No more guilt with that spoonful of rice

DIET

Rice has been at the centre of every South Indian meal since time immemorial. So much so that our bodies are conditioned to believe that only rice can ease digestion issues and help in the absorption and assimilation of food.

All cereals have almost the same quality and quantity of starch and a very similar chemical composition compared to rice. So why blame rice?

Indians show a peculiar type of fat accumulation around the abdomen. And we consume a lot of rice! This, I think, has come to support the belief that rice causes central obesity and diabetes.

The fact is that Indians, who eat any cereal in excess, can show an increased body mass index (BMI) and this, in turn, could lead to diabetes.

Rice is safe and non-allergic: Rice is the safest among all cereals due to the chemical properties of its protein. The protein present in rice is non-allergic and safe for human consumption, unlike wheat, oats and rye. 

Higher bioavailability: Rice protein is superior to other cereals. Eating more wheat could lead to the accumulation of more energy and fat.

Safe for gastrointestinal functions: Rice will not cause flatus or a bloated sensation in the stomach. In fact, rice ganji (gruel) is an integral part of ayurvedic therapy.

Rice can fight coronary heart disease: Unpolished or half-polished rice is a good source of oryznol and tocotrinol. The two components enhance lipid metabolism and correct dyslipidemia (high blood cholesterol and triglycerides). This makes it ideal for consumption.

Rice is safe for diabetics: Due to its high soluble fibre content, the glycemic index of half-polished rice is low. Fibre present in this rice delays gastric emptying and slows down glucose uptake.

Eating rice does not lead to obesity: Half-polished rice with its bulk can easily fill one up, so one feels full even by eating a lesser quantity of rice. This property is beneficial to the obese, who are advised to eat small portions at every meal. 

Be careful while buying rice. Always ensure that the rice you buy is semi-polished. While buying half-polished (brown) rice, check the texture and taste.

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