Are you trying to lose weight? You may already be on your weight loss journey. It is a never-ending learning experience. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you learn which foods are better for your metabolism. This mostly comes from trial and error. Although, it is always helpful to have a guide to teach you a few simple tricks and trades.
Speaking of trades, you should consider switching to brown rice for weight loss. There are several reasons to make the trade between brown and white rice. Most of them are health-related. At the same time, they may help you shed those extra pounds that your body has been hanging on to.
Rice is a filling and versatile addition to any diet. It is one of the most common foods that people consume across the world. Now, there are several varieties of rice to choose from. White and brown rice are the most common. However, there are around 19 unique grains of rice available. Let’s discuss why brown rice is the best option for people who are trying to lose weight.
How Can You Use Brown Rice for Weight Loss?
Brown rice is popular with fitness fiends for good reason. It is an easy, versatile, and healthy filler you can add to any meal. Plus, it is more nutrient-dense. This means that it is extremely filling but lower in calories.
For instance, consuming 200 calories of brown rice would almost fill you up. However, consuming 200 calories of potato chips would only leave you wanting more. So, the smarter choice would be the brown rice, right?
Additionally, brown rice is lower in calories than white rice. One cup of fully cooked brown rice contains around 220 calories. On the other hand, one cup of prepared white rice has around 245 calories. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you add up your daily calories it makes a difference.
What are the Benefits of Brown Rice?
Brown rice is full of the essential fiber your body requires to function at its optimal level. Most people understand that fiber is important to keep their bowel movements regular. However, it can also help with lowering cholesterol, losing weight, and preventing disease. A fiber-rich diet may lower your chances of being diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes.
You should consume between 20 to 40 grams of fiber each day. If you are a woman under 50, you need between 21 and 28 grams daily. Men under 50 require more fiber. They need about 30 to 38 grams each day. If you’re over 50, you need to increase your fiber a little bit.
The average person only consumes 16 grams of the fiber they need during their day. So, take this into consideration. One cup of brown rice contains almost four grams of fiber. Eating brown rice each day is a great way to get you closer to your goal.
1. It Helps Lower Your Blood Pressure
One study proved that people who eat brown rice instead of white rice lost more weight. This research was published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. The participants that chose brown rice also lowered their blood pressure naturally!
2. Brown Rice Can Help Get Rid of Visceral Fat
Visceral fat is one of the most dangerous body fats. It builds up around your vital organs. The more visceral fat you have, the more health risks you may face.
Thankfully, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition gave people hope. The research found that switching to brown rice can help eliminate the dangerous visceral fat that builds up in your abdomen. People who switched from white to brown rice lost their unhealthy fat quicker than those who chose white rice instead.
3. You Get More Vitamins and Minerals
If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably understand how important your daily vitamin and mineral intake is. The good news is that brown rice is packed full of nutrition. Plus, it is full of healthy antioxidants.
White rice lacks several of the nutrients your body craves. Brown rice contains thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. These nutrients are essential for healthy muscle tissue, skin, metabolism, and energy levels.
Brown Rice Nutrition Information / Daily Value
- Zinc – Four Percent
- Thiamine – Six Percent
- Niacin – Eight Percent
- Iron – Two Percent
- Phosphorous – Eight Percent
- Manganese – 45 Percent
- Magnesium – 11 Percent
Additionally, the antioxidants found in brown rice can help prevent certain diseases and cancers.
4. It May Lower Your Blood Sugar
People who have diabetes, are pre-diabetic, or just trying to lose weight may benefit from eating whole grain brown rice for weight loss. It may help lower your blood sugar due to its high saturation of magnesium. Plus, brown rice has carbohydrates that digest slowly. This is because of its high fiber saturation. Slow-digesting carbs can help maintain healthy insulin levels.
One study analyzed a group of women who increased their intake of whole grains. The participants that ate a higher amount of whole grains decreased their risk of type two diabetes by 31 percent.
5. Brown Rice Can Reduce the Amount of Fat in Your Blood
Whole grain brown rice contains lignans. These plant compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect on your arteries. Plus, they lower the concentration of fat in your blood and reduce your blood pressure as well.
6. It Helps Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Since your blood contains less fat, your risk of heart disease plummets. It’s also vital to mention that around 45 studies say the same thing. Now, whether you are losing weight for health reasons or not, it’s worth mentioning. This compounded research says that people who consume more whole grains lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease by 16 to 21 percent! This was in comparison to those who consumed fewer whole grains on average.
7. People Who Eat Brown Rice Weigh Less
Research shows that people who consume more healthy whole grains weigh less. Typically, they have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index). Both benefits were proven by multiple studies. However, the most prominent research claims that brown rice specifically lowers body weight and waist size.
8. It Keeps You Full Longer
When you’re trying to lose weight, hunger control is the key to success. You cannot lose weight if you feel ravenous every few hours. Losing weight is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. So, you can exercise like crazy, but if you don’t eat right you won’t lose anything. Brown rice is a great way to stay full and healthy.
The fiber it contains takes much longer to digest, so you will feel satisfied until it is time for your next meal. Add one or two cups of cooked brown rice to your plate. You will save hundreds of calories.
9. Brown Rice is an Affordable and Healthy Food
If you have been on a diet before, you know that it can be a little expensive. The thing is, the healthiest whole foods are relatively cheap. You can pick up a one-pound bag of brown rice for between two and four dollars in the United States. Add it to your stir-fry vegetables or make it a healthy side dish with your grilled chicken or tofu.
10. It is Full of Selenium
Brown rice is loaded with selenium. This mineral enhances the strength of your immune system. This is essential when you’re losing weight, especially if you are just starting your journey. Your body is in a weakened state. This is usually the result of calorie restriction. So, it is important to help your immune system fight off any unwanted infections.
On another note, selenium is great for your thyroid. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located in your throat. It controls many bodily functions and your metabolism is one of them. If you have a thyroid disorder, you may have trouble losing weight. Adding more selenium to your diet is a great way to combat these issues.
11. Add Brown Rice to Any Healthy Meal
When you are on a diet, your food choices may seem limited. However, that is simply not true. A sustainable and healthy weight loss plan should include things like vegetables, fruits, legumes, proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains. Luckily, brown rice is one of the healthiest whole grains out there. For starters, here are some easy meal ideas that incorporate brown rice.
- Breakfast – Add brown rice to some eggs, (or tofu), black beans, salsa, and avocados for a filling start to your day.
- Lunch – Fry up some tasty black bean and brown rice burgers. Use whole grain buns to stay on track. You can also add some hummus for extra flavor.
- Dinner – Make your favorite chili recipe. Add some brown rice to make it extra hearty.
Brown rice is an incredibly versatile grain. You can add it to any meal as a tasty and healthy alternative to many foods. Studies show that it contains several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients help fight and prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer, illness, and much more! It can also help your thyroid function normally, which is essential while losing weight.
You will also feel full for longer periods of time. The fiber it provides takes longer to digest. So, you won’t feel the need to reach for that bag of chips as often. Brown rice is also affordable. Diets can be expensive if you choose the pricier packaged item. Instead, choose whole foods that you can buy in bulk. Eating healthy isn’t expensive when you choose natural and unrefined foods.
Several studies prove its effectiveness. People who consume whole grains like brown rice on a regular basis weigh less than their counterparts. Plus, people who choose it over refined white rice lose weight quicker and have smaller stomachs. The visceral fat that most overweight people carry can also be eliminated by switching to brown rice. This can lower your risk for several cardiovascular issues.
Brown rice can also reduce the amount of fat in your blood. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, so your arteries relax and blood flows more easily. The lignans it contains help remove excess fat in your circulatory system. This benefit helps lower your chances of developing heart disease.
If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, it is especially important for you to switch to brown rice. It helps balance your insulin levels. By lowering your blood sugar, it reduces your risk of diabetes. If you are already diabetic, eating brown rice makes you feel better since your blood sugar is level.
Lastly, eating brown rice for weight loss also helps lower your blood pressure. Since your arteries are less inflamed, your heart doesn’t work as hard to pump blood throughout your body. This benefit is also a by-product of losing weight. As you shed unwanted pounds, your blood pressure numbers may start to balance out. This will make you feel better as a whole. Plus, this will also make it easier for you to exercise.
Choosing brown rice is a no-brainer. With so many diet fads out there, why not take the simplest route? Eating whole foods and unrefined grains is one of the most healthy and easy ways to lose weight. So, what are you waiting for?