Rice is perhaps the most common staple food in the world and feeds more than half of the world's population. It is the second most cultivated crop after maize (corn). There are around 40,000 varieties of rice and are grown in all the continents except Antarctica. It is a source of instant energy and a prominent source of Vitamin B1. Despite being a fundamental food item in a lot of cuisines, many people now choose to avoid a diet comprising of rice mainly due the kilos it might add to their belly. However, it wouldn't be ideal to discard rice consumption solely based on this controversial assumption. Let's delve a little further into the details and look at some of its advantages and disadvantages.
1. Source of energy: Rice is rich in simple carbohydrates, which are easily digested and converted into energy, unlike complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are essential for effective metabolic activities which increase energy levels.
2. Cholesterol free: Rice does not contain harmful fats and cholesterol. That makes it an excellent choice of diet since it cuts down the risk of heart and arterial diseases. Further, low levels of fats and cholesterol reduce the chances of obesity and diseases related to it.
3. Low sodium levels: Being low in sodium, rice does not aggravate high blood pressure and hyper-tension. Sodium compresses arteries and veins, limiting the blood flow and increasing stress on cardiovascular system.
Further, whole grain rice like the brown rice is rich in insoluble fibers and can protect the body against development of cancerous cells, especially against intestinal cancer. It is also said to contain nutrients that causes the neurotransmitters to grow reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
1. Simple Carbohydrates: 100 gram of white rice equals 86 gram of sugar. Despite being a great source of energy, simple carbohydrates are the bad kind of carbohydrates and are known to elevate the blood sugar level and lead to overeating and obesity.
2. Digestive problems: White rice starch is highly viscous and is difficult to digest. The fiber content is also extremely low and does not facilitate proper intestinal cleaning.
3. Over-processed and polished: Over-processing removes about 90% of the rice's nutrition making it less prone to oxidization and easier to store for longer durations. White rice is simply rich in empty calories and too much of it can lead to chronic diseases.
A lot of people are giving up rice and replacing it with wheat. This should not be the ideal approach since it reduces the intake of amino acids and Vitamin B1. To get the best of both worlds, you should eat rice that is polished to an extent that it doesn't lose it nutritional value.