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Is Rice Good for Weight Loss? Brown Rice vs. White Rice
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Is Rice Good for Weight Loss? Brown Rice vs. White Rice

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 22, 2022
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4 min

Is rice good for weight loss? You will learn all you need to know about types of rice for weight loss, whether you can eat rice every day, how it can help you lose weight, and how to cook rice that’s delicious and healthy.

Is rice good for weight loss

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Rice is one of the most popular foods around the world as it is tasty and easy to cook. But is it a healthy choice when you are on a diet?

It’s time to redefine what properties make rice good for weight loss and a healthy diet. Whether you prefer white or brown, cooked or fried rice, you must know how it adds value to your calorie intake.

In this article, you can find everything you need to know about rice and how it can promote weight loss and improve your gut function.

Is Rice Good for Weight Loss?

White rice is too rich in carbs to be part of a weight loss diet; instead, brown rice is definitely a better choice because it has a high fiber content.

You can have brown rice in your diet as long as you don’t go over your daily calorie limit. It’s recommended that for weight loss, women consume 1,500 calories, and men consume 1,800 calories.

It is also true that carbs affect your weight directly, and brown rice typically has a lot of them. For example, a keto diet allows you to have no more than 50 grams of carbs a day, and brown rice has 25.6g of carbs in 100g.

But it’s not just calories that matter. Remember, you need to feed your body protein and fiber so that it burns fat while preserving your muscle mass. Thus, to lose weight, it’s best to choose brown rice and maintain strict portion control.

What Is Rice?

Rice is an edible starchy grain that is rich in folic acid, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, selenium, fiber, iron, and zinc. It has high carbohydrate content and calories.

Rice has the powerful property of indirectly promoting a healthy lifestyle without you noticing much change because it is typically eaten with healthy foods like vegetables, fish, and seafood. Recipe options are endless, and it is one of the easiest whole grains on the wallet.

If left unpolished, rice can be a good source of nutrients and dietary fiber, boost your metabolism, and cleanse your gut. Eating brown rice can help you in weight loss while also keeping your digestive system healthy, so you’ll have radiant skin, hair, and nails.

How many calories does rice have?

One cup of white long-grain rice contains 205 calories, whereas a recommended portion size is a 1/3 cup, which is only 68 calories. Meanwhile, the same amount of brown rice contains 82 calories.

People who consume rice regularly reported feeling more energetic and craving fewer fattening foods than those who don’t, according to a national survey

Consider brown rice with veggies for dinner to avoid late-night snacks and get half of your manganese requirement, which is crucial in fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism.

Types of Rice

Rice comes in all kinds and colors: white, black, purple, red, and brown. However, white rice is certainly the most popular one. Brown rice, on the other hand, is the most nutritious. 

From aromatic long-grain basmati rice that’s great for Indian hot dishes to soft and sticky jasmine rice that’s great with Thai cuisine, you’re spoilt for choice. However, regardless of its origin and extra flavor, you can only find three types of rice grain: refined, unpolished, and pigmented.

#1 Refined

A rice grain is originally brown, but once you peel away its outer layer, the white starch endosperm full of carbohydrates is all that remains. Large amounts of refined grains can send your blood sugar levels through the roof and adversely affect your body weight.

#2 Unpolished

Compared to white rice, brown rice contains a lot of fiber, certain B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Studies say brown rice helps lower blood sugar and blood pressure as well as control weight because it is not easily digested.

#3 Pigmented

Black, purple or red rice may help prevent breast cancer and diabetes because they contain a phytochemical called anthocyanins. They have the most precious nutrients but also are rare to find.

There is also the so-called wild rice which is also very high in nutrients and can aid greatly in losing weight and fighting heart disease. However, technically it is grass that has properties of whole grains.

How Much Rice Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?

Given that it is under 25% of your total calorie allowance, you can have whole-grain rice every day if you do not have any other grains on your menu.

Generally, nutrient-dense whole grains should make up one-quarter of your plate, followed by protein-rich foods and veggies with a little bit of fruit. The recommended amount of grains per day is 6 ounces, at least half of which should be whole grains, such as unrefined rice.

Losing weight, however, requires eating less than you burn. So if you’re on a low-calorie diet, rice might not be your thing, and you’d have to choose foods with minimal calories.

Does Rice Make You Gain Weight?

Rice has a lot of carbs, so it might lead to weight gain. However, you can safely consume rice, especially brown ones, as long as you do not exceed your daily caloric intake and practice portion control.

Rather than the rice itself, it’s eating white rice paired with fat foods that’s bad for you. As a rule, people gain weight when they burn fewer calories than they consume.

If your goal is to gain weight, you can eat white rice every day as it helps to do so safely and quickly.

FAQs

Is white rice healthy?

White rice is a highly processed food full of empty carbohydrates, which is not healthy. The poor nutritional value of refined white rice also makes it detrimental to weight loss.

Is it OK to eat rice every day?

So long as your body mass index is normal, you can safely consume whatever type of rice you like every day. If you are trying to lose weight, however, you should limit the amount of rice you consume to maintain a reasonable calorie deficit.

Which type of rice is the healthiest?

Whole-grain brown, black, and red rice provide the highest nutritional value and health benefits compared to white rice.

Tips on How to Cook Rice

You should follow a few rules when cooking rice to get the most out of your meal.

  1. Instead of saturated fat, use healthy fats. Cooked brown rice and vegetables are what you should eat more often. However, avoid pairing it with fatty food like pork or beef. Also, choose olive or coconut oil instead of sauces like mayonnaise.
  2. Make rice dishes with fiber and protein. Meals with brown rice and beans have a lot of fiber and are not easily digestible, which is good for your gut.
  3. Serve it with some non-starchy vegetables such as carrot, broccoli, or pepper. That’ll give you the nutrition you’re missing from rice at almost zero calories.
  4. After you have cooked rice, let it cool off, so it doesn’t raise your blood sugar. In cooled-down rice, resistant starch is high and doesn’t raise blood glucose. Besides that, it helps you feel full, prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol, and reduces colon cancer risk.

Conclusion

Rice isn’t the best food for weight loss because it’s high in carbs. You can, however, choose whole-grain brown rice as a healthy source of staple carbohydrates and important nutrients.

As part of your healthy eating habits, brown rice is important for both weight control and health reasons. It can even reduce your risk of developing certain diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

What makes brown rice good for every healthy meal is that it is easy to find and easy to prepare with lots of recipes. It adds variety to the diet while keeping you full for hours.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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