Is the rice diet good for weight-loss?

This brief guide will answer the query “Is the rice diet good for weight-loss?”. It presents more information regarding the carbohydrate and protein in different types of rice, and some tips to achieve a healthier diet with rice.

Is the rice diet good for weight-loss?

Well, the more accurate answer is no; you definitely will lose weight with the rice diet, but it is extremely risky for the lack of nutrients. Consuming only rice will provide you with nothing but carbohydrates, incomplete proteins, and some amount of fiber (1,2). 

Why can rice promote weight-loss?

Rice can promote weight loss because it contains fiber. Since fiber is not digestible, and it slows your gastric emptying, you will be more likely to eat less food throughout the day. Finally, this will lead you to eat fewer calories and achieve weight loss (2).

However, your body and metabolism do not need only energy, it needs many other nutrients from all group foods like meats, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (3,4).

What are the risks of doing a Rice Diet?

The main risk of doing a Rice Diet is protein malnutrition. Protein malnutrition will deplete your energy storage and then your body will need to use your muscles as an energy source (5). 

This can have severe health consequences like limited growth in the case of children, increase the risks of illness, and even damage to some organs like liver or kidneys (5).

Moreover, Rice does not provide you with all micronutrients. Rice is mainly a source of thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin E, zinc, phosphorus, and calcium. The deficiency in other important vitamins like A and D could produce loss of eyesight and increase risk of osteoporosis (6).

Moreover, the deficiency in minerals like Iron and Selenium can produce anemia or immunological suppression, respectively. In the case of Selenium, this could increase the risk of having cancer and neurological impairment (7).

Do all rice have the same content in carbohydrate and protein?

No, you will find fewer proteins in white rice; in the same way, it is the rice that has the fewest fiber. Brown rice and Wild Rice have more protein and fiber, and in the case of Wild Rice, it also has more protein. This is because white rice does not have the husk, where most of the nutrients are concentrated (8,9,10). 

A cup (0.24 l) of cooked rice will provide you with the following nutrients: 

Protein (g)Carbohydrates (g)Fiber (g)
White Rice4.2244.20.63
Brown Rice5.3249.62.95
Wild Rice6.5434.93.12

Adapted from USDA FoodData Central (8,9,10).

What are the drawbacks of rice proteins?

The major drawback of rice protein is that it lacks Lysine, an essential amino acid. The protein contains amino acids, which are building blocks for building muscles, creating tissues for organs, immune cells, and enzymes for digesting your foods (11).

Therefore, eating only incomplete proteins will weaken your body, and your immune system will not be able to fight against diseases; you will lose muscle mass and strength; and it could compromise the growth in children (11).

What rice should I choose for my healthy diet?

If you are looking to incorporate rice into a healthy diet, you should consider brown rice or wild rice as the top choice! Since these have more fiber and protein, you will get the benefits of feeling satiety after eating. This will help you limit your energy intake and promote weight loss (12,13).

Besides, these two types of rice have antioxidants and minerals like iron, zinc, polyphenols, and phytosterols which are known to help for better weight management and preventing cardiovascular diseases (12). 

How can you incorporate rice into a healthy diet?

To incorporate rice into a healthy weight loss diet, you can consider combining it with vegetables, meats, and legumes. To complement the lack of Lysine in Rice protein, you can eat meats like beef, poultry, pork, or fishes; another option is using legumes like lentils or chickpeas (14,15).

Try these recipes, all of them look amazing.


This brief guide answered the query “Is the rice diet good for weight-loss?”. It presented more information regarding the carbohydrate and protein in different types of rice, and some tips to achieve a healthier diet with rice.


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