Rice comes in many different variations, all with their own unique makeup of nutrients, minerals, and health benefits. And while many of us have been told that we can’t enjoy rice as a part of a healthy weight loss plan, this isn’t necessarily true. Incorporating rice into your diet is more about finding the right types instead of avoiding it altogether.
To learn more about the healthiest types of rice for weight loss, we talked with Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RD, author at Go Wellness. Continue reading to learn more about the specific types of rice and their unique health benefits, and for more healthy eating tips check out 4 Popular Diets That Don’t Actually Work.
At the end of the day, white rice is not the villain everyone makes it out to be if it’s consumed in moderation. However, if you’re wanting to lose belly fat, you may want to try other types of rice that are less processed and still have their nutrients in tact.
“The ‘worst’ type of rice for belly fat loss is white rice. It’s not necessarily bad for you, but white rice is more processed, which means it will lose some of its nutrients in the processing phase. White rice also has the lowest fiber per serving and highest carbs compared to black rice and brown rice. Low fiber won’t help you keep full and ultimately will make you hungry a little faster. So, if you’re focused on belly fat loss, stick to brown or black rice, as those rices are higher in nutrients,” says D’Angelo.
Many people talk about brown rice being healthier for you than white rice, with the main reason being that it isn’t processed. Because of this, it’s packed full of nutrients.
“Brown rice carries a significant amount of nutrients, mainly because it is whole-grain rice. It’s high in fiber, B-vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Fiber is beneficial for weight loss because it helps stabilize blood sugar and can keep you full Brown rice can also help improve digestion as well as feed healthy bacteria in your gut,” says D’Angelo.
Wild rice is a type of semi-aquatic grass, so it is technically a combination of four different types of grass. According to Nutrition Reviews, wild rice is recognized as a whole grain that is packed full of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and multiple kinds of antioxidants. It’s also been known to help manage lipid profiles, heart health, and weight.
Red rice is another common rice variety that is considered a whole grain. It is one of the healthiest types of rice you can eat, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s packed full of fiber and protein, and also contains helpful antioxidants that can help your body fight free radicals.
Carolina Gold Rice is not as common as the other types of rice, but it is worth a top spot on the list because of its health benefits. It’s grown only in a few regions of the southern United States, but its high antioxidant and nutrient content has put this type of rice on the map.
Carolina Gold Rice has also been studied by Blue Zone researchers and is known to be a key to longevity for many South Carolina residents. Not only that, but it’s high in protein and fiber, two components that make it great for weight loss.
One of the best rice varieties for weight loss and your overall health is black rice.
“Black rice has the highest level of antioxidants of all varieties of rice, thanks to the anthocyanin content, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also has a good amount of protein in it (10 grams in one cooked cup). Protein helps build muscle while also burning fat. It also helps you feel better overall. Additionally, it has a good amount of fiber in it. The fiber and protein will help you feel full and not reach for unhealthy snacks,” says D’Angelo