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Can Eating Rice Can Actually Help You Lose Weight?

Most of us assume rice is on the “bad” food list when you’re trying to drop a few pounds. However, new research suggests that incorporating the grain into your diet on the regular can aid in weight loss — if you don’t overdo it. 

In a study presented at the European Congress on Obesity, Professor Tomoko Imai from Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto, Japan, led research which compared the levels of obesity in countries where people regularly consume high levels of rice (150 grams per day) versus those who typically consume less (14 grams per day). That included a total of 136 countries across the globe, so their results are nothing to sniff at. According to Imai’s team, countries that consume more rice — including white, brown, and other varieties — had significantly lower obesity levels. They also took other factors, like finances and education, into account while compiling the information. 

“It’s possible that the fiber, nutrients, and plant compounds found in whole grains may increase feelings of fullness and prevent overeating,” Imai explained. “Rice is also low in fat and has a relatively low postprandial blood glucose level which suppresses insulin secretion.” Of course, they also acknowledge that people may overeat the rice itself, which is just as bad as eating too much of anything. 

The key is to eat “an appropriate amount” of rice. The research recommends a modest 50 grams of rice per day for a healthy balance. The team claims that this could potentially “reduce the worldwide prevalence of obesity by one percent,” lowering the number from 650 million overweight adults to roughly 643 million. It might seem like a small amount in the scheme of things, but it could be what’s needed to get the ball rolling for even more overall nutritional benefits. That said, you should always talk with your doctor before changing your diet to make sure it’s what’s best for you.

If your doctor agrees, though, you can look forward to feeling fuller longer with a delicious side of rice on a daily basis.

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