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Types Of Rice And Weight Loss


Rice is a popular staple food that is consumed all over the globe. If you often add this ingredient to your meals but are worried that it may amplify your weight, then this article is meant for you.

Being rich in fiber and carbohydrates, rice can help to improve digestive health and maintain the energy levels in our bodies.

However, there are a lot of misconceptions that the consumption of rice can make you fat or even enhance the blood sugar levels in your body.

Being a whole grain cereal, rice is made up of three parts, namely the bran, germ, and endosperm.

The bran is the rice’s outer hard layer that protects the inner parts. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.

In the next part, the germ is packed with a plethora of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs, fat, and antioxidants.

Then the endosperm is the largest part of the rice that is formed mainly from carbs and a small amount of protein.

Since there are different types of rice, their calorific value and energy levels differ.

Moreover, the vitamins, micronutrients, minerals, and calories you could receive from rice also depend on the rice you consume.

In this article, we will learn in detail about rice and weight loss. So let’s have a glance at the different types of rice that may support your weight loss journey.

Weight Loss-Friendly Rice Varieties

  1. Black Rice

    Being rich in niacin, folate, zinc, vitamin B6 and phosphorus, black rice is unpolished and unprocessed rice that could help[1] you in your weight loss journey.

    Other than this, this rice is also a good source of fiber and other nutrients that can keep chronic diseases at bay.

    The dark color of this rice also substantiates the fact that it is a good source of antioxidants.

  2. Brown Rice

    Another rice that you could add to your meals to enhance your weight loss process is brown.

    Loaded with all the essential nutrients[2], brown rice is the best rice for weight loss because it is low in calories and refined carbs.

    Additionally, with lots of fiber, and antioxidant properties, brown rice might help to bolster[3] your metabolism and support your overall health.

  3. Cauliflower Rice

    The grated or shredded cauliflower that may give a replica of rice is popularly known as cauliflower rice.

    This form of cauliflower contains[4] all the nutritional benefits without compromising any.

    People who are looking out to lose weight may add[5] cauliflower rice to their eating regime. It could be a good alternative to white rice because it is low in calories and high in fiber.

    At the same time, the antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C present in this rice can help to remove[6] all the free radical particles from your body.

  4. Red Rice

    Packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, red rice may help you to feel full for a longer time and hence evade the need for unnecessary snacking.

    No wonder why it can support your weight loss journey.

    Other than this, the antioxidant anthocyanin and manganese present in this rice are also great[7] for weight loss.

    Thus, these are the different types of rice that you can add to your diet in case you want to lose weight.

White Rice Versus Brown Rice

The white rice is entirely made of carbs in the form of starch because both the nutritious germ and bran are removed from it.

This is done to improve[8] the quality of the rise. So, you may get 112 calories, 24 grams of carbs, and two grams of protein from white rice.

On the other hand, brown rice has both bran and germ in it along with the whole grain. No wonder why it is a good source of antioxidants and fiber and hence is more nutritious than white rice.

You could get 130 calories, 29 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein from this rice.

Since white rice has no germ and bran, frequent consumption of this rice could lead to chronic diseases and obesity.

On the other hand, since brown rice is a whole grain, it consists of all the essential nutrients.

How To Consume Rice On Your Weight Loss Diet?

If you are focusing on adding rice to your weight loss regime, then you should know that the type of rice and the quantity that you eat matter.

Moreover, it is not just the rice, but the combination of rice with your entire meal that will affect your weight loss process.

Rice is formed from two types of starch, namely resistant starch and digestible starch. As the name itself suggests, the resistant starch cannot be digested by human enzymes.

Due to this, rice may support your weight loss journey by regulating the hormone levels, improving your appetite, and preserving your lean body mass, concludes the study[9].

However, to make rice a good part of your weight loss plan, you must follow certain tips.

So here are the key rules following which you can enhance your weight loss journey using rice-

Focus On The Cooking Method

When you consume rice as part of your weight loss process, then you should focus on choosing low-calorie cooking techniques.

To pack in lesser calories in your rice, it is crucial to boil them rather than frying them in oil.

The simple reason behind this may be that when you steam or boil your rice, you are freed from the extra oil or butter that is used in the pan.

Other than this, you may even use the cooking and cooling method that may intensify the amount of resistant starch in your rice.

As mentioned earlier, the resistant starch does not get digested in your small intestine. Hence it helps to feed the healthy bacteria that are present in the gut, according to this study[10].

The paper[11] shows how the probiotics that feed healthy gut bacteria might be linked with weight loss.

Focus On Your Portions

Another crucial tip to follow while eating rice for weight loss is to focus on the portions that you consume.

You can adjust the amount of rice in a single meal to reduce the number of calories you consume.

Moreover, you should also make sure to avoid eating carbs in meals either before or after eating rice.

The most important reason to follow this rule is that though rice is healthy, it can also enhance the number of calories you consume.

The standard portion size that you may aim at consuming is just one cup, as per the study conducted[12].

Focus On The Additions

Many times you may not eat rice alone but in addition to other dishes. However, it is very crucial to focus on the additions because they may increase your overall calorie consumption.

Focusing on the auditions will even help you to evade any oils and fat in your rice like oil, butter, or added cream.

So to reduce the number of calories you consume, instead of oil or butter, you can add broth to enhance the flavor of your rice.

Other than this, you can even season your rice with lemon juice or dry herbs.

There are different types of dishes prepared using rice that may enhance your overall calorie consumption.

These dishes can include fried rice, sushi, or even risotto. Sushi has sugar and vinegar that can enhance the calories.

Moreover, when the sugar combines with refined white rice, it can enhance your cravings and hence lead to weight gain.

On the other hand, while preparing fried rice, you will use oil that can add extra calories to your meal.

Just a single tablespoon of oil has 120 calories. Risotto is prepared using cheese and butter.

No doubt the risotto you may eat from a restaurant can include up to 400 calories in just a single serving.

So you must focus on the additions and the type of dish you eat. It may always be beneficial to focus on Homemade rice.

Focus On Veggies

To consume fewer calories, you can bulk up your rice with veggies, which are packed with fiber and nutrients.

All you have to do is to add the veggies[13] like spinach, chopped carrots, onion, bell pepper, or cauliflower to your rice.

Lightly saute the vegetables in little to no oil and then boil them in water with rice. You could enhance the flavor of your rice by adding extra herbs and seasonings.

As mentioned above, you can even choose cauliflower rice, which is a healthier alternative.

Let us sum it up

So the relationship between rice and weight loss is maintained only if you follow the required tips and tricks needed for your weight loss journey.

In short, you have to watch your serving size and the types of dishes you eat with rice. Since excess of anything is bad, consuming too much rice can no doubt lead to weight gain?

Hopefully, this article has helped you to explore the different attributes related to weight loss and rice.

You can choose the particular type of rice according to your requirements and calorie count.

Good luck with your weight loss journey!


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Juan Pablo Peña‐Rosas, Prasanna Mithra, Bhaskaran Unnikrishnan, Nithin Kumar, et al. Fortification of rice with vitamins and minerals for addressing micronutrient malnutrition Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Oct; 2019(10): CD009902.Published online 2019 Oct 25. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009902.pub2
  2. Jae-Sung Lee, Nese Sreenivasulu, Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, et al. Brown Rice, a Diet Rich in Health Promoting Properties J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2019;65(Supplement):S26-S28. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.65.S26. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31619639/
  3. Truong Tuyet Mai, Tran Thu Trang, and Tran Thi Hai Effectiveness of germinated brown rice on metabolic syndrome: A randomized control trial in Vietnam AIMS Public Health. 2020; 7(1): 33–43.Published online 2020 Jan 17. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2020005
  4. Cauliflower, raw FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169986/nutrients
  5. Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168520/nutrients
  6. Fouad A. Ahmed and Rehab F. M. Ali Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Fresh and Processed White Cauliflower Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013: 367819.Published online 2013 Sep 22. doi: 10.1155/2013/367819
  7. Carola Cappa, Monica Laureati, Maria Cristina Casiraghi, et al. Effects of Red Rice or Buckwheat Addition on Nutritional, Technological, and Sensory Quality of Potato-Based Pasta Foods. 2021 Jan; 10(1): 91. Published online 2021 Jan 5. doi: 10.3390/foods10010091
  8. Ahmed S M Saleh, Peng Wang, Na Wang, et al. Brown Rice Versus White Rice: Nutritional Quality, Potential Health Benefits, Development of Food Products, and Preservation Technologies Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf2019 Jul;18(4):1070-1096. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12449. Epub 2019 Jun 4. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33336992/
  9. Kimi Sawada, Yukari Takemi, Nobuko Murayama, et al. Relationship between rice consumption and body weight gain in Japanese workers: white versus brown rice/multigrain rice Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2019 May;44(5):528-532. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2018-0262. Epub 2018 Oct 12. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30312545/
  10. Michael J Keenan, June Zhou, Maren Hegsted, et al. Role of Resistant Starch in Improving Gut Health, Adiposity, and Insulin Resistance Adv Nutr. 2015 Mar; 6(2): 198–205.Published online 2015 Mar 5. doi: 10.3945/an.114.007419
  11. Probiotics: What You Need To Know Last Updated: August 2019 Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know
  12. Eva Almiron-Roig, Anne Majumdar, David Vaughan, et al. Exploring the Experiences of People with Obesity Using Portion Control Tools—A Qualitative Study Nutrients. 2019 May; 11(5): 1095.Published online 2019 May 17. doi: 10.3390/nu11051095
  13. How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight Page last reviewed: June 3, 2022 Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/fruits_vegetables.html

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