Is Rice Fattening? Which Rice Is Healthiest?

rice fattening
Credit: Spencer Platt / Staff/ Getty

Is rice fattening? Which of the different types of rice is the best for you? Is white rice fattening? Which rice is the healthiest? Luckily, we’re here to help.

Rice can be confusing. When going into the grocery store and down the aisle, you’ll notice that there is a ton of different types of rice.

White, brown, long grain, wild, basmati—that alone can be a little confusing. But then there are also the health questions.

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We’ve done some research to help demystify the different varieties of rice and help you make a better choice for your family and for your health.

Is Rice Fattening?

Is rice fattening? It seems like such a simple question, but the answer is a little more complex than a simple yes or no. Any food, good or bad, can be fattening if not eaten in moderation.

Eating more than your daily calorie amount of any food will cause things like weight gain, especially with little to no activity or exercise.

That being said, rice can be fattening if not portion controlled. Rice is filled with carbohydrates with some protein. Without exercise, those rice carbs can add up quick.

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So for a weight loss diet, rice might not be an ideal food. However, if you are exercising to try and gain muscle, rice is a fantastic addition to your diet. With the right carbs, protein, and calories, rice can help out substantially.

The energy spent when exercising in a weight lifting program can use all of the energy that the carbs produce (thus eliminating the fattening worries) and the protein can be essential to building muscle.

There is a reason that athletes whose sports and professions revolve around muscle (weight lifters, power lifters, pro wrestlers, mixed martial artists, etc) eat a lot of rice as part of their daily calorie intake.

If you follow The Rock on one of his various social media platforms, you’ll notice that he eats rice as part of his daily dietary regimen.

But for the rest of us who may be just trying to lose a few pounds, you may want to lessen the amount of rice in your diet until your goals are achieved.

Rice can be fattening, but that doesn’t mean that rice isn’t good for you. In fact, rice can have quite a few health benefits if eaten properly within one’s diet, especially depending on the type of rice and diet.

Is Rice Good for You?

Given what we discussed earlier with rice’s calories, carbs, and what not, is rice good for you? The simple answer is yes.

Rice is good for you in moderation. Non-white rice, for example, contains fiber, and fiber is always good for you. Rice is also naturally gluten-free, so for those that have a gluten allergy or are just trying to avoid gluten, rice is a great thing.

There has been much research about arsenic levels in rice, but nothing has been conclusive. Most of these reports are troubled by the amount of inorganic arsenic found in rice, but most agreed that levels were low and not necessarily harmful in moderate amounts.

However, daily exposure in excess amounts can be cause for concern in the long term. If you are concerned, rinsing your rice can lower the arsenic levels even more.

Is white rice healthy? Yes. Is brown rice healthy? Yes. All rice is healthy in moderation and part of a balanced diet. But it should be noted that there are some kinds of rice that are better than others for your health and diet.

Which rice is healthier for you? Is brown rice better than white? What about long grain rice? There are differences, but the answers can sometimes be hard to wrap you head around.

Which Rice is the Healthiest?

Now we come to the biggest of all of the rice questions. Which rice is the healthiest for you? It’s hard to say which rice is the best for you as all of the different varieties have different pros and cons when it comes to rice nutrition facts, but the least healthy for you is white rice.

That is not to say that white rice is bad for you; it isn’t, but compared to the other types of rice out there.

The milling process that makes white rice white also takes a lot of the fiber away from the grain. Brown rice and wild rice are much better for you than white in terms of fiber and other nutrients.

However, white rice tends to have fewer calories than the other types of rice. Taking brown rice as the example, brown rice has more micronutrients and a lower glycemic index than white rice, but it also has more carbs and calories than white rice.

Consider the diet and the health goals you want to achieve before choosing the rice that is right for you. At the end of the day, all rice is healthy just some healthier than others.

Rice is Good

Rice is good for you. It’s a major staple of diets across the world. But as to which rice is the best, it really depends on your tastes and what your nutritional goals are.

As with any food, moderation is the key and take everything into consideration when making your choice in the grocery aisle.


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