Have a quick google on ‘healthy’ eating and you’ll likely find unlimited amounts of scaremongering and misinformation. The beginning of my career as a personal trainer, I got overwhelmed and had no idea what to believe. I fell into the trap of many nutrition dogmas, such as eating 6-8 meals will speed up your metabolism, we should all eat like a caveman, carbohydrates are evil and even at one point I swapped my beloved white rice for brown because it’s my ‘job’ to (mis)represent a healthy lifestyle.
Over the years my mission as a health and fitness coach is to make sure I provide solid based evi- dence to allow readers to learn and make sensible choices for themselves. Like many successful entrepreneurs, I only work with my strengths and outsource the rest, such as research reading to avoid pitfall on nonsense claims.
Boiled rice, fried rice, sticky rice, rice noodles, rice cakes, congee, rice soup, rice flour, rice wine, and never ending like counting a bag of grains.
“To the people of Asia, rice is not just food but a way of life.”
Now for the million dollar question.
Should we swap white rice for brown to benefit our health?
Many of us know that brown rice contains more fibre and have less of an immediate impact on blood sugar. However, the differences are surprisingly moderate it’s almost irrelevant; especially if we’re looking at it from a health and body composition point of view.
Unrefined brown rice does contain greater mineral content (manganese, selenium, copper, mag- nesium) but does not assume the body will absorb in greater amounts. This is due to the contain- ing phytic acid in brown rice which binds otherwise useful minerals and prevents their absorption.
One last point I would like to briefly mention is the concern of the glycemic index (GI) since white rice is considered high (blood sugar) according to the chart. The value is measured by only con- suming a carbohydrate source after an overnight fast. So eating white rice first thing in the morning will give us an accurate reading; but in a realistic scenario, it’s unlikely that would be the case without including some sources of protein, fat and fibre like in a typical complete meal.!
The bottom line;
Brown rice isn’t so much greater nor is white rice evil. It should start from personal preference. ! So I eat white rice for the taste and the bunch of nutrients are from a medium rare 8oz sirloin steak served with roasted buttery vegetables as an example. If you prefer brown rice and worried about the phytic acid, there are ways to get around it such as overnight soaking and fermentation. Mod- eration is really the key so enjoy whichever one you prefer.
Disclaimer: Rice is fine for most people, but I wouldn’t recommend if you suffer with blood sugar issues (diabetes) or an auto immune disorder without seeking professional advice.