Is White Rice Healthy?

Is White Rice Healthy

White rice. It is a controversial food in nutrition circles. On the one hand, some nutritionists call it an empty source of calories and recommend avoiding it. Others consider it a safe starch and say it is ok in moderation.

Then, of course, there is the Japanese paradox- also known as “they eat rice all the time and live a long time so I should be able to eat pizza and Doritos and live to be 100 too” (exaggeration but I’ve heard some arguments very close to that)

Unlike modern wheat, which has been hybridized and modified and can be problematic for many people, and most other grains, rice is unique and potentially less harmful. I get asked about rice often and felt that it deserved its own post.

White Rice vs. Brown Rice

Brown rice is often considered a healthier rice than white rice, but white rice may actually be the healthier choice. Like anything from the grains family, rice contains a certain level of anti-nutrients like phytates which can make it hard for us to absorb the minerals it contains.

When my husband and I were working to reverse our cavities (we were able to), we had to avoid foods that were high in phytic acid, and brown rice was on this list because of its phytic acid content.

White rice, was considered safe in moderation. The reason is that when rice is milled, the bran is removed. This is the process that makes the rice “white” instead of brown, but since it removes the bran, it removes almost all of the phytic acid. This makes the rice more digestible and cuts down on the grain based fiber (which can be harmful to the gut).

Brown rice technically has more nutrients, but they aren’t available to the body and the bran is the most problematic part of the rice as far as phytic acid content. In fact, white rice is lower in phytic acid than most nuts, seeds and definitely most other grains.

Arsenic in Rice?

A few years ago, research came out warning against rice consumption because it could contain high levels of arsenic. Arsenic levels were significantly higher in brown rice than in white rice because arsenic is often found in the bran, which is removed in white rice. Chris Kresser explains:

Brown rice, on the other hand, has significantly more arsenic than white rice and should be avoided or consumed rarely. Some of the brown rice brands tested contained at least 50% more than the safe limit per serving, and a few even had nearly double the safe limit. (PDF with complete details of test results) Note that some of the worst offenders for arsenic are made from brown rice: processed rice products like brown rice syrup, brown rice pasta, rice cakes and brown rice crisps. These processed products are commonly consumed by those following a “healthy” whole grain rich or gluten-free diet, but they clearly pose a significant risk of arsenic overexposure, especially if a person eats more than one serving per day. Obviously, brown rice is not a food that should be a dietary staple, or even eaten on a regular basis.

The lowest levels of arsenic were found in white rice (jasmine or basmati) that was imported from other countries. Rinsing the rice (traditionally done in many cultures) further reduced the arsenic levels. There is still controversy on the rice/arsenic connection but this is one of the reasons we don’t consume rice often.

Rice is Naturally Gluten Free

Rice is naturally gluten free, so the most problematic part of many grains is already absent from rice. This makes it generally a safe choice for celiacs and those who are gluten intolerant, but doesn’t mean it is healthy.

At the same time, many people do need some sources of healthy carbs and rice can be a relatively safe option. Women especially often see negative effects on hormones from consuming too low carb of a diet for too long, and of all the grains, white rice is a generally safe option for safe carb consumption.

Does Rice Cause Diabetes?

A 2012 study claimed that white rice consumption was associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, and this if often used as a reason to avoid rice. I was surprised by this study when it first came out since historically, Asian countries with high consumption of white rice still had low incidence of diabetes.

I researched further and realized that the study was just showing an association between “risk” of diabetes and rice consumption and not actual incidence of diabetes. Paul Jaminet (author of The Perfect Health Diet) provides a better explanation for the research:

If anything, diabetes incidence goes down as rice consumption increases. Countries with the highest white rice consumption, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, have very low rates of diabetes. The outlier with 20% diabetes prevalence is the United Arab Emirates. A plausible story is this:

  1. Something entirely unrelated to white rice causes metabolic syndrome. Possibly, the something which causes metabolic syndrome is dietary and is displaced from the diet by rice consumption, thus countries with higher rice consumption have lower incidence of metabolic syndrome.
  2. Fact: Diabetes is diagnosed as a fasting glucose that exceeds a fixed threshold of 126 mg/dl, and in those with metabolic syndrome (but not those without) higher carb consumption leads to higher fasting blood glucose.
  3. Therefore, the fraction of those with metabolic syndrome diagnosed as diabetic will increase as their carb consumption increases.
  4. In China and Japan, but not in the US and Australia, white rice consumption is a marker of carb consumption. So the fraction of those with metabolic syndrome diagnosed as diabetic will increase with white rice consumption in China and Japan, but will be uncorrelated with white rice consumption in the US and Australia.

This chart (source) shows actual rates of diabetes compared to white rice consumption. If anything, it indicates that actual incidence of diabetes was lowest in countries with high consumption of white rice: White rice consumption and diabetes

What Do the Experts Say About Rice?

Rice is a surprisingly polarizing food among nutrition experts, but here is where some experts weigh in on rice:

My Opinion

At the end of the day, I consider rice to be in its own category. It doesn’t deserve the same label as most grains (especially modern grains) and it certainly isn’t as bad on the nutritional spectrum as foods like vegetable oils. The safety of rice consumption seems to vary greatly based on the individual, cultural background and what the rest of the diet looks like.

For those already consuming a diet high in other carbohydrates and low in minerals, rice (or any grain) is definitely not the best option. Those on a high nutrient diet devoid of inflammatory foods and who have an active lifestyle may do great with moderate rice consumption. Of all the grains, rice is definitely the safest option and the only one I recommend consuming.

Personally, our family consumes organic white jasmine rice occasionally (once a week or less).

We typically consume it on heavy workout days or after a lot of activity and always in conjunction with high nutrient foods. I pre-rinse it to help remove any remaining arsenic. I don’t consider it a “cheat” food because the idea of “cheating” goes against our food rules and our goal to create positive and healthy attitudes about food with our kids. It is a food that we eat occasionally but not everyday since white rice isn’t an exceptional source of nutrients but it also isn’t as potentially harmful as many other grains.

I love occasionally enjoying some high quality sushi after a workout or some rice in a stir fry but don’t consider it a staple food. Rice still can contain trace amounts of arsenic so it certainly isn’t one of the first foods I feed to my babies and I avoid any processed foods with rice since these may be higher in arsenic.

Where do you stand on the rice debate? White? Brown? None? Share below!

Is white rice healthy? This is debated in nutrition circles. Is it a source of empty calories or a safe starch? Safe to consume or the road to diabetes?

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Reader Comments

  1. I’m making beef jerky from ground beef today! It’s drying right now. I’m hoping it’s good – I need more high protein snacks for my little guy.

    • Why no mention of sprouting brown rice? This has been used going back many hundreds possibly thousands of years in order to eliminate the phytic acid and other enzyme enhibitors, whilst making all the vitamins and minerals easily digestible aswell as making it taste better and not being as heavy.. Eating brown rice that hasn’t been soaked or allowed to sprout is bad, but soaking/sprouting it means it becomes a very nutrient dense food, aswell as contained a GABA hormone which is good for those wanting to pack on muscle as it is a growth hormone… White rice is void of almost everything as all the gooness is in the husk….

      Infact all nuts/seeds and grains should be soaked or sprouted even fermented for this same reason.

      • Interesting point! What do you think, Wellness Mama?

      • Thanks for bringing this up. I was going to mention it too… My question for Katie is, wouldn’t sprouted brown rice be healthier than white rice? Since the phytic acid is reduced and the nutrients are multiplied? Also, very curious to know your thoughts on quinoa. While not technically a grain, it is often lumped into the grain pile.
        I appreciate your balanced perspective on the rice issue. When the guys were saying that “because these certain people who eat a lot of rice/carb live long & healthy, that means rice, etc is healthy” feels lacking. They’re not looking at any of the other factors that may be contributing to these people’s health. Maybe rice, when combined with lots of omega 3-rich fish, seaweed, green tea, etc has a much different effect on the body than when Americans add rice to their diets. Even those of us who strive to eat as healthy as we can, most of our diets probably do not mimic those of the Okinawans and others listed above. So I feel like in some ways, it is comparing apples with oranges. Which is why I value your balanced opinion on this 🙂

        • Sprouting reduces it, but doesn’t remove it, so I still stick with white. I find that some people do great with quinoa and some can’t tolerate it, so it seems to be a very personalized seed.

          • you’re not saying what sort of white rice are you eating, Sticky white rice is very high in starch, while longer grain white rice like Basmati is considered much healthier. I had a bowl of white rice with broth and my blood sugar level spiked up to 500,

        • My dad, born 1917, is from South Carolina and people in that state eat rice practically daily. My mother was born/raised in New Orleans and her family consumed rice regularly. While growing up, white rice was as common in my diet as potatoes, maybe even more so. Daddy’s family almost all lived into their nineties— his oldest sister lived past 100. Point being, not all the comparison regarding rice consumption is about Asian cultures. Daddy’s family for generations have lived in South Carolina and don’t seem to have health problems from consuming white rice. I had parents who both loved food and cooking it. Thank goodness they passed that on to me and I eat foods that make me happy and that includes white rice— I even use a little bacon grease instead of oil when cooking it. I am 70 years old, have no health problems and only go to the doctor once a year for my wellness exam.

        • Quinoa contains saponins on its outer shell, known to give poison reactions to people n farmers. This is why it says to rinse off, but some can still have negative reactions regardless. Just something to check out.

      • I have leaky gut syndrome and pretty severe issues with digestion after eating most all grains…including sprouted brown rice…white rice is the only grain, as well as some gluten free oats, that doesn’t give me many of the classic symptoms including undigested food. Even sprouted brown rice, soaked and cooked for hours in a crock pot will aggravate my gut a lot, however white rice is always curative. I have hyperthyroidism and I need dense nutrient rich food to balance my energy, but having a stable gut is most critical for me. I always eat small amounts of white rice when I eat it, and only eat it once a day or every other day. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the medicinal food “congee” or is white rice cooked with a lot of liquid, and one or more herbs, or meat, to nourish various parts of the body….white rice was always considered far superior to brown in terms of its ability to be digested. In my experience this has always been very true. Most likely it is the phytic acid, and could also simply the toughness of the husk.

        • Yes, Koreans have a similar rice dish to congee called juk or dakjuk (w/ chicken) and it’s great for when you have a cold/flu or digestive problems. It’s also a great winter comfort food even if you’re not sick.

        • Leaky gut is rather common in my family and I really cant imagine giving up Sticky rice (I dont eat fluffy rice anymore though.), we consume it almost daily and the left overs always get made into juk (otherwise it doesnt get eaten cause its hard.). Have you tried kimchi (a staple in korea.)? Its also a great thing to reach for when you are plagued by indigestion, The probiotics caused by the fermentation help heal the immune system, and the spices get the metabolism going. A lot of the problems caused by leaky gut were greatly toned down (and some vanished) after I started eating it regularly. I still avoid wheat/gluten I dont think its good for anybody especially since it is overused in america.

        • I also had leaky gut. I am gluten free and have hypothyroid. White rice seems to sit nice on my stomach and no ill effects. I don’t eat it everyday. I don’t use minute rice. I enjoy basmati or Jasmine. I enjoy rice noodles.

          • I live in Valencia Spain where round rice is popular in paellas. The same sort of rice that the Italians use in Risotto. If you wash it first I imagine that is as ‘safe’ as any rice. Do some white rices have more fibre than other? Should I be worried by the sugar content?

        • This is so interesting to read! When I first developed issues with my gut I listened to a lot of difference perspective on diets and grains etc, but honestly, when my tum is feeling tender or weak, the most nourishing calming food is basmati! So it’s cool to hear other people have a similar experience, thanks for sharing 🙂

      • Thank you Robert you spoke my mind.Brown rice will alwAys win.for me

      • Adam, How do you “sprout” rice? Thank You.

        • This company should do more homework, I live in the Philippines and a third of the population have all types of Diabetes, In fact if your a diabetic you shouldn’t eat rice, and Ive never seen a country with so many health problems, but then again a lot of them are Hypochondriacs. Read the Articles that Say Rice can be more harmful than Sugar, Rice is a carbohydrate and when cooked and eaten actually produces more sugar, rice converts to sugar in the process.

  2. I love how you pre-plan. I have been trying to do this for years haha. We also eat very clean and since being diagnosed with celiac in all 5 of my kids life has changed for us. I am also pregnant and we are getting chickens for the first time in a few weeks so seeing you do all this shows me I can too. As soon as it warms up here our garden will be going in and it will be amazing to have fresh produce again. Good luck to you and thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Katie – thank you for this post! Tell me please if you have a post on your staple foods?

  4. This is really informative – I’ve heard many different arguments for/against rice, and the whole brown rice fad, over the years, and it’s nice to have some facts laid out side-by-side.
    Personally, I prefer rice to other grains in my diet, because it is easily digestible and I tend to cook a lot of asian-influenced food. It’s also a great grain that translates well into dishes for every season. I find that varying the grains is important too, and not cooking with the same type of rice all the time. You know what they say – everything in moderation!

  5. I consider rice to be empty calories and only eat it when I’m craving sushi. Since I’m allergic to legumes and believe gluten is bad for everyone I just don’t eat many starchy foods.

  6. We don’t eat much rice. But I do confess that I like my mother-in-laws Mexican rice made with white rice from time to time.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for your article. Do you think that cooking in on bone broth would increase its nutritional value? Cheers, Antonio Pedro.

  8. We do eat small amounts of white rice around here. I usually make well-rinsed sushi rice that I make into one ounce rice balls before freezing. That creates higher levels of resistant starch.

    I can warm however many rice balls I need to serve with dinner, sometimes with Asian food, sometimes to soak up chicken broth, sometimes to add to my husband’s soup.

    If we’ve been hit with a bug in the winter I will make congee in the pressure cooker with well-rinsed rice and broth. Serve with kraut and lots of cilantro and garlic chile sauce and the meat of your choice. Add a squeeze of lime and it’s a kind of dry soup affair.

  9. We eat white rice instead of brown rice for the reasons you listed above. I rinse it a few times and I soak it at least two hours. I also use organic chicken stock ( homemade) to cook it instead of water. We have been buying Lundberg brand. I have noticed our Whole Foods has slowly been eliminating their white rice varieties of this brand. Sometimes Whole Foods is so food trendy/conscious that it fails to see the benefits of traditional foods and discontinues those foods.

  10. But I thought you didn’t eat grains?

  11. What about following the same protocol with brown rice as with any other high-phytate food, i.e. soaking in an acidic medium for several hours? I have been soaking our brown rice for over 8 hours with water and vinegar, then vigorously rinsing it several times. I guess I don’t know that helps, but I sure am hoping. Do you know any studies on that?

  12. Thank you for this!! SO timely. Had sushi tonight as have been needing to cut so many things out of my diet for health reasons. And as I ate it, I wondered, “Mmmmm, is this “OK” to eat?” your article here has been very helpful and informative. Thank you 🙂

  13. After a lot if reading and research, I also decided that white rice is acceptable occasionally for my family. But because it is a low nutritional food, I cook it in bone broth with lots of grass-fed butter and sea salt. It’s incredibly delicious and I feel a lot better about consuming it as a nutritional carrier as opposed to an empty food. We eat it once or twice a week. Thanks for your great research and for sharing with us. Your opinion always matters to me on these things.

  14. I never thought rice would ever be controversial, as with soy. Growing up with this staple food, it’s perplexing to me how it can cause so much problems when we didn’t see it in our culture in the past.

    Currently, the most troubling issue with rice or soy is that they are in every processed foods. When I found out my kids were allergic to dairy and gluten, I gave them rice cereal and rice milk as replacements. They also ate rice cookies or crackers. And that’s in addition to bowls of rice they ate for meals…. you see where I’m going with this. So yea, if you have to use rice as a substitute, you can get in trouble…and now with Arsenic issue, it’s even more troublesome.

    But for an average person, who don’t eat processed foods, an occasional bowl of rice will be fine. In fact, when my kids are sick, rice porridge is the only food their stomach can tolerate!

    Thanks for brining this issue up. We are on GAPS diet and the only food we really miss is, you guessed it, rice. 😉

  15. i rarely eat rice since I am a type 1 diabetic and it tends to spike my blood sugar. I do feed it (and quinoa) to my husband and kids periodically, maybe once per week simply because it helps our meat and veggies go further. I don’t feed it to them for its nutritional value. I essentially consider it a filler just to save money!

  16. What about wild rice?

  17. I never eat rice. Ever. After much trial and error, I discovered that rice (white or brown) spiked my blood sugar levels worse than any other food (including sugar laden deserts!) For years, I had realized that any meal eaten with rice, no matter the other foods involved, no matter the quantity, caused me to be hungry again within 1 hour. Then I began testing my blood sugar and found the culprit. So our family avoids it. It is fine for those who can eat it, but we are better off with wheat, which leads me to the conclusion that the current notion of “wheat/gluten is bad for everyone” is hogwash. We are each individuals and what is healthy or unhealthy for one is not going to be the same for another person, much less the entire human population.

  18. That chart shouldn’t even have a line. Sure, Excel will draw one for you but the points are all over the place. That’s why the R squared value is so low. That chart is a good example of manipulating data to show what you want it to.

  19. I’ve never been able to get used to brown rice. Love white rice. Eat maybe once every two weeks. Soak basmati rice for two or more hours and cook in my rice steamer with a little good olive oil or ghee and some sea salt. Perfect every time and a lovely neutral taste backdrop for spicier accompaniments.

  20. This was so helpful – I have wondered about eating white rice for a while as it doesnt upset my tummy and will help the weekly budget stretch a little bit further!!

  21. I have been primal for about a year. Recently, I added safe starches back into my diet (white potatoes and rice) daily and I feel EVEN better. The Perfect Health Diet recommends 1/2 pound to 1 pound of safe starches a day.

  22. Thanks for the research!

    I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on Quinoa. Some people say it’s a seed, and thus safe to consume.

  23. FYI: Matt Stone @ 180degree health recommends Basmati white rice because of its different starch.

  24. I went to a modified paleo diet in November and have lost 30 lbs and 8 inches in my waist alone. I decided not to give up white rice. I’m half Japanese and felt it would be too difficult to enjoy my favorite foods without it. I eat it in moderation on a regular basis and always wash it before eating (that’s custom). I don’t feel it has had any negative impact on my healthy goals. =D

  25. You mentioned something about women, low-carb diets and the affects on hormones. I have been on the High Nutritional Advenced Cure Tooth Decay diet for a few months (with a little fruit twice a week) and therefore consuming no carbs other than those in raw milk and veges and the small amount of fruit. Can you direct me to more information about whether this low-carb diet will negatively impact my hormones? Your comment has concerned me.
    Many thanks

    • No carbs? That is one of the craziest diets I ever heard of. How do you even have any energy with such a reduced carb intake?

      Anyone who is reducing carbs to less than 25% of their overall intake is eating in a very un-natural way and I am sure they are tired and fatigued all the time because energy comes from carbs.

      I eat over 75% carbs myself because I am an endurance athlete.

  26. Good to know about the arsenic. What is the recommendation for calcium source? I have a kiddo who is allergic to dairy, soy, almonds, citrus, gluten and eggs. We pretty much all follow this diet. We were doing rice milk, but will have to cut that out. I am curious if you have any recommendations on a substitution for rice milk. Can’t do soy or almond. I am guessing you use coconut, make your own or nothing? Do you worry about calcium? What are your thoughts about acid levels in the body and need for calcium? Meaning some schools of thought ie vegans think the more alkaline your blood the less calcium you need. High acid diet (from processed food/meat/dairy/stress/medication the more calcium is pulled from your bones to alkaline your blood).

  27. My gut is sensitive and can only handle white rice (versus brown). It’s actually soothing when I’m in a flare-up of IBD and a good starter when I haven’t been able to eat at all. It’s funny because I’ve always liked white versus brown and I do believe (to a point) in listening to your body!
    My favorite is basmati, which I understand to be the safest and best for you.
    Cooking it in bone broth to make it more nutritional is a great idea, too.
    When it is served with fresh veggie & chicken stir-fry – yummmy! 🙂
    Thank you for this, Katie!

  28. The recent tests have shown just how dangerously high in metals a lot of rice is. The safest rice varieties come from California due to the states demand for maximum levels. Google Mike Adams who was recently on Dr. Oz and showed just how high levels of cadmium, etc are.

  29. “Women especially often see negative effects on hormones from consuming too low carb of a diet for too long”

    I’ve struggled to maintain a grain-free diet since becoming pregnant, as my body seems to be craving carbs. Paleo always seems to equal low-carb. I’m slightly underweight, so gaining isn’t a concern at this stage.

    Are there some healthy carbs that you can recommend?

    • Rice is ok for most people, as are sweet potatoes and white potatoes (if tolerated)

  30. I made your recipe for Herbal Cough Drops and Lozenges. It took me 2 hours to get the liquid to reach 300 degrees. Am I doing something wrong?
    I put the exact amount of ingredients. They are good but it shouldn’t take that long. Do I have to take the foam off ? In the end for the last hour it is all foam.
    Please help

  31. Brown basmati rice is a delicious balance between white and long grain brown rice. The micro levels of arsenic in rice bran is also present in apricot kernels, almonds and apple seeds, all of which are claimed to prevent and /or fight cancer due to the levels of vitamin b17. Sprouting brown rice by soaking, as with legumes, eliminates the phytic acid.

  32. I agree with adam. Most all grains, nut and legumes all have phytic acid present. I feel the real education with these they of valuable foods I feel should be around how they should be soaked in an acid agent(vinegar, lime juice), sprouted or most beneficial/traditional form would be to ferment them. These methods all decrease the levels of phytic acid present in most all grains, nut and legumes while some methods such as fermentation even make the nutrients more bio-available. I think this could be a great topic to help educate people on.

  33. Love this informative post. I couldn’t help but think about rice and grains in general and the vital role they’ve played in times of famine, war, natural disaster, and even the time our income dropped to nothing. Stored grains have allowed masses of people to survive (thinking of my grandpa in WW2 and his military rations). I struggle with the idea that they’re not healthy for human consumption, though I totally get the idea that some people have reactions, and many are overdosing on carbs in general.

    My question is….how does the Paleo/gluten free family store food against difficult times if not grains?

    Would you “stoop” to eating less healthy foods in times of necessity?

    • I store a lot of coconut oil, chia seeds, canned meats, rice, beans (one that I guess I’d “stoop” to but they can be ok if properly prepared), greens powders, supplements, etc

  34. >Asian countries with high consumption of white rice still had low incidence of diabetes

    This is not true. I am Japanese, and as far as I know type II diabetes is very common in Japan. Recently more and more people are diagnosed with either diabetes or pre-diabetes. Actually, carbohydrate-restricted diet has been hot in these days, in which skipping carbo-loaded food (rice, bread, noodles…) is recommended.

    • What I have read has stated that the rise in diabetes in Asian Countries is due to their attraction to American

    • Thanks for the info tammy i always wanted some good findings outside of the U.S…People need to find out where these type of foods come from because they are not fruits and veggies..A lot of foods that comes from the earth or ground are not recommended for human consumption..

  35. Can you tell me if the white and/or brown rice is organic–would it contain arsenic?

    • Mike Adams from Natural News tested rice from all around the world and found that rice grown in CA is remarkably clear/ clean of arsenic and metals.

  36. I have a friend from India, and he cooked some red rice from Kerala that I tried. He said that they eat it daily in that area. It was wonderful! Not totally whole, but not refined. I wish I could find this rice in stores.

  37. I am beginning to follow a paleo type diet so this post and all the comments have been really informative to me. I love the way you give your readers so much information to both sides of the argument so we can make informed decisions. Thank you Katie. I’m wondering then if rice bran oil is safe to use in cooking as my daughter can’t stand the smell of coconut oil? I’m thinking now that it will have arsenic in it too.

    • What would you be using it for? It would probably have the arsenic, but it may not matter much if you are using for, say, oil cleansing.

  38. Thank you for this post on white rice. I follow the Mayo Diet but eat a half cup of white rice daily. It is a huge help to my digestion and about the only carb I eat other than fruits and veggies. The Mayo Diet calls for brown rice because of the fiber but you get plenty of fiber from the rest of the diet.
    Reading your thoughtful article helps me to reconcile the negative feelings I was having and continue eating the white rice which from experience, I knew was good for me.

  39. What about black rice, red rice and wild rice?

  40. Hi Katie

    Thank you so much for this article on rice. I am struggling whether to quit grains forever or do some of the safe starches. I am wondering 2 things
    1. Your thoughts on quinoa and buckwheat
    2. Sarah wilson the I quit sugar lady only recommends you use rice syrup as honey and maple syrup have too much fructose . I noticed you never use rice syrup. Can I ask your thought on it. Can I also ask your thoughts on honey as I noticed your gummy bears marshmallows etc use quite a bit of it however Sarah Wilson describes it almost like poison

    • Quinoa and buckwheat can be good if tolerated. i’d never eat them in the morning (for cortisol reasons) but they can be ok. There is a lot of controversy on the honey and syrup issue. I don’t like rice syrup because it is more processed, but agree that all should be used in moderation (gummies and marshmallows are not everyday foods).

  41. thank you for your reply katie I have wondered about rice syrup too as I read somewhere it can contain msg. Can I ask you what the cortisol issue is with eating buckwheat ( I presume carbs) in the morning . Also I have been reading about the hidden sources of msg in our food and it talks about citric acid and geletin that can contain MSG . Can I ask you your thoughts as citric acid appears in so many things even the organic pasta and salsa sauces I have.

    Thank you so much you make such a difference to my families life.

  42. Carbs are safe if your diet is low in protein (esp animal-based) and fats.

    • If by safe you mean it is safe to predominate your diet with foods that will break down into sugar whilst having a low intake of proteins (which are necessary for our structure, hormones, enzymes, immune chemicals, and more – not to mention our bodies require protein to survive) and fats (used for energy, hormones, brain and nervous system, absorption of fat soluble vitamins, and more) then sure that makes sense….If you want to be healthy overall, however, that is probably not a good plan to follow.

  43. rice contain arsenic because the chem trail they spray on u.s soil. so eating rice from other countries might be safer. like Thailand.

  44. Thanks Katie, this is the best info I’ve read on the arsenic-in-rice question. I’ve just been diagnosed with arthritis, and have eliminated gluten and dairy, but sweetheart loves his pasta so rice and rice noodle are a compromise that works. But after reading this post, I see that this cannot be the only solution.

  45. Hey there,

    Came across this article looking for some info on Rice. I was really happy to see some important points mentioned here that I had come across in other research from quality professionals. I thought this article was put together extremely well and very informative.

  46. I eat white rice everyday. Is it bad or good for me?

  47. What about “wild rice?”

  48. We Indians eat a lot of Basmati rice. So much so, that we even make rice pudding with it! Wild rice doesn’t seem to be easily available here though.

  49. I’ve read that cooking then cooling makes a resistant starch.

  50. White rice is also lower in oxalates than brown rice, making it a safer choice for those with oxalate issues, like my son, who requires a low oxalate diet! He loves white rice

  51. thank you so much. your posts are always very interesting and thoughtful!

  52. Do you have any information about the news that some rice has plastic in it? Thank you!

  53. Everything in this world is controversial when we talk about food. I agree diabetic people should be careful about eating rice, but if rice would be so harmful, Chinese and Brazilian people (and Italian… and others) would be decimated. In Brazil we eat rice and beans everyday, it is our staple food. My mother has 90, my aunt has 95, my father 88, all of them are healthy, and my grandpa died with almost 100, simply because he was old (he was very healthy as well). Currently, nobody knows what is safe to eat anymore… the controversy will never end.

  54. I had some borderline troubling numbers in a health screening recently, and I found this article searching for information on whether rice is good or bad for you. I’m on my second week of a really changed diet — dramatically less animal products, and trying to avoid sugar altogether. I wasn’t sure if rice “turns into” sugar. From the sounds of the article it sounds like my meal of beans and brown rice I”m eating now may be the last.

  55. My husband and I live overseas in Vanuatu. Rice is a current epidemic among the local people, because they over eat it and diabetes is a major problem resulting from that. This problem has stemmed from their traditional diet and eating habits. They traditionally eat a lot of root crops and vegetables with fruits and meats mixed in. And oh man, when they eat, they EAT. This EATing has transferred over to their rice consumption and they can easily consume a 50 kg bag of rice as a family of, say, five in a week or less – easy.

    Ok, so my family eats a lot of rice too, but in moderation. I try to make sure there is a nutritious sauce that can go over it with both meat and veggies galore to help balance out the rices’ bland flavor and lack of nutrients. We eat A LOT of rice, because it is cheap and other western foods are more expensive, and the root crops are not something we have continual access to, but when we do we skip the rice 🙂

    Not sure if this helps anyone, but this is what we do, and what we have seen in the environment we live. Don’t be afraid of the quick and easy starch for your dinners, but remember moderation or it will cause problems.

  56. My grandma and her siblings grew up on white rice and cream of rice was a favorite of theirs. Her brother passed some years back, but she is the youngest of her two living siblings – and she is 95. I have been debating whether I will go back to white rice after consuming only brown rice the past few years, and I think I will. For me there is no real evidence it is harmful, and although there may not be data to back it up, I suspect that somehow it’s a great nutritional carrier for super food accompaniments.

  57. My rule to live by “Eat anything you want, but do not eat a lot of any one thing” My grandfather lived by this rule, healthy as he could be, lived until he was 95