Is Rice Good For Weight Loss?

is rice good for weight loss

Is rice good for weight loss?

This is a million-dollar question that has been asked since the first day of human existence on this planet.

As one of the most popular and easily accessible foods that is sugary, rice is often thought to be a calorie-dense and unhealthy food choice for someone looking to lose weight.

On the other hand, many people have been known to choose rice over pasta as their carb source because it is filling with fewer calories than spaghetti or noodles – so it can’t be all bad, right?


Is Rice Good For Weight Loss?

Is rice good for weight loss?

Well, the answer is…it depends. Is rice good for weight loss?

1 cup of rice is about 210 calories which aren’t particularly high but it’s not low either (about the same as 1 cup of pasta).

Rice also contains 1 gram of fiber and 3.5 grams of protein per serving; both of which are essential to your diet if you are trying to lose weight.

The problem is that the American diet contains quite a bit of rice.

On average, Americans eat about 3 pounds of rice per year which adds up to about 50 pounds per lifetime…that’s a lot of rice!

Having too many grains in the diet can actually cause weight gain because it interferes with fat loss.

When you eat carbs, your body digests them and turns them into glucose (sugar) which fuels your body.

If you eat too many carbs, your body stops burning fat for fuel and starts using your stored fat as a source of energy, which is not good for weight loss.

The thing that I’m going to talk about in this article that I mentioned before is starch.

Because rice is a starchy carb, it’s a good idea to limit how much you eat.

It can cause problems with blood sugar regulation and will also make you store fat because it takes more calories from your body to digest rice than from other foods.

So, to answer the question, Is rice good for weight loss?

Well…if you can limit your rice consumption to once per day (or less), then it is okay to eat rice.

If you want to lose weight, you should try eating other carb sources like sweet potatoes or brown pasta instead because they digest slower than white rice.

Also, make sure you are eating natural whole grain forms of these starches because they contain less sugar and are more filling than processed grains.

Why Should Limit Your Rice Intake If You Want To Lose Weight?

Some of the most interesting research on diet, nutrition, and health focuses on food-related chemicals that are found in food.

These chemicals are called allergens (or potential allergenic foods) because they can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them.

These chemical additives are typically researched because they cause health problems in some people or issue with weight loss or gain, or other issues like damage to brain cells or cancer.

There are many potential allergens that are found in rice.

You may already be aware that gluten causes allergic reactions in people due to the protein content in grain products like rice, wheat, and barley.

However, gluten is not the only thing to worry about in these grain products.

There is also a class of chemicals called lectins which are found in all sorts of foods including rice.

What Are Lectins?

Lectins are a family of chemicals that are found in over 70 different foods.

They are responsible for causing allergic reactions and can be harmful to your health if you suffer from food allergies.

If you do not suffer from food allergies, then lectins may just cause some mild health issues or weight loss issues.

One of the most common foods that contain lectins is rice.

Brown rice and white rice both contain this chemical and it does not matter how much you wash and rinse the rice, there will be lectin levels in your finished product.

There are a couple of different types of lectins that are found in rice, but the most dangerous is agglutinin.

What Is Agglutinin?

Agglutinin is a type of lectin that causes the most problems for human beings because it stimulates the immune system which can cause a chronic inflammatory response.

While this response may not be harmful to healthy people with strong immune systems, it can be extremely dangerous for people who have autoimmune disorders or other chronic or acute illnesses.

Even if you do not suffer from an autoimmune disorder, there may be some adverse health effects from eating agglutinins on a regular basis because it can cause gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea in some individuals.

How Much Lectin Is In Rice?

It is unclear exactly how much lectin is in rice because no research has been done on this specific chemical, but there are some interesting statistics on the subject.

There are different types of rice, including white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, black rice, and red Thai jasmine rice.

Each one has a different amount of lectin concentrations.

Red Thai jasmine rice contains around 11.0 micrograms of lectin per gram which is the highest concentration of any variety of rice.

Basmati and wild panda rice contain around 3.5 micrograms per gram and brown and wild black rice contain the least amount at 2.1 micrograms per gram.

Based on the information that we have about lecture in rice, it is clear that basmati and wild black rice contains the least amount of lectin while red Thai jasmine rice contains the highest amount.

It is likely that other varieties contain these same concentrations to some extent, but research has not confirmed this information.

How Does Rice Affect Weight?

When you eat any food, your body must digest it in order to convert it into usable energy.

If the food contains a significant amount of lectin, then your body may take more calories to digest that food versus other foods.

When you eat rice, you get all of the nutrients from the grain, but the rice contains high levels of lectin which causes digestive issues and slows down your metabolism.

These two factors together can cause a significant calorie deficit.

In a study that was conducted on mice, they were fed either white or brown rice for 18 times per week for 12 weeks each.

The researchers found that the mice that ate white rice had significantly lower metabolism and lost more fat than the mice who ate brown rice.

White rice also caused weight gain in both groups of rodents.

More recent research has shown that rice can be even more harmful to your health than just slowing down the metabolism.

When the researchers examined the blood sugar levels of human subjects, they found that those who ate rice had significantly higher blood glucose levels after 4 hours.

When you are eating whole grains to control your weight, it is best to limit your rice consumption so you can keep glucose stable in your body without having to rely on sugar.

So now you know how much lectin is in rice, so now what?

Limit Your Rice Consumption If You Want To Lose Weight!

The lectin content of rice high enough for humans may cause some health problems due to the immune response it causes.

Even if you are healthy, it can cause some gastrointestinal issues.

However, if you are suffering from obesity or an autoimmune disorder, then rice can be dangerous to your health.

The reason why is it stimulates the immune system and may exacerbate your already existing medical condition.

Here is a list of rice alternatives that you should try if you want to avoid lectin concentrations in your diet:

Brown Basmati Rice

Many people enjoy brown basmati rice because it is a long grain variety which has a nutty flavor and aroma. It is also high in fiber.

Wild Black Rice

This type of rice usually comes from the Philippines but can be found in some other countries as well.

The kernels are black due to the whole grain being cooked without cooking the husk first.

It tastes similar to wild panda rice yet it can be purchased at more places than just Asian markets.

Arborio Rice

This type of rice is a short-grain variety that is grown in Italy.

It has a lighter texture which makes it perfect for risotto and other types of pasta dishes.

Black Beans

Soaking the beans reduces the amount of lectins in them so they may not be as potent as white or brown rice, but they do still contain protein and fiber which helps you stay full longer.

Fava Beans

These are known for their high protein content.

They are also high in fiber which will keep you feeling full longer. You can saute them with garlic for a bean dish that has a nice flavor.

You can saute them with garlic for a bean dish that has a nice flavor.


This type of grain is popular in Mediterranean countries. It is high in protein and contains less lectin than other grains.


This spongy seed resembles the shape of a shark’s teeth, but it tastes like a nutty cereal that you would find in an organic health food store.

It has a nice crunch to it and it can be cooked to make a great side dish for fish or poultry.


This grain is high in fiber which will keep you full longer. It makes for a great breakfast cereal with some fruit mixed in.


This seed is very similar to couscous.

It is also high in protein and fiber which makes it a great side dish. It can be used as a substitute for rice as well.


This type of grain is usually found on an Eastern European menu and has the texture of oats yet it tastes like corn on the cob.

You can saute it with some onions and mushrooms, or you can use it as a tooth-sticking filler in your main course.


This ancient grain is high in protein, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and lysine.

It is also used as a popular cereal to make porridge with.


This seed originated in Ethiopia but can be found throughout many regions of Africa.

It is high in fiber and calcium.


This seed is naturally gluten-free and contains more protein than rice yet it has a softer texture than wheat or oats.

You can use this to make pancakes or you can use it as a substitute for potatoes when making French fries loaded with toppings such as cheese, sour cream, chives, bacon bits, etc.

Beans are the bane of the lectin world.

The body has its own digestive system, which is able to remove most of the bad lectins in beans.

Still, some people have digestive issues with beans due to their high fiber content.

You may want to take a look at these tips to see if they help you eat more legumes without getting sick.

Choose beans that are whole and not processed.

If possible, buy them locally so they were picked fresh.

Opt for black or pinto beans over navy or kidney beans because the former is less likely to cause inflammation in your gut.

Cook the beans first so they are more digestible.

Try to cook them as hot as you can before eating, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.

Add a little seasoning at first so your body gets used to the taste and doesn’t think it is a violation of a food taboo.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, let’s agree that rice in itself has nothing wrong with it.

However, it is just another thing that needs to be taken into consideration when you are trying to eat healthy because, while your body may love rice, it does not have the same feelings for all types of other grains.

When you are considering how to eat healthily, you have to take all of your meals into account before you make a decision.

Your diet should include the full range of food so your body can get all the essential nutrients that it needs.

You should always cook with ingredients that are in season and locally grown if possible.

You should also avoid eating processed foods that do not provide much nutritional value and opt for organic whenever possible.

You May Also Like