholegrain foods are a healthier option as they release glucose more gradually, they say.
The study is based on questionnaires; some say the data is not robust enough to base firm conclusions on.
It may be that people who eat less white rice tend to live healthier lifestyles, for example.
‘Brown is better’
In the study of nearly 200,000 US people, white rice consumption was linked to type 2 diabetes.
After adjusting for age and other diabetes risk factors, those who ate five or more 150g servings of white rice per week had a 17% increased risk of diabetes compared with people who consumed less than one serving – about a cup of rice – per month.
Although few people – only 2% – in the study ate this much white rice, the finding was significant.
Continue reading the main story
The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is by keeping active and eating a healthy balanced diet that is low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables
Dr Victoria King
Yet eating brown rice appeared to have the opposite effect, cutting the risk of type 2 diabetes.
People who ate two or more servings of brown rice per week had an 11% reduced risk of developing the condition compared with those who ate less than one serving a month.
Based on the results, the researchers estimate that replacing 50g or one-third of a typical serving of white rice with the same amount of brown rice would lead to a 16% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
And replacing the white rice with wholegrains, including brown rice and pasta, wholemeal bread and rolled oats, could cut the risk by more than a third.
Dr Qi Sun and other researchers say the explanation lies in the composition of the food.
Like other wholegrain foods, brown rice is high in fibre and releases its energy slowly.
In contrast, white rice has had all the bran and some of the germ removed during milling.
This gives white rice a higher glycaemic index (GI) – a measure of how much a food raises blood sugar levels compared with the same amount of glucose or white bread.
“From a public health point of view, replacing refined grains such as white rice by whole grains, including brown rice, should be recommended to facilitate the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” according to the researchers.
Experts generally recommend that at least half of carbohydrate intake should come from whole grains like brown rice.
More than 70% of the rice consumed in developed countries such as the US and UK is white.
Dr Victoria King of Diabetes UK said that, since the results were from self-reported food diaries and questionnaires, it was not possible to make conclusive recommendations on how much of certain foods, such as brown rice, might protect against type 2 diabetes at this stage.
“The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is by keeping active and eating a healthy balanced diet that is low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables,” she said