The Health Benefits of Rice
Talk about the merits of white rice with folks who pay attention to their diets, and chances are the decision will be a split one. Some will think rice is healthy and a good choice for keeping weight down. Others will believe it’s an unhealthy dish that packs on the pounds. What’s the truth?
First, some background: Rice has fed more people, for a longer period of time, than any other crop on the face of the earth. It can be traced back to 2500 BC. Since it thrives in variety of climates and landscapes, it is the most eaten food on the planet. A whopping three billion people consume rice on an everyday basis.
However, the kind of white rice the average American eats (and we consume individually less than 25lbs. a year) is milled rice hat has had its husk removed. This is done largely to prevent spoilage and to extend the storage life of the grain. After milling, the rice is then polished resulting in a seed with a bright, white, shiny appearance. The problem is this polishing process removes important nutrients.
However, white rice is often enriched with some of the nutrients stripped from it during its processing. For example, it’s always enriched with B-1, B-3 and iron because that’s required by law in the United States.