We are a country of rice eaters. We love our rice. We are in fact, the second largest producers of rice in the world, with over 6000 varieties produced annually. Given our love for this delicious staple, it’s natural to have some doubts and concerns, especially given all the bad rep rice has received over the last decade. That is why it is essential to separate the truth from myth and misconception, and that’s exactly what we’re here to do.
Myth 1: Unpolished rice or brown rice is all hype. It’s not really any healthier than white rice.
Unpolished rice is rice where only the outer inedible layer called husk is removed, and the rest of the grain is kept intact. This makes unpolished rice instantly richer in fiber as well as essential vitamins and minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium, when compared to white rice, making brown rice definitely healthier than white rice.
Myth 2: Unpolished rice is hard to cook
Unpolished rice takes only around 5 to 10 minutes longer to cook than regular rice, and can be cooked using a pressure cooker or an electric cooker, just like regular rice.
Myth 3: Unpolished rice contains gluten
It is a popular myth that rice contains gluten, because like wheat it is a grain, and all grains contain gluten. This is completely false. Rice of any kind, be it unpolished or white, is completely gluten free, making it a great option for those with gluten allergies.
Myth 4: Unpolished rice is hard to digest.
Many people think that unpolished rice is harder to digest than white rice. This is untrue. What is true is that it takes longer to digest, but is more beneficial for the body than white rice. In fact, since unpolished rice contains more fiber, it acts as a prebiotic for our gut microbiome, thus aiding in digestion. Also, because unpolished rice naturally has a lower glycemic index when compared to white rice, meaning it does not cause a spike in blood glucose making it a safer choice not just for diabetics but for everyone in general.
Myth 5: It causes weight gain
Rice, unpolished or otherwise, is predominantly made of carbs, which provide energy to the body. But with unpolished rice, because it is so fiber rich, you end up eating less rice, as it makes you feel full sooner.
Like with all other food, portion control and eating a balanced diet plays a vital role. Since in India, rice is predominantly eaten with vegetables and dal, it does not contribute to weight gain in any significant way, but does provide wholesome energy for the body to function properly.
So next time you’re tempted by the sight of piping hot rice, go ahead and indulge, and rest assured it’s a healthy addition to a well balanced diet.