Rice has become a very controversial food in the last few years. There are some nutritionists who call it empty calories and do not recommend it, while others say that rice is safe in moderation. However, we need to consider that many diets around the world are mainly made up of rice. So, is eating rice healthy?
Rice is Healthy
Generally, rice is healthy. However, it is different from other grains, which can be an issue for many people. Rice has been modified over the years, but not to the same extent as wheat and other grains.
The amount of rice that is considered healthy depends on the foods that you are pairing with it and your lifestyle. Pairing rice with vegetables, or meat as a side dish is a healthy option. However, eating rice on its own is not highly recommended because it takes a lot to fill you up.
White or Brown Rice
Many people consider brown rice to be the healthier option, but white rice could be a healthier choice. Like other grains, rice contains a level of anti-nutrients like phytates. This is not a major problem when you are eating a balanced diet since you can get extra nutrients from other foods.
The reason that white rice could be the healthier option is that the bran is removed. This is what makes the rice ‘white’ instead of brown. The bran is the home of many phytates, so this makes white rice easier to digest.
Brown rice does have more nutrients overall. However, most of the nutrients are not available to us because the bran makes brown rice hard to break down.
Is There Arsenic in Rice?
In the early 2000’s, many people gave up eating rice because of research that was released that showed there could be arsenic in rice. In testing, brown rice had higher levels than white rice. However, since that time no new research has been released with updated stats since many pesticides have been banned.
If you are worried about arsenic, think about making the switch to other types of white rice like basmati and jasmine. You can also reduce the arsenic levels by rinsing the rice before cooking it.
Rice is Gluten Free
One of the reasons why rice has become popular is that it is gluten free. Rice can be used to make many gluten free products, including flour. It is also a great option for people who are looking to cut down on the amount of carbs that they are eating. White rice is one of the easiest to digest carbs and can be paired with other low carb foods to make amazing dishes.
Rice is a unique grain and is generally very healthy. The amount that is healthy does depend on the person and their diet. Rice in many areas of the world is a staple food due to its price and availability. The bad name that rice has gotten for the last few years is from it being a grain, and a carb based food. Overall, rice is healthy and a good staple food in most diets.