Rice: good or bad for your diet? Properties and benefits of this universal cereal – Health

A workhorse of everyday cooking with the versatility needed to prepare a wide variety of dishes, rice offers many benefits, but it also has its downsides. Although it is the mainstay of the diet of eastern peoples such as the Chinese or Japanese, who are not prone to obesity, people seeking to lose weight usually exclude it from their diet. As with everything, the key is balance, proper preparation and portion sizes.

“Economical, quick to prepare, filling, contains fiber, especially in the case of whole grains, leaves no residue, does not bloat and can be transported with food,” lists its main qualities as dietetics graduate Jorgelina Latorraga (MN 4283). Food and Nutrition Service Officer at Sanatorium Finocchietto and member of the Wellness Medical Team at ASE Nacional.

There are people who prefer firmer rice, others prefer softer, more or less whole grain rice. The type of rice consumed does not make a significant difference.

Additionally, since it is a carbohydrate, it helps build muscle mass.

“It makes sense that carbohydrates help increase muscle mass because they help improve muscle hydration. That is, by consuming proteins, carbohydrates and fluids in large quantities, muscle size will improve,” says sports physician Alejandro Garcia (MN 106404). The type of rice you choose does not affect this.

For a sports professional, the choice of rice variety depends more on taste and personal taste. “There are people who prefer firmer rice, others prefer softer, more or less whole grain rice. The type of rice consumed does not make a significant difference.“from a muscle building standpoint,” he states.

There are thousands of varieties of rice in the world, and although each dish requires its own, personal taste sways the choice towards one or the other. “The difference is not only in tastes, but also in textures. Basmati is also distinguished by its aroma,” emphasizes Jorgelina Latorraga. In each case, the classification of each fiber is determined by the amount of cotton they release during cooking, the ability to stick or gelatinize, or the ability to inflate. The latter “is important in gastronomy because it allows us to achieve dishes that are typical for each region,” the nutritionist adds.


We will tell you which type of rice is most recommended.

Another classification, perhaps the most used, divides rice according to shape: “can be round, normal and elongated; In Argentina, there are carnaroli, which do not stick or turn over, and double carolina, which fit this classification,” explains Latorraga. Although today you can purchase the imported variety that is required for each recipe.

“On a health level, we already know that we are interested in unprocessed foods, so all whole grains, red, white, black or wild, are considered whole grains that keep fiber, vitamins, their germ fatty acids and starch in a balanced and natural way for our nutrition “says the specialist.

For people who want to lose weight or simply take care of themselves and prefer a healthy diet, when preparing meals, the question always arises: is it advisable to eat white rice or is it preferable to limit it to whole grain rice? ? According to a nutritionist, white rice doesn’t have to be eliminated from a weight loss or healthy diet as long as it takes up a quarter of the plate, is dressed with pure olive oil rather than butter or cream, and is accompanied by vegetables and lean proteins. “The difference between white and whole grain wheat is the fiber content of the latter, which allows not all carbohydrates to be digested and reduces the glycemic index. But you can eat white rice just fine, maintain a healthy diet, and lose weight if you take these tips into account,” he says.

Latorraga explains that among whole grain rice, Yamani is “the friendliest in terms of texture and flavor” and that the one that is not overcooked or stuck has a “parborization process that makes it the most practical for salads, diarrhea diets and side dishes.” because this process does not turn the rice into a processed food. The degree of processing remains at an intermediate level because the fiber is removed, but it is not processed to a level that accelerates the food’s glycemic index (GI), which is the ability to raise blood glucose levels,” he said. Key points. On the other hand, in waffles, snacks, cookies and rice toasts increase the glycemic index and processing. “There the GI actually increases, and the healthfulness of the rice decreases. The same thing happens with rice noodles. The healthy thing that is promoted in these products is that they contain There are few calories, but when consumed in large quantities or daily, they increase blood glucose levels and cease to have the healthy effect that we are looking for,” he elaborates.

Naomi Moriyama, in her book “Japanese Women Don’t Age or Gain Weight,” says that the Japanese diet is based on 12% protein, 25% fat and 63% carbohydrates. Without a doubt, rice is the basis of the Eastern diet, to such an extent that at lunch and dinner, bread and crackers are replaced by a small plate of rice, without fat and salt. In addition, they eat a lot of fish, little sugar, and drink eight to twelve glasses of water daily.

When it comes to the recommended amount of rice in our diet, each person’s lifestyle is critical. “The amount of carbohydrates in general, not just in rice, depends on the sport you are involved in, and whether you play a sport or not. But more or less, three to fifteen grams per kilogram of weight per day can be recommended. Fifteen grams is if you do too much physical activity or sports,” Garcia emphasizes.

How you prepare the dish also matters. Nutritionist Jorgelina Latorraga recommends adding vinegar, pre-washing it, or cooking it al dente to lower the GI. “The amount of rice consumed and the seasoning also determine how healthy the rice is. It can be seasoned with olive oil and spices and used as a teacup or quarter plate sized side dish. In this sense, this is an excellent option,” he assures.

Alejandro Garcia recommends pairing it with healthy fats, such as nuts, avocados, and oils, as well as healthy proteins, such as meat, eggs, or dairy. “This explains that in countries where consumption is daily, they do not have problems with excess weight because they tend to be methodical in their intake and not fill it with animal fatty bodies such as butter, cream or cheese,” he said. warns.

To lose weight, the nutritionist advises seasoning rice with pure olive oil, adding vegetables, always controlling the amount of cooked rice, which should not be more than a quarter of the carbohydrate-eating dish. “Stews that include rice should be free of visible meat fat and contain plenty of vegetables, avoiding the cream or butter found in risotto,” says the specialist. Any other advice? “Commercial rice burgers are filling and have no cholesterol like meat, but because they have pre-fried batter, they are processed and provide calories. So in this version it is best to accompany them with salads,” he advises.

Without a doubt, you can always learn something from Orientals. In this case, there are a thousand ways to eat rice as the basis of your diet without the risk of gaining excess weight. And by eating conscientiously, today we know not to demonize any type of rice. As with any natural food, the secret lies in its preparation and the right dose served on the plate to ensure satiety and avoid excesses.


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