Dietary Information on Rice

Rice is sodium free*:

  • Blood Pressure Canada and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that Canadians consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
  • On average, Canadians currently consume about 3,400 mg of sodium per day.
  • There is a connection between high sodium consumption and hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is a known risk factor for heart disease.
  • High sodium levels have also been connected to osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes.
  • About 11% of the sodium we consume is from salt that we add to our food at the table or in our cooking. Twelve per cent is from sodium that naturally occurs in food and our drinking water. Most of the sodium we eat, around 77%, is from processed food and restaurant meals.
  • Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide suggests limiting foods and beverages that are high in salt.

*Based on ½ cup serving

eat less salt
3 pairs of hands holding rice

Brown rice is:

  • A source of fibre
  • A slow burning complex carbohydrate, providing long lasting energy.

The Benefits of Fibre

  • Fibre can only be found in foods of plant origin. Meat, fish, milk and milk products contain no dietary fibre.
  • In addition to helping with bowel regularity, studies have shown that a high-fibre diet can help reduce the risk of high blood cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • High fibre foods also fill you up, which can help with weight control.
  • Men need 38 grams of fibre daily; women require 25 grams.

Brown Rice Contains

  • Phosphorus, which aids in the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth.
  • Zinc, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6, which are all factors in energy metabolism and tissue formation.
  • Thiamine, a B-vitamin which helps turn carbohydrates into usable energy for the body.
  • Magnesium, which is a factor in energy metabolism and bone development.
Gluten Free

Gluten Free

  • For those with gluten sensitivity, rice is a wheat- and gluten-free alternative to pasta, bread and wheat-based cereals.
  • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale and barley. At present there is no cure, but celiac disease is readily treated by following a gluten-free diet.
  • Rice is a gluten-free grain that can be enjoyed by people with celiac disease.
  • In addition to cooked rice, people with celiac disease can enjoy rice-based cereal, rice pasta and rice flour for cooking and baking.
Vegetarian

Semi-vegetarian to Vegan

  • Rice is an important grain for people following vegetarian or vegan diets.
    • Semi-vegetarians allow limited amounts of animal products into their diet.
    • Lacto vegetarians avoid meat, fish, poultry and eggs, but will consume dairy products.
    • Lacto-ovo vegetarians avoid only meat, fish and poultry, but will consume eggs and dairy products.
    • Vegans completely avoid all animal products.
  • Vegetarians/vegans are always looking for foods that provide them with a wide range of nutrients – brown rice is a source of B-vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and fibre.
  • It’s important for vegetarians/vegans to eat grain along with legumes or nuts daily because the combination creates amino acids, which help build proteins in the body.

Glycemic Index

  • The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale that ranks carbohydrate-rich foods by how much they raise blood glucose levels compared to a standard food. The standard food is glucose or white bread.
  • It is important for diabetics to combine eating grains with proteins to help slow down the release of sugars in the bloodstream.
  • Parboiled or converted rice have a low GI (55 or less) and is a slow carbohydrate; basmati or brown rice has a medium GI (56-69).