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Rice is a staple food that is widely consumed in most parts of the world but, even so, it is one of the most misunderstood foods out there with many myths attached to it.
A “fact” you might know about rice consumption could be false. Here are a few popular rice misconceptions that are actually just a myth.
Fact: When most people want to lose weight, they will cut out high-carb foods. More often than not, rice will also be excluded from their diet because trending fad diets today often spread the notion that rice is fattening.
However, rice is low in fat and is cholesterol-free. Eating rice is a good source of energy because of the carbohydrates present in it, and the carbs help the body carry out its functions and everyday growth and repair.
As with any food, it is important to eat rice in controlled or limited quantities and not in excess to avoid weight gain or spikes in blood pressure, as white rice especially has a high glycemic index that can cause spikes in blood pressure when too much of it is eaten.
Fact: Rice is prebiotic. Enzymes secreted in the human digestive tract are good at digesting rice and it helps in keeping a strong gut and constipation at bay.
This myth mainly comes from brown or red rice, which both go through minimum processing and thus have a higher fiber content. While this does mean it will take a little more time to digest in comparison to white rice, one cup of cooked rice during your meal won’t cause indigestion.
Fact: The idea that rice, especially sticky rice, contains gluten is widely held, but rice is actually gluten-free and is the most non-allergenic among other grains. So for people with celiac disease or other forms of gluten intolerance, eating rice is completely safe.
Fact: A common misconception about brown rice is that it is healthier than white rice. While the nutrient content in brown rice is naturally high, packed with vitamins and minerals, amino acids, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium, rice ultimately gets broken down into glucose in the gastrointestinal tract like any other carb.
Since brown rice has high fiber content, it is often promoted more to consume by fitness experts. But overeating brown rice can actually hinder the absorption of certain minerals in the body due to excessive fiber content.
Fact: Many people believe that eating rice for dinner makes you fat or compromises digestion. However, rice is easy to digest and helps improve sleep quality as it increases leptin sensitivity.
Leptin is made by fatty tissue that regulates fat storage in the body. Moreover, carb-rich food is completely safe to eat at night because they get metabolized into glucose. Carbs are readily converted into glucose at night whereas, during the day, it readily converts into fat.
Fact: Protein is the second-most abundant nutrient found in rice. A cup of white rice contains 3-4 grams of protein. The quality of rice protein is also very high compared to other grains, so if you’re looking to eat food with protein, consider including some rice in your diet.
Fact: Rice naturally has very low sodium content and is considered a superfood. For people watching their sodium intake, rice is a very safe option to eat.
There are many myths about rice that are widely believed, but this food is very good for you and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. The most important thing to keep in mind is to consume rice as you would any other food – in moderation. So with that in mind, don’t be afraid of having some rice with your next meal.
As with all foods, eating something in excess or without variation is never good. While brown rice is high in fiber and rich in other minerals, it also contains phytic acid which reduces the body’s ability to absorb iron and zinc in food, and also has higher levels of arsenic than white rice. While brown rice can be very good for you, too much of it will make certain cons outweigh the benefits.