If you are looking to lose weight, switching to rice is apparently a good idea, according to a recent study by the US Rice Federation.
People who eat rice in the place of more traditional North American side dishes are 1/3 less likely to have high blood pressure, a quarter less likely to have high waist circumference, and a fifth less likely to have metabolic syndrome. Of the four age groups studied, nearly 3,000 participants reported eating rice.
The results show that children and adults who ate rice had diets that contained higher amounts of several key nutrients such as folate and other B-vitamins, potassium, fiber and vitamin A. In addition, those who included rice in their diet had less total fat, saturated fat and added sugars, and more beans and fruit.
This study is not surprising; rice’s main rival as a side dish, potatoes, are frequently served up in French Fry form, or loaded down with sour cream if they are baked. Mashed potatoes contain lots of butter (unless you use chicken or vegetable broth as a tasty replacement) and dairy products.
People making dishes with rice are also likely to be making an East Asian or Asian-based dish, which are usually more nutritious and less fat-laden than traditional North American dishes. As a bonus, all rice is naturally gluten-free, and thus is safe for celiac sufferers.
The US Rice Federation represents growers of organic and conventional rice and manufacturers of rice products that are based in the US.