Believe it or not, rice is very important for any healthy diet. After all, it is a great complex carbohydrate source and goes well with protein alternatives for meat dishes that are full of saturated fat.
Rice is actually one of the reasons why Asian diets are extremely low in saturated fat. Although Americans focus more on meat and use rice as a mere side dish, Asians tend to focus on rice in their meals. Well, decreasing your meat and increasing your rice at meals can actually reduce your overall intake of saturated fat.
The Different Kinds of Rice
Long grain rice is very popular in America because the grains are dry and fluffy when cooked and are easy to separate. Medium grain rice, on the other hand, is popular in Latin America. It is fairly fluffy after cooking, but tends to clump together after it cools. Conversely, glutinous or short grain rice is stickier and more moist, making it perfect for Asian cultures where chopsticks play a big part in meals.
Brown rice is generally whole grain rice, but without the outer husk. It is nutlike in flavor, chewy in texture and tan in color. Although it perishes faster than white rice, it can keep for longer if kept in the refrigerator. White rice, on the other hand, can stay around indefinitely, provided it is stored in a cool and dry place.
The Health Benefits of Rice
Aside from providing instant and fast energy, rice can also help promote better bowel movements, give the body more essential vitamin B1 sources, and stabilize the blood sugar levels all at the same time. It is also very beneficial in terms of skin care and blood pressure, and can help keep heart diseases and dysentery at bay.
Brown rice would be one of the best types of rice out there, though. For starters, it provides much more fiber than white rice and is a great source of B vitamins, fiber, manganese, selenium and magnesium. All of these things combined can actually reduce the risk of colon cancer.
By eating brown rice on a daily basis, postmenopausal women can also slow down the progression of various heart diseases and prevent the appearance of hormone-dependent cancers like breast cancer. This is because of the lignans that can be found in brown rice. Aside from that, brown rice can also help with weight loss and weight gain prevention.
An Important Note
Keep in mind that rice has to be washed after being bought from bulk bins to remove any dirt and dust on it. If the rice was bought packaged, though, then there is no need for this. Also, try not to fortify the rice unless imported, so as to avoid washing away its essential B vitamins and nutrients.
Andrew has a strong interest in food and cooking. Over the last 4 years, he has contributed numerous articles on diet, recipes and cooking techniques. When he is not blogging, Andrew distributes nigiri maker machine to restaurants. Photo by Björn Freiberg