Rice is a staple in the diets of many cultures and provides a good source of energy in the form of carbohydrates. There are many types of rice; all are carbohydrate-dense and eating too much may cause you to eat too little of the other nutrients needed to ensure optimal health.
Few Nutrients in Rice
One cup of cooked short-grain rice provides 242 calories, 53 grams of carbohydrates and 4.39 grams of protein, the U.S. Department of Agriculture calculates. Rice also contains small amounts of iron, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin and folate as well as several other micronutrients. Rice has very little sodium and has no vitamin C. The minimal amounts or total absence of many micronutrients would create a nutritional deficiency if your diet consisted largely of rice.
Carbohydrates in Rice
Rice is fairly low in calories but is very high in carbohydrates. The daily recommended percentage of calories you should get daily from carbohydrates is between 45 to 65 percent, which is 900 to 1,300 calories for someone eating an average 2,000 calories-per-day diet. Eating too much rice may adversely affect glucose metabolism and insulin production in your body.
Rice and Flavor
Plain rice has very little flavor and is therefore seldom eaten by itself. Rice is generally mixed with butter or sauces and acts as a filler on the plate. Eating too much of this flavor-enhanced rice can quickly ramp up the calorie count. Adding a pat of butter or a couple tablespoons of sauce seasoning can double the number of calories in a cup of rice.
Rice Can Be Filling
Cooked white rice contains 4 grams of fiber per cup; brown rice contains 7 grams of fiber per cup. Eating too much rice will fill you up, making it difficult to take in other foods. In addition to carbohydrates, you should be getting 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories in the form of quality proteins. You also need 20 to 35 percent of your diet to be composed of healthy fats. Rice does not provide significant amounts of these nutrients and eating too much rice will leave you without the appetite to include them.