Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eat Brown Rice to be Healthy

Yesterday, while sitting in a gathering, the aspect of ill-health, cholesterol and related internal disorders came under discussion. One of the participants being a doctor beside suggesting many diets and foods that promote good health also recommended replacing white rice with the brown rice in our dietary habits. While cautioning about its typical taste and rather longer cooking time he suggested its active use as brown rice has it being wholegrain helps lowering the body's blood sugar level as against the white rice which increases sugar level and thus attributes to rising blood sugar level and causing diabetes.

Now this information was eye opening since we eat white rice plate after plate in parties and even at home. This prompted me to find out more about this amazing brownies. And surely what the doctor the other day has said was quite true and we need to change our taste and dietary habits by switching over to brown rice and beat back high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

Although, both brown and white rice are similar, as white rice without its brown outer covering is the same thing inside the brown rice. Both have thus same out of calories, carbohydrates and proteins. Then what is the difference? Well to produce brown rice, only the outer layer is removed during the milling process, while for white rice the next layer underneath the husk are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. And in the process, many dietary minerals are lost, like the vitamin B (1 and 3), magnesium and iron. And this starchy thing is the basic reason for enhanced cholesterol and diabetes. Magnesium is a very important ingredient for our good health, which is found only 19 mg in a cup of 195 g rice as compared to 84mg in the same amount. Another important thing which is lost is the oil contained in the bran layer (which is removed for making the white rice). It is this oil which actually helps in lowering the bad cholesterol or the LDL.

Since brown rice still has the bran intact, it has more fiber than white rice. One cup of brown rice has 3.5 gm of fiber while the same amount of white rice has less than one gm. We all need from 25 to 38 grams of fiber in our diet every day.

Recent research have shown that while white rice attributed towards the risk of type-2 diabetes, the otherwise unimpressive brown rice has just the opposite effect and helps arresting or reducing the incident of or developing the type-2 diabetes. Thus it is suggested that by replacing a third part of the white rice serving with the brown rice, the risk of type-2 diabetes is reduced by 16%.

It should be interesting to know that the white rice being devoid of the husk, bran and the germ is processed quickly by the digestive system releasing sugar at a faster rate into the blood, causing an incident of type -2 diabetes. While the sluggish brown rice laded with all its outer coverings takes more time to be digested and thus releasing energy and sugar slowly to keep the sugar level stable.

And one last thing. Many people do not know the correct procedure of cooking brown rice and they handle it just like the white rice. Since the brown rice covering is hard, it takes more time to get soft and tasty. So for best results soak the washed brown rice in warm water (anything between 38-100 degrees Celsius) for TWENTY HOURS before cooking. This relatively too much time is needed for the germination to activate various enzymes contained in the brown rice. This longer time would also help in obtaining more amino acid.

This convinces me to switch over to the brown rice, otherwise considered poor man’s food in most of the South East Asian countries. And now I know why people living in these countries are generally thin and lean, and healthy.


Asghar Javed said...

Thanks for explaining me the difference between white and brown rice. I never knew that.