Rice is the staple food for two-thirds of the world's population . Rice is a wholesome and nutritious cereal grain and it has qualities which make it ideally suited for special dietary needs.
Contains only 103 calories per half-cup serving of white rice and 108 calories per half-cup serving of brown
The information in this table was taken from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1998. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 12 (March, 1998). For more information, please visit the Data Laboratory.
Both simple and complex carbohydrates are an important part of your diet. They are the fuel from which the human body derives most of its energy. At least half of the calories consumed should come from carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates like rice. Sugars, stanch, and fiber are forms of carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are sugars, which include glucose, fructose, lactose, and sucrose. Complex carbohydrates, which are actually large chains of glucose molecules, consist primarily of starches and fiber. Starch is the storage form of carbohydrates in plants; the storage form in humans is glycogen.
Rice contains a very high percentage of carbohydrates (ranging from 23.3 to 25.5 grams per 100 grams of cooked rice). As a matter of fact, 90% of the calories in rice come from carbohydrates. Rice, a complex carbohydrate food, provides more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than simple carbohydrate foods.
Dietary proteins provide amino acids to build and maintain tissues, and to form enzymes, some hormones, and antibodies. Proteins function in some body regulating processes and are a source of energy.
Proteins, unique among the energy nutrients because they contain nitrogen, are composed of amino acid units that are linked in chains. Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body; therefore, they must be provided by dietary protein. All of the eight amino acids must be present at the same time and in the right proportion in order for protein to be synthesized. The protein in rice is well balanced because all eight amino acids are present and in proper proportion. Therefore, rice is a unique cereal grain. The protein content of rice, while limited (ranging from 2.0 to 2.5 mg. per 1/2 cup of cooked rice), is considered one of the highest quality proteins to that provided by other cereal grains.
Biological value is a measure of protein quality, assessed by determining the extent to which a given protein supports nitrogen retention. The most perfect protein by this standard is egg protein (biological value 100); this has been designated the reference protein by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rice protein has a biological value of 86. Fish fillet protein has a biological value of 75-90. Corn protein has a biological value of 40. Generally, a biological value of 70 or above indicates acceptable quality.
Rice contains only a trace of fat (ranging from 0.2 grams for 1/2 cup cooked white rice to 0.9 grams per 100 grams for 1/2 cup cooked brown rice).
Fat is the most concentrated source of food energy. In addition to providing energy, fat aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Fatty acids are the basic chemical units in fat. All fatty acids needed by the body can be synthesized from carbohydrates, fats, or proteins, except one--linoleum acid. Linoleum acid accounts for 30% of the total amount of fatty acids in rice.
The Dietary Guidelines of Americans include a reduction in current intake of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Because rice is very low in fat (less than 1% of the calories come from fat), and contains no cholesterol, it is an excellent food to include in all types of diets.