White Rice: Benefits and Deleterious Effects of Consuming It, on Your Health.

Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population. From Asia to Africa, people from different continents consume this food grain as a part of their diet. Rice is grown in almost every part of the world, excluding the continent Antarctica.

In the context of grains and rice, White rice is the rice grain stripped off of its bran and germ portion, leaving just the endosperm part.  The outer bran layer of the grain is polished and refined to make the rice taste better. This polishing of grain takes rice from the category of brown rice and puts it in the category of white rice.

This article will acquaint you with the advantages and disadvantages of consuming white rice, covering the positive as well as the negative aspects of making white rice as the part of your diet.

Pros of consuming white rice-

Treat for your cholesterol- White rice is a cholesterol free source of food. Its properties help to lower the levels of cholesterol as it does not contain bad cholesterol, making your heart even healthier. This attribute of white rice has proven to be beneficial for health.

Great source of energy– White rice is simple carbohydrates. Unlike complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates are quickly converted into energy by the body. The carbohydrates in white rice help energising the body and boosts the metabolism. 

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Immunity booster- The manganese in white rice helps to boost immunity and maintains the body strength.

Promotes muscle growth- The Important Amino Acids in white rice keep the muscle build up in upward direction and also aid in its growth. When served with a meat dish, the diet is fairly complete in terms of required muscle building. 

Give your gut Healthy a boost- Yet another pro of eating white rice is that it helps in prevention of constipation. The proteins in white rice are absorbed much faster by the body than those in brown rice. It is also easy to digest and easy to assimilate proteins and therefore easier on your excretory system.

Naturally gluten free- White rice is gluten free. People with gluten allergy and celiac disease can eat it safely as an alternative to wheat.

Improves gastrointestinal health- White rice consumption helps to prevent and treat gastrointestinal diseases. Because white rice has low fibre content, it is very beneficial for those who find themselves suffering from diarrhoea, colitis and morning sickness.

Good for the heart- Bran oil made from rice contains antioxidants that can aid in making your heart more resistant to diseases. This promotes the healthy state of your heart.

Cons of eating white rice-

Harvard research shows increased risk of diabetes- A research was conducted by the Harvard school of public health department of nutrition. In this research program, they took two groups of individuals. One group was asked to consume copious amounts of white rice over a period of a month and the other group was given large amounts of brown rice for a month. The results of the research were that those who consumed more white rice had double the risk of developing diabetes.

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Stripped away of nutritional value- The nutritional value of white rice is not much and it is mainly carbohydrates. The polishing of rice grain to give white rice strips away the major part of nutritional utility of this food grain and leaves mainly the carbohydrate portion. For this particular reason, white rice is not the right option when looking for healthy and nutritional food substitutes.

High levels of glycaemic index-  White rice is known to have higher levels of glycaemic index. This implies that the carbohydrate content in it, is converted rapidly into blood sugar in your body, in comparison to brown rice. This property of white rice can make one prone to the risk of type 2 diabetes, when intake of white rice by individual is high.

Phytic acid toxicity– The Phytic acid in rice is responsible for the structural density and firm texture. This phytic acid, when taken by your body interferes with the absorption of minerals. It makes the absorption of many important minerals difficult in the body, thus depriving you of these minerals.

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Hard time in digestion- it has been observed that digestion of rice is not primarily the easiest process. The acid in the stomach, Hydrochloric acid, has a hard time breaking it down. 

Skeptical approach towards weight gain- Many studies have shown that consuming diet high in refined grains leads to obesity and weight gain, but the research is not consistent when it comes to white rice.

Is White rice bad or good for your health?

The conclusion from these positive and negative attributes of white rice consumption depends on the amount of rice consumed and the individual consuming it. It does not harm your body when taken in moderation. People suffering from diabetes and related issues should prefer brown rice over white rice as it is a much healthier option.

In addition to this, people looking for food sources rich in nutrient content, would find a safe option in brown rice in comparison to white rice.

The optimal choice for a healthy body would always be a balanced diet. Intake of vitamin and mineral rich foods and incorporating moderate amounts of white rice in the balanced diet can prove to be a healthy choice.

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