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How bad is white rice, really?


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I prefer brown rice to white, but my college's cafeteria only offers white rice. I eat it sometimes with beans, veggie stir-fry, etc. Does white rice have any redeeming qualities to it or is it just bad for you? 

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White rice is nutritionally void: most it's vitamins, minerals and fiber has been stripped. All that is left is the starch which digests fast and coverts quickly into glucose in your body which will cause a spike in blood sugar and leave you crashing soon after. The fiber in brown rice helps to slow the delivery of glucose into the blood stream so you don't get a dramatic high then low in blood sugar; instead you get a steady supply of energy and a feeling of fullness that will last much longer then white rice.

White rice will leave you hungry soon after eating it because it takes very little time for your body to break it down. The result is a sudden increase in energy followed by sluggishness, and cravings for more carb laden foods to get your blood sugar back up. The best way to beat cravings and help weight loss is to keep your blood sugar on an even keel constantly. 

That sudden spike in blood glucose is really only good if you eat white rice right before or after strenuous exercise. If those carbs are not used quickly there is a greater chance that they will be stored as fat. 

the redeeming quality of rice though is that it is hypo-allergenic; unlike gluten grains which can cause digestive problems and allergic reactions.

many asian cultures eat an abundance of rice, mainly white rice and they are generally very small, however in retrospect many americans eat an abundance of white rice/bread/pasta and they are not very small. Obviously there are many factors to this--- but thats is a whole other debate. 

When the British took charge in India, theymanaged to give a fair proportion of the population beri-beri. How? They made it socially desirable to eat white rice instead of brown. Beri-beri is a deficiency in one of the B vitamins contained, amongst other places, in the brown bits of brown rice. Not that it's too relevant these days, as eating generally balanced food will ensure you get enough B vitamins from other sources.

More to the point, how "brown" is your rice? I recently switched from generic "wholemeal rice" to "brown basmati rice" from our local supermarket. Why? Because the fibre content is about 60% higher. Now, that says to me that at least some of the fibre on the generic stuff has already been milled away, and the grains LOOK 'cleaner'. Oh, and the basmati rice is a teeny bit cheaper too :) . "Easy cook" rice is also worth avoiding, use the basic stuff. It takes a little more effort to cook, but the taste is quite a bit different.

Better than a bag of potato chips ? hahaha no I always think of the alternative, sure brown rice would be a better choice, but ita sometimes ore about convince, price ect

I dont like brown rice, and where I live it is a much more expensive  I would prefer to have 1 cup of white rice and eat rice maybe 1 or two days a week, than eat brown rice.

White rice is not bad. Previously mentioned GI effects of it are nonsense and blanket-statements, and it won't be stored as fat any easier than brown rice or bran or any other carb. Lots of misconceptions up in here.

You can't just call a food "bad" on the face of it outside the context of a daily diet and macro/micronutrients in that diet.

Nothing wrong with white rice..........billions eat it everyday. If that's all your diet consisted of, then we can talk.

I don't think it's bad, it's actually one of the few foods that doesn't make things worse when one gets, ahem, diarrhea.

And there are areas of the world were people base their diet on rice not wheat and they don't have an obesity epidemic.

It's like eating calories for no apparent reason... besides a quick burst of energy that won't last very long.

Original Post by ajaro:

White rice is not bad. Previously mentioned GI effects of it are nonsense and blanket-statements, and it won't be stored as fat any easier than brown rice or bran or any other carb. Lots of misconceptions up in here.

You can't just call a food "bad" on the face of it outside the context of a daily diet and macro/micronutrients in that diet.

 ^This...  When I lived in South Korea I saw an entire country living primarily on white rice.  Back in the early 80's when I was there, Korea was not the dynamo that it is today.  It was still a very agrarian society; much like the Korea you saw in movies depicting the Korean war (such as M*A*S*H).  The point is that white rice was still the bulk of their diet (before they adopted Western eating habits, to their detriment), and they flourished quite nicely before my very eyes.  Thin, strong, healthy and beautiful people.  White rice may not be as nutritious as brown, but it is still good food.

 

 

It's fine if there are beans in the diet too - apparently it's if you have meat and rice and not enough other items to replace the B vitamins - typical snobby Brits-know-better-than-the natives eating habits.

thhq
Sep 28 2011 19:43
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#11  
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It depends on circumstances. If we ate and lived the agrarian life, a diet consisting primarily of white rice would be very healthy. But for someone living a sedentary life who was obese and with high blood sugar, my experience was not healthy. A big plate of sushi or stir fry with a cup of white rice would send my blood glucose into the stratosphere. I've lost weight and no longer have a problem with it, though I don't eat nearly as much as I used to.

It's crap. Crap. crap. Don't bother. Eat wild rice or brown unprocessed rice. My dad used to (actually he probably still does, I just don't live at home anymore) make wild rice cooked in chicken stock, now that was GOOD!!!!

Original Post by giasbash6260:

It's crap. Crap. crap. Don't bother. Eat wild rice or brown unprocessed rice. My dad used to (actually he probably still does, I just don't live at home anymore) make wild rice cooked in chicken stock, now that was GOOD!!!!

lol

More then 3 billion people eat rice everyday and most of them are pretty heathy. It would be a good idea to eat some fruit and vegetables with your rice so you don't get scurvy Arrr ;)

If its good enough to be a staple in some of the worlds healthiest countries, it's good enough for me! It's true that isn't not super nutrient dense, but I quite enjoy it as a side dish and for me personally, keeps me full. Like all things in life, moderation is key!

If all you ever eat is white rice then you will end up lacking some important nutrients.  But if you combine it with other foods as part of a balanced meal it is perfectly healthy.

Not every food you eat has to be a superfood.

And thats that.

You will not die from eating white rice a few times a week. In fact it would be kind of disordered to refuse to eat what was served just because it "omg has WHITE rice/bread/pasta/etc.", eat as healthy as you can with the circumstances is what I always say, and always enjoy your food regardless.

Rice is like potato and flour (and most other starches).  It's mostly empty calories.  Rice has most of it's nutrients in the husk, which is removed to make white rice (the same as potatoes have most of their vitamins in the peel).  There are some nutrients in rice, especially the parboiled white rice which is partially cooked under high pressure before the husk is removed, thus driving some of the nutrients into the white kernel. 

But even with the husk still there (brown rice) there's not a lot of nutrients in rice.  It's mostly minerals such as iron and magnesium.  At least brown rice has fiber, which is contained only in the husk.

thhq
May 31 2013 13:30
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#19  
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No calorie is empty if you can digest it.

Minerals are necessary but they're not food.

White rice made me sick when I had diabetes. I was stupid and overate it over a long period. There are billions of people that DEPEND on white rice calories to survive. They are not eating empty calories.
Original Post by mollyfishstick:

Not every food you eat has to be a superfood.

And thats that.

You will not die from eating white rice a few times a week. In fact it would be kind of disordered to refuse to eat what was served just because it "omg has WHITE rice/bread/pasta/etc.", eat as healthy as you can with the circumstances is what I always say, and always enjoy your food regardless.

This. Oh my lawdy, this.

I eventually got to the point where I stopped eating foods I really enjoyed (I'm lookin' at you, sourdough bread) because it wasn't good enough. Not enough nutrients, too many empty calories, etc. Thank goodness I realized that not EVERY SINGLE FOOD that I eat has to be high nutrient.

I'm much happier now (and still the same weight).

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