New York, April 16 (IANS) Do you consider rice a culprit in adding extra kilos around your belly, think again. New research shows that people can improve their diets simply by enjoying white or brown rice as part of their daily meals.
"Adults who eat rice had more consistent diets. It showed higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fibre while eating less saturated fat and added sugars," said lead author Theresa Nicklas from Texas-based Baylor College of Medicine.
Eating rice is also associated with eating more servings of fruit, vegetables, meat and beans, she added.
This research builds on two previously published studies that showed the positive contribution of rice to diet quality.
A 2009 observational study found that rice eaters consumed significantly less fat and saturated fat and consumed more iron, potassium, fibre, meat, vegetables and grains.
A follow-up study in 2010 included children in the study group and further confirmed that rice consumption was associated with greater intake of a range of healthier foods and nutrients.
"The key recommendation of the US dietary guidelines is that our goal should be to aim for a healthy eating pattern. These studies show that rice eaters are doing this," Anne Banville, vice president of the USA Rice Federation, noted.
Brown rice is a 100 percent whole grain food and white rice is enriched with important nutrients, including folic acid and iron.
In addition to the positive results, a human clinical trial has found that having white or brown rice at a meal increased satiety and feelings of fullness, said the study published online in the journal Food and Nutrition Sciences.