Is rice good for weight-loss?
This brief guide will answer the query “Is rice good for weight loss?”. It presents more information regarding the nutritional quality of different types of rice, some tips to achieve a healthier diet and how to incorporate rice in your meals.
Is rice good for weight-loss?
Yes, rice could be a good option for weight loss with an adequate management of your macronutrients (1,2). However, you should take into account several points, for example, you should maintain a varied diet, always including vegetables and meat, and brown rice could provide more fiber than white rice.
Why is rice good for weight-loss?
Rice is good for weight loss because it contains fiber, which could make you feel satiety after eating. So the rice is just one way to make you eat fewer calories. When you eat fewer calories and expend energy, your body will use your energy stores, and then you will see a gradual weight loss (2).
It is important to keep in mind that your body needs energy and many nutrients. You must eat a certain quantity of food to provide your body with energy and nutrients (3,4).
What is the optimal amount of macronutrients you should ingest?
There is no single answer for what is the optimal amount of macronutrients you should ingest for weight loss. In fact, this is still a matter of research among nutrition scientists (4). Nevertheless, there are general rules for different meal plans. You can look at them in the following table:
|Average diet (Food and Nutrition Board of the Institutes of Medicine)||45 – 65 %||20 – 35 %||10 – 35 %|
|Low-carbohydrate diet||15 – 20 %||70 %||10 – 15 %|
|Low-fat diet||75 %||10 %||15 %|
*Adapted from Manore (4) and Seid et al. (5)
Every person has different needs, so you should look for a nutrition specialist to discuss what would be yours.
As it is stated in the study of Cena et al. (6), a healthier diet contains every food group, fruits, vegetables, grains (cereals and legumes), and meats.
What is the carbohydrate and protein content in different types of rice?
The carbohydrate content in 1 cup (0.24 l) of cooked rice is: 44.2 g in white rice, 49.6 g in brown rice, and 34.9 g in wild rice; regarding fiber, white rice provides you the least amount of fiber (0.63 g) and brown and wild rice can give you around 2.95 and 3.12 g (7,8,9).
On the other hand, the protein in 1 cup (0.24 l) of cooked rice is: 4.22 g in white rice, 5.32 in brown rice, and 6.54 g in wild rice (7,8,9).
Which rice is Better for Weight Loss?
Brown rice and wild rice seem to be better than white rice for weight loss, mainly because they contain more fiber. This will increase your satiety, thus, it is probable that you eat fewer calories, favoring weight loss (2,10).
Another possible reason is because brown and wild rice contain much more micronutrients (iron and zinc) and antioxidants (like polyphenols and phytosterols), associated with better weight management (11).
How can you incorporate rice into a healthy weight loss diet?
You can incorporate rice into a healthy weight loss diet by combining it with different foods; making recipes like these with plenty of vegetables, lean meat, and doing regular exercise will help you reach your goals (6).
Remember to consult a nutrition expert to get professional advice on your specific needs.
What are the possible health risks of consuming rice for weight loss?
There are possible health risks of consuming rice for weight loss, the first one is a nutritional deficiency if you do not include variety in your diet. As mentioned before, your body needs energy and nutrients from other food sources like vegetables, fruits, and meat (6).
Regarding the quality of rice, sometimes it could be contaminated with potentially harmful components, like Arsenic. This is a metal that could be present in rice due to contaminated water. The best thing you can do to avoid Arsenic is washing your rice with a lot of water prior to cooking (12).
This brief guide answered the query “Is rice good for weight loss?”. It presented more information regarding the nutritional quality of different types of rice, some tips to achieve a healthier diet and how to incorporate rice in your meals.
- Ard JD, Rosati R, Oddone EZ. Culturally-sensitive weight loss program produces significant reduction in weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol in eight weeks. J Natl Med Assoc. 2000;92(11):515-523.
- Kim JY, Kim JH, Lee DH, Kim SH, Lee SS. Meal replacement with mixed rice is more effective than white rice in weight control, while improving antioxidant enzyme activity in obese women. Nutr Res, 2008;28(2):66–71.
- Alpert PT. The role of vitamins and minerals on the immune system. Home Health Care Manag Pract, 2017;29(3):199–202.
- Manore MM. Exercise and the Institute of Medicine recommendations for nutrition. Curr Sports Med Rep, 2005;4(4):193–8.
- Seid H, Rosenbaum M. Low carbohydrate and low-fat diets: What we don’t know and why we should know it. Nutrients, 2019;11(11):2749.
- Cena H, Calder PC. Defining a healthy diet: Evidence for the role of contemporary dietary patterns in health and disease. Nutrients, 2020;12(2):334.
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 27 Apr. 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1101625/nutrients
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. Usda.gov. [cited 27 Apr. 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1101631/nutrients
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. Usda.gov. [cited 27 Apr. 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168897/nutrients
- Jarrar AH, Beasley JM, Ohuma EO, Cheikh Ismail L, Qeshta DA, Mohamad MN, et al. Effect of high fiber cereal intake on satiety and gastrointestinal symptoms during Ramadan. Nutrients, 2019;11(4):939.
- Saleh ASM, Wang P, Wang N, Yang L, Xiao Z. Brown rice versus white rice: Nutritional quality, potential health benefits, development of food products, and preservation technologies. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf, 2019;18(4):1070–96.
- Kumarathilaka P, Seneweera S, Ok YS, Meharg A, Bundschuh J. Arsenic in cooked rice foods: Assessing health risks and mitigation options. Environ Int, 2019;127:584–91.