Eating Rice On A Regular Basis Linked To Better Health And Diet Quality
April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
People can improve their diets, according to a new study from Baylor College of Medicine, simply by enjoying white or brown rice as part of their daily routine. The research, funded by the US Department of Agriculture and the USA Rice Federation, was published online in a recent issue of Food and Nutrition Sciences.
The researchers, led by Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, of Baylor College of Medicine, analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) datasets from 2005-2010 for the study. Then, using a nationally representative sample of 14,386 US adults, they evaluated the association of rice consumption with overall diet quality and key nutrient intakes.
“Our results show that adults who eat rice had diets more consistent with what is recommended in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, and they showed higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber while eating less saturated fat and added sugars,” said Nicklas. “Eating rice is also associated with eating more servings of fruit, vegetables, meat and beans,” she added.
Americans consume approximately 27 pounds of enriched white and brown rice per person per year. Around 70 percent of rice consumption consists of enriched white rice. There are a variety of grain-based foods in the average American diet, with rice standing out because it is primarily eaten as an intact grain. Rice is naturally sodium free, with only trace amounts of fat, and no saturated fat. This allows consumers to control the addition of fat, salt and flavors at their own discretion.
The current study builds on the work of two prior studies that revealed the positive contribution of rice to diet quality. In 2009, an observational study used NHANES datasets and data from Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) to find that significantly less fat was consumed by rice eaters. Rice eaters also consume more iron, potassium, fiber, meat, vegetables and grains. A follow-up study in 2010 also used the NHANES datasets, but included children in the study group. This study confirmed that rice consumption was associated with greater intake of a range of healthier foods and nutrients. Because the majority of rice consumed was white rice, the researchers suggest that when rice is consumed with other foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat and beans, it provides valuable nutrients while boosting the beneficial effects on an individual’s diet.
These studies taken together demonstrate that if you focus on eating the right combination of foods, it will help Americans get closer to meeting their nutrient needs. The key recommendation of the Dietary Guidelines is, after all, that our goal should be to aim for a healthy eating pattern. These studies show that rice eaters are doing this,” said Anne Banville, vice president of the USA Rice Federation.
A human clinical trial also found that including brown or white rice to a meal increased satiety and feelings of fullness more than a calorically equivalent glucose solution control. When considered with the results of the cross-sectional findings, the research team suggests that both enriched white rice and whole grain brown rice should be recommended as part of a healthy diet.