Can you eat white rice on a diet?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat white rice on a diet?” and discuss its benefits?

Can you eat white rice on a diet?

Yes, you can eat white rice on a diet. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you can eat white rice. There is a widespread belief that individuals should avoid carbohydrates, particularly white rice since it contributes to weight gain.

The main challenge of obesity treatment is not weight loss, but long-term weight loss maintenance. This widely accepted view is supported by several studies indicating that a healthy weight loss of 5%–10% can be achieved through both behavioral and pharmacological treatments, but weight is gradually regained in a large percentage of individuals (1).

There is little doubt that these beliefs or fears about carbohydrates would lead to weight gain or an unhealthy connection with food, and that stress may also contribute to obesity.

However, there are significant different consequences to health when consuming white rice and brown rice. The intake of whole grains, but not of refined grains, has also been reported to be associated with low body weight and adiposity. Studies revealed that switching the staple food of subjects with the metabolic syndrome from white rice to brown rice led to a decrease in body weight, systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels and improved the endothelial function (2). 

When it comes to white rice, no one is going to become fat unless they have a medical problem like diabetes, in which case they should visit their doctor or a medical expert. Otherwise, white rice is OK for everyone. However, excessive caloric intake can lead to obesity. It is widely accepted that increase in obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. In general, overweight and obesity are assumed to be the results of an increase in caloric and fat intake (3). 

It’s OK to eat white rice at any phase of your weight-loss or fat-loss plan, as well as merely to maintain a healthy diet. Just make sure that you include it into a meal that includes healthy fats and protein, such as ghee-coated dal and rice.

Things to keep in mind, please.

  • White rice does not cause you to gain weight; rather, it is stored as fat in the event that you consume more than your body needs.
  • Carbohydrates do not make you fat.
  • Block those who think carbohydrates cause obesity.
  • Moderation is the key to everything, and even the best foods in the world may hurt you if consumed in excess.

They are a wonderful fit for your body, are easy to digest, and maybe eaten when you are trying to lose weight.

When you consume more food than your body needs, it will be stored as fat, so eat wisely, don’t overeat, and have fun.

Studies show that each type of diet that results in overweight—diabetic individuals to eat less food and taking in less energy will initially result in weight loss, which in itself will lead to favorable metabolic and functional changes. In addition, there is also a plethora of studies that show that maintaining a relatively high-carbohydrate, low-glycemic–high-fiber diet results in favorable long-term effects (4).

Is White Rice a Good or a Bad Choice for Your Diet?

White rice is generally considered a bad choice by the health community. It’s been heavily processed and stripped of its hull, bran, and germ, all of which serve as protective outer layers (nutrient-rich core). 

Meanwhile, just the hull is removed from brown rice. So, white rice is deficient in a number of nutrients found in brown rice. There are certain situations, however, when white rice is preferable over brown rice. While white rice has a shelf life of years when kept in a cool, dark place, brown rice has a short shelf life of 3-6 months due to the presence of high lipid percentage in the bran layer resulting in quality deterioration due to lipid oxidation (5).

The two most popular varieties of rice, white and brown, have a common ancestry. A single brown rice grain contains the whole of the grain. Bran, germ, and endosperm make up the bulk of this food, which is high in fiber, nutrients, and carbohydrates.

White rice, on the other hand, has had the bran and germ removed, leaving just the endosperm. Once it has been treated, the flavor, shelf life, and cooking qualities are all improved. Most of the phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals are mostly confined in the bran layer and outer endosperm, while the endosperm part of the kernel is composed of starch (5).

White rice is known as an “empty carbohydrate” because of the nutrients it loses throughout the cooking process. The iron and B vitamins, such as folic acid, niacin, and thiamine, are often added to white rice in the United States and many other nations (6).

Increased Diabetes Risk May Be Associated with a Higher Glycemic Index Score

It is possible to calculate the glycemic index (GI) by looking at how quickly carbohydrates are converted into glucose in circulation. The GI is a ranking system that indicates how quickly a carbohydrate food raises blood glucose.

The scale goes from 0 to 100, and the labels are as follows:

  • a glycemic index (GI) of 55 or below is considered low.
  • a GI range 56 to 69 is considered moderate.
  • a GI of 70 to 100 is considered high (8)

Low-GI foods are preferable for patients with type 2 diabetes because they promote a gradual increase in blood sugar levels. Higher glycemic index (GI) meals may lead to sudden rises in blood sugar.

Both white  While white rice has a GI of and brown rice have the same Glycemic Index score of 64, brown rice has a glycemic index of 55 (7). As a consequence, white rice carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream faster than brown rice carbs. Because of this, white rice has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Researchers discovered that individuals who consumed the most white rice had a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who consumed the least. Type 2 diabetes was increased by 11% with each daily meal of rice (7).

Another research from Japan found that those who ate more white rice had an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, whereas those who consumed more brown rice had an even lower risk (2).

It Has Mixed Results When It Comes to Losing Weight

Because it lacks its bran and germ, white rice is considered a refined grain. Despite the many studies linking refined grain diets with weight gain and obesity, the evidence on white rice is mixed. When it comes to weight growth, belly fat, and obesity, some studies have linked a diet heavy in refined grains like white rice to these conditions, while others have shown no effect.

However, in large scale human observational studies among various populations, diets with a high glycaemic index or glycaemic load were associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (7).

White rice diets have also been demonstrated to aid weight reduction, particularly in nations where grain is a staple. For the most part, it seems that white rice has little effect on weight reduction.

To learn more about eating white rice on a diet click here

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

What can I substitute for cilantro in rice?

How Much Brown Rice is per Person

How long does rice last in the fridge?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat white rice on a diet?” and we discussed its benefits?


  1. Montesi, Luca, et al. Long-term weight loss maintenance for obesity: a multidisciplinary approach. Diab metab syndr obes targ ther, 2016, 9, 37. 
  2. Shimabukuro, Michio, et al. Effects of the brown rice diet on visceral obesity and endothelial function: the BRAVO study. Brit J Nutr, 2014, 111, 310-320.  
  3. Sahoo, Krushnapriya, et al. Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. J fam med prim care, 2015, 4, 187.
  4. Brouns, Fred. Overweight and diabetes prevention: is a low-carbohydrate–high-fat diet recommendable?. Euro j nutr, 2018, 57, 1301-1312.
  5. Mir, Shabir Ahmad, et al. A review on nutritional properties, shelf life, health aspects, and consumption of brown rice in comparison with white rice. Cereal Chem, 2020, 97, 895-903.  
  6. Batres-Marquez, S. Patricia, Helen H. Jensen, and Julie Upton. Rice consumption in the United States: recent evidence from food consumption surveys. J Am Diet Assoc, 2009, 109, 1719-1727. 
  7. Hu, Emily A., et al. White rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis and systematic review. Bmj, 2012, 344.  
  8. Ahmed, Jameel, Musarrat Riaz, and Rabia Imtiaz. Glycemic index and Glycemic load values. Pakistan J Med Sci, 2021, 37, 1246.