What’s the problem with white rice?

As a staple of the Thai diet, cutting white rice out completely may be unrealistic but even reducing your intake may be beneficial.

But what is the problem with white rice?

White rice is a processed grain that has had the husk, bran and germ removed, which unfortunately takes most of the fibre and micronutrients with it. White rice is a great source of carbohydrates but consider that many people are consuming too many carbohydrates.

High fibre carbohydrates such as brown rice, basmati rice, sweet potato and whole fruits are more slowly digested and leave you feeling full for longer. Refined carbohydrates such as white rice are broken down much faster in the gut and released quickly into the bloodstream, which may result in a spike in blood sugar= not something we want occurring too often. If this occurs too often, blood sugar control may be impaired and leave to Type II Diabetes down the line.

Think, if you were to consume white rice at every meal, you are missing out on the vitamins and minerals you could be getting from other carbohydrate sources- e.g., brown rice or fruit. You don’t need to cut white rice out of your diet completely but reducing your intake, may help weight loss goals. Could you halve your portion of white rice and up the vegetables in favour? Could you swap the white rice for another carbohydrate source at one meal each day?

High fibre, healthy carbohydrate sources:

Sweet potato
Potato
Brown rice
Basmati rice
Whole fruit (not fruit juice)
Wholewheat pasta
Wholewheat bread
Lentils/chickpeas/lentils

About the author

Cheyenne Holman

Cheyenne Holman

Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD)
Accredited Sports Dietitian
Certified Personal Trainer
Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher