White rice is an important part of diet for many people especially Asian. White rice is a refined, high carbohydrate-packed food that had most of its fibre, vitamins and minerals removed. Also, a high intake of white rice consumption has been related to weight gain, obesity and chronic diseases.
Eating too much white rice can cause your blood sugar and insulin spike. These will subsequently leading to changes in metabolic and neurobiological signalling which results in overeating symptoms and increased appetite. 1 In turn, it triggers a cycle of food craving and increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
But, should I stop eating rice to lose weight?
It’s not necessary to stop eating rice to slim down. It’s your overall diet that matters. When consumed in moderation, rice is unlikely to cause weight gain. You will get to lose weight if you stay calorie deficit.
In addition, previous meta-analyses found that low carbohydrate diet for 6 to 12 months is more effective than low-fat diet for weight loss. A low-carbohydrate diet including removing ultra-processed food and processed food, which have refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pasta, as well as sugary drink. 2
Ideally, choose dark varieties of rice such as brown, red and black rice over refined varieties. The high fibre content in whole grain rice helps to keep you full longer and suppress appetite, making your weight loss journey easier and healthier.
In short, the key is to enjoy it in moderation as well as eat mindfully. Besides eating a balanced diet, nothing is more important than staying active. Healthy weight loss relies on many factors and simply removing rice from your diet may not guarantee results.
This article is written by Ms Wu Suet Kei (Nutritionist) for Green Image Organic Enterprise Sdn. Bhd.
1Dalai et. al. Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity: October 2020 - Volume 27 - Issue 5 - p 275-282
2Chawla et al. Nutrients 2020, 12, 3774: 1-21