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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Eat Less Rice

Eat Less Rice!
The human body was never meant to consume rice! You see, our genes have
hardly changed in more than 30,000 years. However, our food choices and
lifestyle have changed dramatically. The caveman would hardly recognise
our food or way of life.

Caveman food was never cooked as fire was not yet tamed. Thus, he ate
only those foods that you can eat without treatment with or by fire. He
ate fruits, vegetables, fish (sushi anyone?), eggs, nuts and meat. Yes,
even meat. You can even eat meat raw if you were starving in the forest.
You have the necessary enzymes to digest meat.

However, rice, like wheat and corn, cannot be eaten raw. It must be
cooked. Even if you were starving in the desert, you cannot eat rice in
the raw form. This is because we do not have the system of enzymes to
break rice down. You were never meant to eat rice. To make matters
worse, you not only eat rice, but also make it the bulk of your food.

In some parts of Asia , rice forms up to 85% of the plate. Even if you
take rice, keep it to a minimum. Remember, it is only for your tongue -
not your body. Actually, rice and other grains like wheat and corn are
actually worse than sugar. There are many reasons:

Rice becomes sugar - lots of it!

This is a fact that no nutritionist can deny: rice is chemically no
different from sugar. One bowl of cooked rice is the caloric equal of 10
teaspoons of sugar. This does not matter whether it is white, brown or
herbal rice. Brown rice is richer in fibre, some B vitamins and minerals
but it is still the caloric equal of 10 teaspoons of sugar. To get the
same 10 teaspoons of sugar, you need to consume lots of kangkong-10
bowls of it.

Rice is digested to become sugar.

Rice cannot be digested before it is thoroughly cooked. However, when
thoroughly cooked, it becomes sugar and spikes circulating blood sugar
within half an hour-almost as quickly as it would if you took a sugar
candy. Rice is very low in the 'rainbow of anti-oxidants. '

This complete anti-oxidant rainbow is necessary for the effective and
safe utilisation of sugar. Fruits come with a sugar called fructose.
However, they are not empty calories as the fruit is packed with a whole
host of other nutrients that help its proper assimilation and digestion.

Rice has no fibre. The fibre of the kangkong fills you up long before
your blood sugar spikes. This is because the fibre bulks and fills up
your stomach. Since white rice has no fibre, you end up eating lots of
'calorie dense' food before you get filled up. Brown rice has more
but still the same amount of sugar.

Rice is tasteless-sugar is sweet. There is only so much that you can eat
at one sitting. How many teaspoons of sugar can you eat before you feel
like throwing up? Could you imagine eating 10 teaspoons of sugar in one

Rice is always the main part of the meal. While sugar may fill your
dessert or sweeten your coffee, it will never be the main part of any
meal. You could eat maybe two to three teaspoons of sugar at one meal.
However, you could easily eat the equal value of two to three bowls
(20-30 teaspoons) of sugar in one meal. I am always amused when I see
someone eat sometimes five bowls of rice (equals 50 teaspoons of sugar)
and then asks for tea tarik kurang manis!

There is no real 'built in' mechanism for us to prevent overeating of

How much kangkong can you eat?
How much fried chicken can you eat?
How much steamed fish can you eat?
Think about that!

In one seating, you cannot take lots of chicken, fish or cucumber, but
you can take lots of rice. Eating rice causes you to eat more salt.

As rice is tasteless, you tend to consume more salt-another villain when
it comes to high blood pressure. You tend to take more curry that has
salt to help flavor rice. We also tend to consume more ketchup and soy
sauce which are also rich in salt.

Eating rice causes you to drink less water. The more rice you eat, the
less water you will drink as there is no mechanism to prevent the
overeating of rice. Rice, wheat and corn come hidden in our daily food.
As rice is tasteless, it tends to end up in other foods that substitute
rice like rice flour, noodles and bread. We tend to eat the hidden forms
which still get digested into sugar. Rice, even when cooked, is
difficult to digest.

Can't eat raw rice? Try eating rice half cooked. Contrary to popular
belief, rice is very difficult to digest. It is 'heavy stuff'. If you
have problems with digestion, try skipping rice for a few days. You will
be amazed at how the problem will just go away.

Rice prevents the absorption of several vitamins and minerals. Rice when
taken in bulk will reduce the absorption of vital nutrients like zinc,
iron and the B vitamins.

Are you a rice addict? Going rice-less may not be easy but you can go
rice-less. Eating less rice could be lot easier than you think. Here are
some strategies that you can pursue in your quest to eat less rice:

Eat less rice-cut your rice by half. Barry Sears, author of the Zone
Diet, advises 'eating rice like spice'.

Instead, increase your fruits and vegetables.
Take more lean meats and fish.
You can even take more eggs and nuts.

Have 'riceless' meals. Take no rice or wheat at say, breakfast. Go for
eggs instead.

Go on 'riceless' days-Go 'western' once a week.

Take no rice and breads for one day every week. That can't be too
difficult. Appreciate the richness of your food. Go for taste, colours
and smells. Make eating a culinary delight. Enjoy your food in the
original flavours.

Avoid the salt shaker or ketchup. You will automatically eat less rice.

Eat your fruit dessert before (Yes! No printing error) your meals.
The fibre rich fruits will 'bulk up' in your stomach. Thus, you will
less rice and more fruits.
It's your life. Decide what you want to eat!

1 comment:

  1. Well... this is an interesting article. I think I can forego rice for a day and see what happens. What if I substitute rice with bread or potatoes? Would that make a difference?



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