With high levels of carbohydrate and starch rice is a commonly misunderstood food, with some people avoiding it, as they do pasta and bread, perceiving it as an unhealthy option. However research has proved time and again that rice is rich in nutrional benefits, offering a gluten free source of energy, which makes it an exceptionally healthy choice. We bust the myths about rice here.

  • Most of us have grown up with the idea that rice is full of carbs and starch, and hence is bad for us. But this is simply not true!
    Rice is low in fat and cholesterol-free. It is also a good source of energy because of the carbohydrates present in it. After carbohydrates it is protein that is found in abundance in rice. Rice contains negligible amounts of salt. For those who have to watch their salt intake rice is a super food and entirely safe to consume.
  • contains gluten.
    Rice is gluten-free and the most non-allergenic of all grains.
  • Rice is fattening.
    Rice is low in fat and cholesterol free. It is a good source of energy because of the carbohydrates present in it. Carbs help the body carry out its functions and everyday growth and repair.
  • Rice does not contain protein.
    After carbohydrate, protein is the second-most abundant nutrient found in rice. Rice protein is considered to be of the highest quality compared to other grains.
  • Rice has high amounts of salt.
    Rice contains negligible amounts of sodium. It is considered a super food and safe to consume by people who watch their salt intake.
  • Eating rice at night will make you fat.
    High carb foods that are digested to form glucose include rice, wheat, rye and millets. These foods should be eaten at night, so that after they are digested (it takes two hours to digest complex carbohydrates), the glucose which is absorbed into the blood, will more readily convert into energy. These foods should not be consumed during the day, when glucose more readily converts into fat.
  • rice can make you diabetic
    Studies published in the British Medical Journal have concluded that higher rice consumption is linked to developing type 2 diabetes among Asians. However, rice in its singularity does not cause diabetes, contrary to popular belief. It the type of rice that matters when it comes to diabetes.
  • Rice can push up your cholesterol level
    Rice does not spike cholesterol. It is considered a healthy food and safe to consume by people who watch their salt intake. Cholesterol is only found in animal- derived foods, meat, eggs, milk, so rice has no cholesterol. The amount of cholesterol 1in food doesn't have a huge effect on one's cholesterol levels - what counts is the amount of fat, particularly saturated fat - and rice is low in that too.
  • Rice has low nutrition value
    White rice is a good source of calories. In fact, 1 cup of cooked white rice contains 165 calories, while 1 cup of parboiled rice contains 205 calories. It is also a good source of proteins and potassium as it contains important B and E vitamins, potassium and magnesium. Brown rice scores over white rice with higher levels of phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, sodium and zinc than white rice.
  • Rice cereal makes babies sleep
    This just isn't true. Sleep patterns in babies are a developmental phenomenon, they don't have much to do with hunger patterns. Kids wake up hungry, but they don't wake up because they are hungry.
  • Throwing rice at weddings is harmful to birds.
    We've all heard the warning time and time again... Don't have guests throw rice at your wedding because it is harmful to birds as it causes them to swell up and burst! Fact: This is infact merely an urban legend. Rice is no more harmful to birds than birdseed or breadcrumbs.

Rice: Good or Bad?

Rice has been used for thousands of years and its cultivation has spread around the world. Although not grown here in Britain, we eat about 4.4kg of rice per person annually!

Rice is a complex carbohydrate – providing high energy value and slow energy release. It also contains protein used for growth and repair of the body and provides 11 percent of the estimated average requirement of protein for an adult. Health experts urge us to cut down on fat and fill up with fruit and vegetables and starchy fibre-rich foods like rice.

Rice is good for you... because it

  • contains virtually no fat and no cholesterol
  • contains fibre
  • contains little natural salt (although often added in cooking)
  • is gluten free and so is a useful food for coeliacs
  • does not cause allergic reactions
  • is a satisfying food yet contains few calories
  • is easily digested -suitable for the very young and elderly
  • does not contribute to tooth decay
  • is a relatively inexpensive food product and can form the basis of a satisfying nutritional low cost meal

The Science

For those of you who really want to get to the bottom of the science bit and understand what our bodies really need to maintain a healthy balance, here’s a bit of background:


  • The most important source of energy for the body are found in rice, which contains high levels of complex carbohydrates, essential to good health and a balanced diet.
  • Our bodies use these complex carbohydrate stores for when we need energy and then it is released.


  • Rice is one of the healthiest grains, with virtually no fat, most being polyunsaturated.
  • One serving of white rice has 82 calories and only 2g fat.
  • Brown rice has slightly more calories at 89 and a slightly higher fat content than white rice.
  • Neither rice grain contains any sodium or cholesterol.


  • Protein is used to help repair and strengthen muscles; it also helps with growth, keeps your muscles functioning properly, and helps with blood flow.
  • Rice is a good source of protein and contains essential amino acids.
  • Rice has a good protein content and paired with other protein, makes a healthy dish.


  • Rice is a great source of fibre, brown containing more fibre than white as white rice is stripped of some nutrients during the milling process.
  • This concentration of fibre helps protect and fight against colon cancer, heart disease, obesity and arthritis.

Gluten Free

  • Although rice is often called glutinous, this refers to the rice's stickiness rather than its gluten content.
  • Rice is gluten free, which allows it to be easily digested making it ideal for infants and people with wheat allergies or digestive problems.

Suitable for Vegetarians

  • All Laila Rice is suitable for vegetarians

Nutritional Value of Different Rice (Per 100G)

For those of you that really want to get to the nitty gritty, here’s a table that will help you compare the nutritional value sof the different types of cooked rice:

  Brown Rice Long Grain White Rice Basmati
Calories 215 204 120
Carb 44.4g 45g 25.8g
Fibre 3.5g 0.6g 0.4g
Fat 1.74 0.44 0.38g
Protein 5g 4.2g 3.5g

Brown rice – why it is such a great diet option !

  • Just because white rice is better-looking than brown rice it doesn’t mean that it is the healthier alternative!
  • When it comes to nutrition and other healthy benefits brown rice really scores well! This is because brown rice does not go through the ‘refining’ process like white rice does, so it retains all the goodness!
  • Here are some facts for you to consider while making brown rice a healthy option for you and your family:


  • Brown rice is rich in manganese which helps the body to process fats better. It also benefits our nervous and reproductive systems. Selenium helps to reduce the risk of developing illnesses like cancer, heart disease and arthritis.


  • Did you know that brown rice makes digestion really easy for the system as the fiber content in it keeps bowel movement in top form. What helps in weight loss is that it gives the stomach a feeling of being full so we tend to eat less!


  • Oils are found naturally in brown rice which help to keep cholesterol levels low!


  • Brown rice helps to stabilize sugar levels so it is an excellent choice for diabetics – studies have shown that those who consume more than half a cup of brown rice reduce their risk of developing diabetes by more than 50 per cent!


  • Due to the dense natural nutrition and fiber that is found in brown rice many nutrition experts advise starting off your baby on brown rice as a healthy food option.
  • Delicious and a perfect staple diet for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food-eaters brown rice, if used creatively can really delight you with its yummy taste and flavor!
  • Keep watching this space for some interesting brown rice recipes!
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