White Rice, Nutrition facts
White rice has great nutrition value. But despite its nutritional quality it has gained a bad rapport especially among various diet groups. But, the truth is Rice is good for health. In countries like India, China and various other countries rice, has been a staple for years together and people have lived a healthy long life. But, how they ate mattered.
How did people eat in previous generations?
I spoke about it to my Indian grandpa, Mr. Raju who is 85 years old right now free from any diseases like diabetes or hypertension, etc., (God bless grandpa many more years to live) which people from 35 years of age suffer from right now. In those days, white rice was expensive that people could afford it for only one meal per day either for lunch or dinner. Millets and various other whole grains which was cheaper, became their daily food for other meals. Also, the South Indian staple of today idly/ dosa made of rice and lentils using high proportion of rice was a festive food in those days. This was a secret of their health. They ate different types of grains like ragi, Bajra (millets), hand pounded rice including white rice.
So, how did they eat white rice?
White rice was served with curries (made of lentils or beans and vegetables) and with a side of atleast two different veggies. The quantity of rice they ate was based on their appetite. The more work they did, the more energy (Carb) they needed and the more rice they ate. And in those days no body were idle including toddlers and older adults. They did not have television to keep watching by sitting in the same place for hours together. They had a very social life where kids played with other kids in open air naturally getting their vitamin D and burnt energy faster. The percentage of obese kids were very less compared to today. Also the adults were doing their work which mostly involved physical activity their life long. They did not have jobs that require sitting for hours together. They were farmers, carpenters, etc. My grandpa was headmaster of a school but in his days they did not have the comfort of transportation as we do today. They had to walk, walk, walk to reach the school or to buy groceries. Eventually their bodies were waiting for the calories (food) to meet their energy needs. They (He) ate what he needed for his body and not more. He was able to listen to his hunger cues because he was taught so from childhood. Even today he follows the same. I have never seen him eat more however delicious the food may taste and however he loved it. Tirunelveli wheat halwa (Indian dessert) is his favorite and he enjoys them even now, but, he knows his portion size.
How are we eating today?
Nowadays, the trend has changed and we eat for our taste buds without listening to our hunger cues. Foods like, Biriyani, pizza or burger, make us go crazy and forget healthy grains, vegetables and fruits during those meal times. Everyone including children follow a sedentary lifestyle sitting in front of television most of the time. Most of today’s jobs also require sitting for a long time. People don’t have time to cook and eat food and spend most of the health and money by buying outside food which does not give you control over the ingredients added as well. And we have failed to listen to our body the calorie needs and started eating way more than what it needs for efficient functioning.
Rice has good nutrition value and benefit your body when eaten in moderation. But it cannot make your body feel great when you just eat white rice three times a day in the form of boiled rice, idly, dosa, puttu, etc. What you eat it with, how much you eat per day also matters. See the nutrition facts for white rice below. Our body needs so many other nutrients that comes from whole grains, millets, nuts, beans, legumes, lean meat, milk, eggs, vegetables and fruits. So eating from all these different foods including white rice as a part of your regular food intake can make you feel healthier. Talk to a nutritionist/ dietitian for a personalized nutrition consultation that will be tailored to your needs. Cook healthier, eat healthier, feel healthier, enjoy life with good health.
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Below is the nutrition facts for 1 cup of cooked rice