Are rice and parboiled rice good for you?
Rice is also known as Chawal, bhaat, tandul. Since ancient times, rice has been one of the most commonly used grains the world over. Throughout history, rice has been one of man's most important foods. Today, this unique grain helps sustain two-thirds of the world's population. Rice is a staple cereal in South India and South Indians just cannot live without rice.
Rice has a classically grass-like appearance, with a small cluster of kernels at the top of a long stalk. Rice in its natural state with the inedible husk removed is called unpolished or brown rice. Refined white rice on the other hand has the bran and germ removed, and polished to a smooth sheen.
Parboiled Rice is also known as ukda chawal. It is the rice that has been processed with the husk, unlike the brown rice which is processed after hulling but with the bran and white rice which is processed after removing both the husk and the bran. The parboiled rice is made with the rice grain soaked, steamed and dried with the hull and finally the hull is removed.
In this process of steaming water soluble B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin and niacin from the bran integrate into the grain, thus making parboiled rice superior nutrient wise as compared to white rice. Another advantage of parboiled rice is that it is easily digestible as the starch in this rice grain is more gelatinized. Being steamed while processing, it takes less time to cook later, and the cooked rice is firmer and less sticky too.
However if fiber is your concern, then brown rice has more fiber amongst all the varieties of rice. Thus is order of nutrient profile brown rice is a better option to choose, followed by parboiled rice which has other nutrient benefits and then pick the white rice as the last option. Nevertheless in replacing white rice with brown rice or parboiled rice, do not ignore the fact that all varieties of rice are high in carbs. So small quantity occasionally would be a nourishing addition to a healthy person’s diet, when the daily meals exhibit a variety of other grains too.
A smart option to use parboiled rice effectively would be to combine with a pulse to get a high quality protein. A cereal-pulse combo like in case of idli (parboiled rice with urad dal) would serve as a complete protein comprising of all the 9 essential amino acids that your body requires. And then to make up for the fiber, add veggies to your idli and serve it with coconut chutney.
5 Reasons why rice is good for you.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which is an important source of energy for our body. The carbohydrates are broken down to glucose, most of which is used as energy for exercise and as essential fuel for the brain.
- No Gluten: It has no gluten, so good for those with gluten sensitivity.
- Diarrhea remedy: Rice is low in fibre and therefore a good option for people suffering from diarrhea. Also wonderful for children with diarrhea.
- Low Sodium: Being low in sodium, rice can be eaten by hypertensive patients who are on sodium restricted diet.
- It is protein rich : But rice is a good source of protein and B vitamins.
Rice is bad for people with specific health conditions
- Diabetes: The GI (glycemic index) of rice is 72 which is high. GI indicates of how quickly the carbohydrates will raise the blood glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics as they affect the blood sugar control levels.
- Weight loss: Because rice ranks high in GI and it will raise the blood glucose levels fast. It is not recommended for patients on a weight loss diet. When blood glucose rises quickly then excess glucose is converted to fat which is not required in weight loss.
- Heart patients: since heart patients are prone to other comorbidities like diabetes and obesity, it is better that they avoid consumption of white rice.
However if rice is combined with high protein or high fibre foods, the glycemic load can be balanced. Thus its combo is a better choice.
Nutrition Information for Rice
Nutritional Information for 1 cup of cooked Rice
One Cup of cooked Rice is 175 grams which comes from 56 grams of raw Rice.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
3.80 grams of Protein
43.79 grams of Carbs
0.28 grams of Fat
89.6 mg of Phosphorus (P) = 14.93% of RDA (about 600 mg)
50.4 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 14.4% of RDA (about 350 mg)
2.29 grams of Fibre = 9.16% of RDA (about 25 grams)
1.06 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 8.83% of RDA (about 12 mg)
0.72 mg of Zinc (Zn) = 7.2% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
0.03 mg of Vitamin B2, Riboflavin = 2.72% of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
0.03 mg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine = 2.5% of RDA (about 1.2 to 1.5 mg)
4.48 mcg of Folic Acid = 2.24% of RDA (about 200 mcg)
43.12 mg of Potassium (K) = 0.91% of RDA (about 4,700 mg)
3.92 mg of Sodium (Na) = 0.20% of RDA (about 1902 mg)