I’m going to share with you the healthiest rice for weight loss. Rice is one of the most consumed foods in the world and over 1.3 billion people eat rice every day. It’s a staple in many diets across the world, including South America, Asia, and Africa.
Is Rice Healthy?
Rice is incredibly healthy! Unfortunately for rice, it’s gotten mixed up in the low-carb, Ketogenic diet craze. People in Asian countries, such as Japan, eat a lot of rice. The longevity of their lives and obesity rates are much better than those in the United States.
Just like anything, rice can be made unhealthy if you prepare it with calorie-heavy ingredients and overeat.
What’s the Best Rice for Weight Loss?
The truth is losing weight has much more to do with the amount of calories you eat than the type of rice you’re consuming. Eating too many calories for your activity level means you’ll probably gain weight. Eating fewer calories than you burn means you’ll lose weight.
There are various types of rice, each of which has its merits. Although there isn’t any particular type of rice that would help you lose weight, you can be smart about how much rice you’re making and eating, and what nutrients it contains.
It may also be helpful to look at the calories.
White Rice: 204 calories in 1 cooked cup
Brown Rice: 216 calories in 1 cooked cup
Jasmine Rice: 180 calories in 1 cooked cup
Wild Rice: 166 calories in 1 cooked cup
In general, rice is high in carbohydrates. If you’re following a low-carb or Keto diet, chances are rice will rarely be on your menu. If you’re not, however, rice is a great way to get carbohydrates without any fat or additives. The grain is inexpensive, is easy to cook, and tastes great.
As you’re out shopping for rice, pay attention to how much protein and fiber are in each serving. You can also look at some of the other micronutrients rice contains. Some are high in B vitamins and antioxidant flavonoids.
In general, science tells us that whole grains are better for your health. So, while eating brown or wild rice may not cause you to lose weight, it can certainly help keep you feeling healthy and well.
What Is the Healthiest Type of Rice?
Rice is a staple food in many countries and provides billions of people around the world with an inexpensive, nutritious source of energy.
There are many varieties of this popular grain that differ in color, flavor, and nutritional value.
Some are abundant in nutrients and powerful plant compounds that benefit health, while others have less impressive nutrition profiles.
This article discusses the most nutritious types of rice and why you should choose certain varieties over others.
The following varieties of rice have nutritional characteristics that make them stand out from others.
Brown rice is whole-grain rice that has had the outer protective shell, known as the hull, removed. Unlike white rice, it still contains the bran layer and the germ — which both pack a significant amount of nutrients.
For example, brown rice bran contains the flavonoid antioxidants apigenin, quercetin, and luteolin. These compounds play an important role in disease prevention.
Regular consumption of foods rich in flavonoids has been linked to a lower risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and certain cancers.
Brown rice provides similar numbers of calories and carbs to white rice, which has had the bran and germ removed. However, the brown variety has about three times more fiber and is higher in protein
Both fiber and protein promote feelings of fullness and can help you maintain a healthy weight. What’s more, choosing brown over white rice can help regulate blood sugar and insulin, a hormone that supports healthy blood sugar levels
A study in 15 overweight adults demonstrated that those who ate 7 ounces (200 grams) of brown rice for 5 days had significantly lower fasting blood sugar and insulin levels than those who consumed the same amount of white rice.
Additionally, the brown rice group experienced a percentage change in fasting insulin that was 57% lower than the 5-day percentage change observed in the white rice group .
As a result, brown rice may be a better choice for those with diabetes. What’s more, it’s high in magnesium, a mineral that plays an essential role in blood sugar and insulin metabolism
Black (forbidden) rice
Black rice varieties, such as Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice, have a deep black color that often transitions to purple when cooked.
This type is sometimes referred to as forbidden rice, as it’s said to have been reserved for royalty in ancient China.
Research shows that black rice has the highest antioxidant activity of all the varieties, making it a nutritious choice
Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from damage caused by an excess of molecules called free radicals, which contribute to a condition known as oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress has been associated with the progression of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, certain cancers, and mental decline
Black rice is particularly rich in anthocyanins, a group of flavonoid plant pigments that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Anthocyanins have been shown to have potent anticancer properties as well. Population studies suggest that higher consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, including colorectal cancer
What’s more, in test-tube research, anthocyanins derived from black rice effectively suppressed the growth and spread of human breast cancer cells .
Red rice varieties, such as Himalayan red rice and Thai red cargo rice, are deeply pigmented and contain an impressive array of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
This type is higher in protein and fiber than white rice varieties, but where it really shines is in its antioxidant content.
Like black rice, it’s packed with flavonoid antioxidants, including the anthocyanins apigenin, myricetin, and quercetin.
In fact, research shows that red rice has significantly more potential to fight free radicals and contains higher concentrations of flavonoid antioxidants than brown rice .
Flavonoids can help decrease inflammation in your body, keep free radical levels in check, and may reduce your risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Though wild rice is technically the seeds of aquatic grasses, it’s popularly used like rice in the kitchen.
It’s recognized as a whole grain and contains about three times more fiber and significantly more protein than white rice, making it a more filling choice.
Additionally, it’s been linked to a number of health benefits in animal studies.
For example, rodent studies indicate that replacing white rice with wild rice effectively reduces triglyceride and cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress — big risk factors for heart disease .
Wild rice is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese. What’s more, research shows that its antioxidant activity is up to 30 times greater than that of white rice
Brown, black, red, and wild rice are all nutritious options that contain an impressive array of nutrients and disease-fighting plant compounds.
Less nutritious varieties
There isn’t anything wrong with eating white rice or packaged rice blends in moderation, but they lack the nutritious qualities of the varieties mentioned above.
White rice has had the husk, bran, and germ removed. Though this process extends the shelf life of the final product, the nutrients and beneficial plant compounds found in the bran and germ are lost during processing.
As a result, it contains less fiber, protein, antioxidants, and certain vitamins and minerals than brown rice.
Since white rice is lower in fiber and protein, it’s also less filling and has more of an impact on blood sugar than brown rice
It’s much lower in antioxidants than brown, black, red, or wild varieties as well
Pre-made and packaged blends
While certain packaged rice blends can make a healthy choice, many others are high in calories, sodium, and unnecessary ingredients.
For example, a 1-cup (150-gram) serving of Uncle Ben’s Teriyaki Flavor Ready Rice packs 870 mg of sodium — nearly 38% of the recommended intake (22, 23).
Consuming too much sodium can increase your risk of serious health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke
Additionally, processed products can contain added sugars, artificial colorings, and preservatives — ingredients that you should limit for optimal health
White rice and packaged rice products are less nutritious than brown, black, red, or wild varieties. Only eat them occasionally and in moderation
Best Types of Rice for Belly Fat Loss
The right carb can help you meet your weight loss goals.
Rice comes in many different variations, all with their own unique makeup of nutrients, minerals, and health benefits. And while many of us have been told that we can’t enjoy rice as a part of a healthy weight loss plan, this isn’t necessarily true. Incorporating rice into your diet is more about finding the right types instead of avoiding it altogether.
To learn more about the healthiest types of rice for weight loss, we talked with Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RD, author at Go Wellness.
At the end of the day, white rice is not the villain everyone makes it out to be if it’s consumed in moderation. However, if you’re wanting to lose belly fat, you may want to try other types of rice that are less processed and still have their nutrients in tact.
“The ‘worst’ type of rice for belly fat loss is white rice. It’s not necessarily bad for you, but white rice is more processed, which means it will lose some of its nutrients in the processing phase. White rice also has the lowest fiber per serving and highest carbs compared to black rice and brown rice. Low fiber won’t help you keep full and ultimately will make you hungry a little faster. So, if you’re focused on belly fat loss, stick to brown or black rice, as those rices are higher in nutrients,” says D’Angelo.
Many people talk about brown rice being healthier for you than white rice, with the main reason being that it isn’t processed. Because of this, it’s packed full of nutrients.
“Brown rice carries a significant amount of nutrients, mainly because it is whole-grain rice. It’s high in fiber, B-vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Fiber is beneficial for weight loss because it helps stabilize blood sugar and can keep you full longer. Brown rice can also help improve digestion as well as feed healthy bacteria in your gut,” says D’Angelo.
Wild rice is a type of semi-aquatic grass, so it is technically a combination of four different types of grass. According to Nutrition Reviews, wild rice is recognized as a whole grain that is packed full of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and multiple kinds of antioxidants. It’s also been known to help manage lipid profiles, heart health, and weight.