Rice is an incredibly misunderstood food. It is a member of the cereal family and many people make the mistake of assuming that it is a healthy choice. Unfortunately, this cereal is barely any better than the foods it is offered as an alternative to in fact, in some cases it may be worse. It is almost completely nutritionally void and is full of simple carbohydrates which convert to empty calories. Those calories are not bad for you if the rest of your diet is good, but if you already have problems with insulin sensitivity, or you are eating a lot of other empty calories, then you cannot afford to clutter up your diet with calorie-dense foods that add little nutritional value to your daily diet.
Humans Cannot Digest Rice
A close look at this grain should be enough to make people believe that it is not meant for human consumption. It contains phytin, a compound which binds to minerals and makes them essentially useless to any animal that eats them. Some rodents can digest phytin, but humans cannot. The mineral content in whole grains looks impressive on paper, but humans are not able to access those minerals efficiently. Even cooking cereals does not get rid of the phytin.
Trypsin inhibitors and heamagglutin-lectin are also found in white and brown rice. Trypsin inhibitors prevent the production of the trypsin enzyme, which is essential for digesting protein. Haemagglutin-lectin is not as harmful as some other lectin variants, but it does bind to carbohydrate receptors in the gut and impedes the absorption of many nutrients. Proper cooking reduces the amount of these harmful components, but that does not mean that cereals and grains such as this should be a regular part of your diet.
Constipation, Acne and Other Problems
There are many health problems associated with the simple carbohydrates found in cereals and grains. They have been linked with acne, constipation, bloating, weight gain and even diabetes. High-fibre grains are better than processed versions, but they are still less than ideal choices from a nutritional point of view.
There Are Better Things to Eat
The Paleo diet advocates eating natural foods which humans have had access to for thousands of years. If a food is heavily processed or only available in large quantities because of intensive farming methods then it is not a part of the Paleo diet.
Following the Paleo diet involves avoiding wheat, grains and gluten in favour of healthy fats, protein and a small amount of carbohydrates from in-season fruits. This diet offers many benefits in the long term. Avoiding gluten helps the gut to heal, improving your ability to metabolise proteins and absorb important nutrients. In addition, your body’s ability to regulate insulin improves, helping you to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day.
If you want to reduce your weight and feel healthier, there are better things to eat than grains and cereals. Choose foods that contain important nutrients, rather than simple bulk and calories.