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Why Is White Rice Blamed For Weight Gain? Decoding Nutritional Value Of White Rice

It is no mystery that white rice is blamed for weight gain. A grain which is staple food of numerous states in India, white rice has now be sidelined in diets of many people. All thanks to the weight loss industry! But is this really true? Is the food which is so widely consumed by people all across the country, fattening? Let’s find out. City-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra says that white rice is blamed for weight gain as the fibre gets removed from the grain during the process of refining.

Why is white rice blamed for weight gain?

She goes on to say that once fiber is removed from rice, its glycemic index increases. “This means that breakdown of sugar in the body happens quickly and sugar is instantly released into the blood stream. Also, a lot of minerals get removed during the process of refining. These are the primary reasons why white rice is blamed for weight gain.”

Debunking the myth about white rice

Eating white rice as part of a balanced and wholesome meal is not going to result in weight gain, asserts Pooja. Rice has been traditionally eaten in combination with pulses. Eating it in such wholesome combinations, in the right proportion and adding ghee to your meal will prevent the weight gain that you are always afraid of. Also, chose hand-pounded single polished variety of rice.

Explains Pooja, “Eating dal rice with a dollop of ghee will slow down the breakdown of sugar present in rice. This means that sugar will slowly enter the blood stream. In case of a cereal pulse combination, the amino acids which are lacking in cereals are present in pulses, and the amino acids lacking in pulses are present in cereals. Thus, a cereal pulse combination has a complete amino acid profile. Adding some ghee to it will provide you with the essential fatty acids.”

Nutritional value of rice

Rice is definitely on the higher side when it comes to carbs, but the same can be managed by keeping your portion size in check. It has about to 8-9% protein, says Pooja, while adding that rice is also a good source of minerals like magnesium, selenium, folic acid, phosphorus, thiamin and niacin.

So, why does rice make you fat?

According to Pooja, the reason why people end up gaining weight by eating rice is because they fail to check their portion size. When it comes to eating chapatti, making a decision about portion size is easy. But this is not the case with rice, where it is also easy to indulge in its delicious taste. Not overeating rice is the key to avoid weight gain from it.

“You have to rely on fullness signals that your brain gives you while eating. Eat only till the point your hunger is satisfied, and don’t give in to greed. Eat in a peaceful environment, focusing only on your meal. If you are engrossed in a gadget or TV or a book, you will not be able to pick up your fullness signals. Also, chew your food slowly and properly,” she suggests.

(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)