Is rice healthy for you

Rice has is a staple food item in Indian cuisine. However, many of you choose to avoid rice thinking that it will add kilos to your waist. There have been conflicting views about rice because of its high starch content but is it all that bad? Let us discuss and address some of the common queries about rice that most people are concerned about.

What is rice made of?

To make up your mind about anything, you first need to know the basics of it as blindly following a fad won’t do you and your body any good. Rice is a cereal grain and is a staple food for nearly half of the population of the world. There are different varieties of rice like – brown, red, black, white and purple rice and all differ in their nutrition content. White rice is rich in complex carbohydrates like starch and does not provide complete nutrition. Hence, one needs to complement rice with something else in order to provide adequate nutrition to the body. You may also want to know the calorie count of rice.

Why do we eat rice when we are sick?

A common practice in many Indian homes is to offer a meal of rice and dal, curd rice or khichdi to anyone who falls sick. The prime reason this is done is because rice is easy to digest and light. It can be broken down easily by our bodies and provides instant energy. This way, the sick person can feel full and not worry about indigestion. But one thing to note is that though it makes you feel full, it raises the blood sugar levels in the body and once it is digested, it also makes the person hungrier quickly.

How many times in a week should one eat rice?

Expert nutritionist Neha Chandnaopines that one can eat rice every day depending on one’s weight and weight loss goals. In case you are on a weight loss diet, you can have rice two times a week making sure you have a plate of salad along with it to make up for the lack of fibre in white rice. If you are on a weight gain diet, you can have rice daily with some boiled potato/ sweet potato salad.

When is the right time to eat rice – lunch or dinner? Why?

‘I suggest my clients to keep rice as an option for lunch as your metabolism is higher during lunch than dinner helping you use up the carbohydrates from rice for energy which might not be the case during dinner as it may get stored as fats,’ says Neha. Also, read if it is healthy to eat rice for lunch and dinner.

Is brown rice better than white rice? 

Brown rice is higher in nutrients like vitamin B and fibre than polished white rice. It also helps you feel fuller for a longer time preventing overeating, hunger pangs and weight gain. It is a boon for rice lovers who are on a weight loss programme. Brown rice is also good for diabetics due to its high fibre content. Here are 6 reasons why brown rice is better for you. Also, try this healthy brown rice methi pulao.

It is essential to understand that white rice does have its own set of benefits and eating it or not depends on one’s body. Highly overweight people should avoid it or keep it the portion size to a minimum. Always remember the golden rule to eating healthy is to have a balanced meal at the right time.

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Published : February 2, 2015 3:00 pm | Updated:February 4, 2015 10:56 pm