Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population and rice nutrition plays a vital role in keeping people healthy.
There is nothing wrong with incorporating rice into your diet if you eat it in moderation because it is an excellent source of fuel for the body. However, how much should you eat and which rice is better for weight loss?
Rice fits in perfectly to health recommendations for creating a balanced diet. It provides energy for the body, providing the fuel to keep the body moving and operating effectively. Some rice nutrition considerations to bear in mind before you eat it if you are trying to lose weight:
Rice and Calories
These small oval pieces of rice do add up into many calories. Rice nutrition is confusing because it puffs up quite a lot after cooking so it’s best to look at the calories on the packet and categorize rice calories into uncooked and cooked. When using uncooked white rice in cooking, one cup has about 670 calories (it differs slightly per brand).
Therefore, depending on your calorie allowance, a typical portion size per person is about one quarter of a cup of uncooked white rice. However, one cup of cooked white rice (depends on the brand) is about 205 calories.
If you find yourself at a restaurant or with a box of take away, a crude measure to portion size for someone who is trying to keep the weight off is to eat as much food (per meal – this includes entrees and mains) as the size of your clenched fist. The clenched fist applies to your rice portion as well, so remember this includes all rice, meat and vegetables.
GI and Rice
Including anything into your diet in moderation is always the key to any successful weight loss. If incorporating rice be aware of general rice nutrition and how rice impacts your glycemic index (GI).The GI index refers to your blood sugar index and foods are ranked 1-100. The rankings you should be aware of are as follows:
Low GI: 1-55 ranking
Medium GI: 56-69 ranking
High GI: 70 and above ranking
Low to medium GI food will produce small to medium fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. For weight loss you’re probably trying to control your blood sugar levels this means you should consider low-medium GI food first.
As not all foods are made equal it’s important to look up different brands but when it comes to rice. Brown rice is the lowest in GI when compared to white rice. In saying that, very often you will notice long grain rice having a lower GI ranking than short grain rice. Of all the long-grain rice, basmati is the best with the lowest GI.
Putting rice in perspective, it’s a healthy source of energy but rice is never going to be low in GI. But choosing a rice type and brand low in GI can help anyone trying to lose belly fat or weight, as it will help you with cutting back on portion sizes and meet your daily calorie allowance.