We reviewed a diet program on this site, called The Diet Solution Program. What I most like about this program’s author, Isabel De Los Rios, is her candid approach to foods. She is very good at dispelling myths about many so-called diet foods that are actually unhealthy for you – and is equally good at helping you to find truly healthy alternatives. Since I like her information so much, I’m featuring a recent article she sent to me in this post.
Isabel De Los Rios’ advice- Eat These Healthy Grains to Lose Pounds:
“There are many things in our society today that have a bad reputation…politicians, car salesmen, and carbohydrates. But not all carbs are the same and we do not need to be pointing the nasty blame finger on all of them equally.
When I break the bad news to people that the whole wheat they think is healthy is a major weight loss No-No, they automatically think I’m suggesting they go ride the Low Carb Train. That’s not what I’m saying at all! The good news for all of us is that there are plenty of other healthy carbohydrate and grain options that fit into your Diet Solution fat burning meal plans perfectly.
White Rice vs. Brown Rice and every other rice on the shelf
If you’ve ever even spent 2 minutes in the rice aisle at your local grocery store, you know the varieties and the choices of rice are endless. Are any of these a good option for you on your DSP plan? Yes, yes, and yes.
Brown Rice goes on the top of the “good” list (oh come on, you knew I was going to say that right?) Many people know brown rice is better than white, but why? Well, although brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and protein. The main difference between the two forms of rice is in the processing and nutritional content.
- Only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed in producing brown rice. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.
- Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost when you remove this very important layer (especially Vit B1, Vit B3 and iron). Not to mention magnesium, where one cup of cooked brown rice contains 84mg of magnesium and one cup of white rice only contains 19 mg.
- Another very important source of nutrition that is lost in white rice is fiber! This is so vital because fiber plays so many important roles in the weight loss process.
- Fiber helps you to feel full for a longer period of time and if you are not hungry and feel satisfied, it’s much easier to stick to your healthy eating than if you are starving all day.
- Fiber also helps to control blood sugar fluctuations and as you’ve learned in the DSP, the secret to weight loss is keeping your blood sugar and your insulin under control all day long.
- Fiber helps your digestion. If you are not eliminating and moving your bowels each day, weight loss will be extremely difficult. I would even say for some people, impossible.
Speaking of keeping your blood sugar in balance…we should also consider the glycemic index (how a particular food affects your blood sugar) when considering our rice options.
An easy test you can do right in your kitchen to test the glycemic index of a particular variety of rice is the “stickiness” test. After you’ve cooked the rice, the easier it is to mush up into a ball (mushy), the higher the glycemic index and the faster it will cause your blood sugar to rise.
This is why long grain brown rice is actually better than short grain brown rice…it will cause a slower rice in your blood sugar and in insulin levels.
How about Other Rice Options?
Here are just a few…
- Basmati Rice – Used in a wide range of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, basmati rice comes in white and brown varieties. I suggest choosing the brown as the glycemic index of brown basmati rice is even lower than regular long grain brown rice. This one gets the DSP thumbs up.
- Black Rice – Cultivated in Asia, this rice is typically sold as an unmilled rice, meaning the fiber-rich black husks of the rice are not removed, making black rice very high in fiber. It’s also naturally high in iron…a plus for those looking for iron-rich foods. This one gets the DSP thumbs up.
- Jasmine – Jasmine rice is frequently served with Thai and Chinese dishes. It is often compared to Basmati Rice and sometimes used in cooking interchangeably. Like basmati rice, it also comes in brown and white varieties. You probably already know what I’m going to say here (but I’ll say it anyway), choose the brown rice variety. This one gets the DSP thumbs up.
- Wild Rice – Similar to brown rice, wild rice is less processed than white rice and as a result, obtains more nutrients, specifically protein, vitamin B1 and magnesium. Not quite as much of a winner as brown rice, but not the same as white rice, wild rice falls somewhere in between. Even so…it still get the DSP thumbs up.
Which rice options get the DSP thumbs down?
- White rice
- Instant rice (especially the ones that go in the microwave)
- rice bowls (highly processed)
- Any other rice product that has added creams, sauces or tons of sodium.
Now, with all of this talk about glycemic index and sugar balance, you must remember the most important thing…
The glycemic index of a food changes drastically when combined with other foods. So regardless of your rice choice, it is essential that you combine your rice (a carb) with a healthy protein and fat (just like all the meal plans laid out for you in your DSP Manual).
So, where do any of the healthy rice options fit into your DSP meal plans? Depending on your specified portion sizes, a ½ cup to a cup of brown rice can be a wonderful carbohydrate choice in your lunch or dinner alongside a tasty protein (maybe some wild fish) and some yummy vegetables.
At 4 Diet Review, we believe that Isabel De Los Rio’s advice regarding rice can be used in any diet that allows some type of carbs (and we don’t recommend those that don’t allow any carbs.) Most of us know that brown rice is a better choice, but I was interested to learn about the other varieties of rice that she listed here.
It’s always best to have a variety of choices when on a weight loss plan, so no matter which one you use – hopefully this information will help you reach your goals and keep your taste buds happy, too!