Healthy Bites

Lose Weight and Boost Nutrition with This Common Grain

Credit: Lilyana Vynogradova | Shutterstock
(Image credit: Lilyana Vynogradova | Shutterstock)

How often do you eat rice? It could be time to add some more of this grain to your diet.  

People who eat white or brown rice daily are more likely to have adequate levels of potassium, magnesium and other nutrients, according to a recent study in the journal Food and Nutrition Sciences. They also tend to consume less saturated fat, and fewer added sugars, the researchers said.

It's not that rice is some miracle food, though. It has definite nutritional benefits, but adding rice to an unhealthy diet will not magically make you healthy. The study found that people who are in the habit of eating rice often are more likely to also eat diets that are consistent with the recommendations in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. [6 Foods That Are Good For Your Brain]

A previous found similar results: Rice eaters also consumed more veggies, fiber, iron and potassium, and less saturated fat, according to researchers who published their results in 2009 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

How much do you know about rice? Here are some facts to consider:

Brown vs. white rice: Brown rice is considered the healthier choice of the two, because the germ and bran components of the grain remain intact, which also means that it retains the nutrients from these components. White rice has been stripped of the germ and bran, but it is often enriched with B vitamins. So, there are some benefits to white rice, but brown rice contains more fiber, minerals and phytonutrients.

Rice and nutrition: A serving of rice contains no fat, cholesterol, or sugars, according to nutrition information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Rice and weight loss: In one study, people who consumed a byproduct of brown rice fermentation lost more weight on average than those who consumed a mixed grain product. The results suggest that brown rice may be a better choice for your plate than bread, according to the findings, published in 2011 in the journal Nutrition Research.

Healthy Bites appears weekly on Live Science. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry! Follow her on Twitter @1minwellness.

Deborah Enos
Deborah Enos, CN, also known as "The One-Minute Wellness Coach," is The Health Coach for busy, working people. She pares her good-health messages down to simple and fast bullet points that can impact lives in 60 seconds or less. Deborah serves as a board member of the American Heart Association.  In addition to writing the Healthy Bites column for Live Science, Deborah is a regular on FOX Business News, NBC and ABC, and is a frequent contributor to The Costco Connection, Parade Magazine, Self Magazine, Good Housekeeping and USA Today. Deborah is also The One Minute Wellness Coach for The Doctors TV Show.