White rice is essential to the Filipino meal. It is the perfect pair for any Filipino dish. And it is the only constant in the smorgasbord of dishes born from the various regions and islands that make up the Philippines. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner have rice.
However, rice is not the healthiest food staple. It is high in carbohydrates, but low in other nutrients. Does a no white rice diet to lose weight work?
First, let’s take a look at why eating too much white rice can be problematic for our nutrition. Rice can be a tricky ingredient to juggle in our meals if we’re on a diet.
Potential Problems of Eating Too Much White Rice
White Rice Is Not Rich in Nutrients
Too much rice and too little of other ingredients can starve you of nutrients.
While not unhealthy, rice has a minimal amount of vital macro and micronutrients. This means that you are getting less nutrition compared to other foods per serving.
White Rice is High in Carbohydrates
White rice packs a large amount of carbohydrates per serving.
Along with this, rice is very filling due to its high-fiber content. This means that you get full easily with just a cup. This can leave you with a lot of carbohydrates and not much else for your nutrition.
Higher Risk of Diabetes
Eating too much white rice can cause your blood sugars to rise. The glycemic index is a way to measure how quickly a food can cause blood sugar to spike when it is eaten. Anything above 70 is considered to be a high glycemic index food.
Rice is one of these high GI foods with a rating of 73. Daily consumption of white rice can negatively affect glucose metabolism as well as insulin production. This, in turn, leads to a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Prone to Overconsumption
Rice is seldom eaten by itself because its flavor is subtle.
Since it is paired with other dishes it is easy to eat more than the necessary amount of calories per meal, especially since rice in itself is already heavy in calories.
No White Rice Diet: Is It Effective for Weight Loss?
Should I adopt a no white rice diet to lose weight? The answer is not so simple.
Healthy weight loss relies on many factors and simply removing rice from your diet may not guarantee results.
Eating the right amount of food along with proper nutrition should always be the hallmark of any proper diet, not just avoiding white rice.
With that in mind, adopting a no white rice diet to lose weight, supplementing it with rice alternatives and proper exercise should lead to good results in losing weight.
White Rice and Diabetes: Risk Factors
Studies show that eating white rice can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As mentioned earlier, the high glycemic rating of white rice can lead to a negative effect on the body’s insulin production and blood sugar levels.
Individuals who frequently eat rice (3-4 meals a day) were 1.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The risk runs higher at an additional 10% for every large bowl of white rice consumed.
This is increasingly worrisome for Asian countries since it is found that they consume more rice than their western counterparts. Asian families on average consume 3-4 servings of white rice daily while Western families only report 1-2 servings a week.
This suggests that a no white rice diet to lose weight may be considered for avoiding diabetes.
The Benefits of No White Rice Diet to Lose Weight
Here are some benefits of the no white rice diet to lose weight:
Lower Risk of Diabetes
Since the frequent consumption of rice can lead to a higher risk of diabetes, it follows that eating less of it will lower your chances. Besides lowering your risk for diabetes, no rice also helps keeps your blood sugar levels in check.
Keep in mind that there are other factors for diabetes and solely stopping your consumption of rice will not guarantee being diabetes-free.
You can use this opportunity to replace white rice with a more nutritious option. This ensures that you feel full while meeting your nutritional requirements daily.
Coupled with proper exercise, removing rice from your diet may lead to losing weight.
White Rice Alternatives for Weight Loss
It might be difficult for Filipinos to adopt the no white rice diet to lose weight. Here are some alternatives that might make the transition easier:
This grain is locally grown in the Philippines and is a better source for energy by about 3 times compared to white rice. While higher in caloric content, this grain also boasts a higher amount of nutrients than rice. Those with diabetes should also pay attention to this grain because of its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to lower blood sugar levels.
Compared to its white counterpart, brown rice only notches a 68 in the glycemic index. This makes brown rice a more favorable option for diabetics and those who are at risk of developing it. Brown rice also contains all the nutrients that were stripped off during the milling process.
Red rice is rich in nutrients much like brown rice. The only difference is it contains anthocyanins, which is the cause for its color. Anthocyanins have been known to reduce inflammation and allergies as well as lower the risk of cancer.
Cauliflower rice is great if you’re really looking to cut down your caloric intake. At 25 calories a cup, it also has vitamins and minerals that can sustain you throughout the day.
Sweet potato or kamote as it is locally called is abundant in fiber and complex carbohydrates. This sweet rice substitute can also boost your immunity with its high vitamin C content. It’s also high in vitamin A since it is rich in beta-carotene.
This superfood does it all. It is high in fiber, rich in protein and gluten-free. This grain is also easy to digest compared to white rice.
Despite containing sugar, corn ranks low in the glycemic index making it a great substitute for white rice. Corn has also been known to provide benefits to eye health and colon health.
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread is more fibrous and filling then its white counterpart.
This noodle ranks low on the glycemic index. In addition it also has a cholesterol lowering effect because of rutin, which reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your gut.
Couscous is sugar and fat free. It has a good amount of fiber as well as antioxidants that can repair damaged cells and relieve inflammation.
While rice is a staple of Filipino food, eating large amounts of it increases one’s carbohydrate intake, and may help in the development of type 2 diabetes. It is possible to switch rice out for other alternatives.
A no white rice diet to lose weight is possible if coupled with healthier alternatives and exercise.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.