Rice is not the enemy to your physique goals. Despite being on a calorie restricted ‘diet’, I eat rice and other things people deem as out of the question for fat loss.
A lot of Guyanese are of the opinion that if you are to lose weight, you have to cut rice completely out of your nutritional plan. That is far from the truth. I am the shredded, living proof. I eat Jasmine or Basmati rice as part of eight of my meals each week.
Rice is a staple for Guyanese and if we were to cut it out from our diets, it would obviously equate to a calorie deficit, but rice is not the enemy. It is not the answer to your weight loss goals, rather it’s your overall calorie consumption.
Since the low-carb movement is at its peak right now, it may seem like everyone you know is either doing keto or not eating carbs. That’s probably why so many people aren’t sure whether rice is healthy or not. I think the main reason people have the misconception that rice is ultimately going to lead to weight gain is because it’s a carbohydrate widely consumed lavishly by a lot of us.
The good news is that carbohydrates don’t automatically lead to weight gain. While there’s nothing wrong with a low-carbohydrate diet if it works for you, a landmark study showed that low-fat and high-carb diets work equally well for weight loss.
Being a certified nutritionist, I would emphasize that pretty much any food can work in moderation, including rice. An abundance of any sort of food is going to lead to weight gain, whether that’s rice or Oreos or even salads. If you eat way more calories than you’re burning, you’re going to gain weight. It is quite simple.
Plus, your brain loves carbohydrates. While your brain and body can adapt and really learn to love fat, your brain runs on glucose, the sugars that make up carbohydrates. What’s more, rice is one of the least allergenic grains. It is lower in protein, it’s easier to digest than other grains, and it’s also naturally gluten free.
The bottom line? There are many health benefits of rice. I do recommend rice for the general population if they like it and enjoy it, especially since here in Guyana, rice is a huge food staple. As for which types of rice are best and how to include it in your diet, like much else in nutrition, it depends. The most important thing is eating in moderation. That goes for rice and every other edible on earth.