White rice is one of the simplest things to make, quick, cheap and convenient, it is a perfect complement to beans, stir-fry or a pot of hot curry. A medium-sized bowl of cooked white rice contains approximately 230 calories, which is just 11% RDA (as per a 2000 calorie diet). Still, it is shunned by nutrition experts as it is loaded with empty carbs. They recommend switching to brown rice, which has more fiber, vitamin B and Iron.
White and brown rice come from the same plant, but the milling process removes the husk, bran and germ of white rice. This is sometimes followed by polishing, which involves rubbing the grains with talc or glucose to give it a shine. This process improves the shelf-life of the grain, and according to some, the texture and taste. But, the husking and especially the polishing process also remove the bran, which contains fiber; and germ, which has a major portion of vitamins and minerals present in rice. Thus, the nutritional value of white rice is drastically reduced. Beriberi, caused due to Vitamin B deficiency, is often seen in people who primarily eat white rice with little variety. To counteract this, many countries require that the lost nutrients be reintroduced. Many manufacturers just add a nutrient powder, which usually washes off during rinsing and so, the nutritional value of enriched and regular cooked rice is not very different.
Counting Calories in White Rice
The table below gives the caloric and nutritional information of one cup of rice; cooked here means, boiled in water without salt.
|Long Grain, Raw||185 g||675.3||147.9 g||13.2 g||13.5 g||1.2 g||8 mg|
|Long Grain, Cooked||158 g||205||44.5 g||4.3 g||4.5 g||0.4 g||1.9 mg|
|Medium Grain, Raw||195 g||702||154.7 g||12.9 g||14 g||1.1 g||8.5 mg|
|Medium Grain, Cooked||186 g||241||53.2 g||4.4 g||5 g||0.4 g||2.8 mg|
|Short Grain, Raw||200 g||716||158.3 g||13 g||14 g||1 g||8.5 mg|
|Short Grain, Cooked||186 g||241||53.4 g||4.4 g||5 g||0.4 mg||2.7 mg|
- It is low in fats, especially saturated fat.
- It contains no cholesterol.
- Unsalted white rice has no sodium.
- It is a good, low-calorie source of protein.
- Good source of iron, a cup of cooked rice contains approx. 2mg of iron, which is 15% RDA.
- It is easy to digest, so good for a weak or upset stomach.
- As compared to brown rice, white rice requires almost half the cooking time
- Rice is gluten-free, so is a good alternative for those looking to avoid this protein.
- White rice has very little fiber.
- It is very high in carbohydrates. A cup of cooked rice contains, approximately 17% RDA of carbohydrates.
- White rice doesn't have many vitamins and minerals.
- The starch in rice quickly converts to glucose, causing a spike in blood sugar.
- It digests quickly, meaning your stomach is grumbling soon, so you eat more and more frequently.
Many people find that brown rice sits too heavy in their stomach, while some just can't get used to its chewy, nutty taste. If you are one of them, and want to continue enjoying the soft and fluffy white rice, just add some green vegetables on the side. Beans, too, are a good addition to balance out the low fiber and vitamin content. Like any other food, moderation and variety is the key, and white rice can easily be a part of a healthy, balanced meal.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.