13 Apr Can Rice Help You Beat Obesity? The Answer May Surprise You.
The rising obesity levels in western countries has garnered attention from not only health insurers but also from the medical and research community. The rising incidences of diseases like type-2 diabetes have brought the relationship between diet and obesity to the forefront again.
Out of all the staples across the world, rice is considered the most notorious culprit for triggering obesity, but a recent Japanese study promises to turn the relationship between rice and obesity upside down.
A recent study conducted by a Japanese Research body found the exact opposite. Conducted over a million participants in 136 countries, the study found that the obesity levels in countries that consume a high amount of rice were significantly lower than the countries with lower rice consumption.
Professor Tomoko Imai, from Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Kyoto, Japan, who led the research, shared: “The observed associations suggest that the obesity rate is low in countries that eat rice as a staple food.
“Therefore, Japanese food or an Asian-food-style diet based on rice may help prevent obesity. The link between obesity and rice intake persisted despite accounting for lifestyle and
socioeconomic factors including smoking, GDP, and national average health expenditure per capita.
Countries were categorised into low and high consumption groups for easy identification, and
countries with high consumption of rice exhibited the lowest obesity rates as compared to peers in another group.
According to the researchers, eating rice seems to protect against weight gain. This can possibly be ascribed to low fat, high fibre and plant-based nutrition found in rice and whole grains, which can make the consumer feel full faster and curb overeating.
Rice has low postprandial blood glucose level which suppresses insulin secretion and thus can be consumed by anyone in moderation without any side effect.
With close to 4% obesity rates, Japan emerged as a clear front runner in the race against obesity.
Though this can be traced to seafood consumption and active lifestyle the role of rice now cannot be ignored too.
Note: Japanese rice is prepared through a special milling process, which retains the goodness of rice without compromising on taste and texture.