Glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice, sweet rice or pearl rice, is a form of short-grain rice that has a higher starch content than its medium- or long-grain cousins. Manufacturers remove the husk, bran and germ of the rice grain to produce this sticky white rice that is a staple food in many Asian countries. Glutinous rice is relatively healthy, having an extremely low fat content, but it doesn't offer the nutritive value of brown or wild rice.
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A 1-cup serving of cooked glutinous white rice contains 169 calories, 36.7 g of carbohydrate, 3.5 g of protein, 1.7 g of fiber, 0.3 g of fat, 9 mg of sodium, a negligible amount of saturated fat and no cholesterol, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database. Carbohydrate accounts for roughly 90 percent of the calories, protein for 8 percent and fat for 2 percent.
The same serving of rice offers 7 percent of the pantothenic acid; 3 percent of the thiamine, niacin and vitamin B-6; and 2 percent of the riboflavin that the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine advises adults to consume daily. These five vitamins are water-soluble B-complex vitamins that play vital roles in healthy skin and vision, hormone and red blood cell formation, and central nervous system and metabolic function. Glutinous white rice also contains trace amounts of other vitamins.
A 1-cup serving of glutinous white rice also provides 18 percent of the selenium, 6 percent of the zinc and 2 percent of the magnesium and phosphorus that adults should consume each day. These four essential dietary minerals aid in muscle, nerve, thyroid and immune function; protein and DNA synthesis; wound healing; cell division; energy storage; heart rate and blood pressure regulation; and bone health and red blood cell oxygenation, according to the National Institutes of Heath Office of Dietary Supplements and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Glutinous white rice also contains smaller amounts of other minerals.
Glutinous white rice supplies considerably less fiber than other types of rice. While a 1-cup serving of glutinous white rice has only 1.7 g of fiber, similar servings of wild rice and brown rice offer 3 g and 3.5 g, respectively. Wild rice and brown rice also contain significantly higher amounts of essential vitamins and minerals than glutinous white rice does. Despite its name, glutinous white rice does not contain gluten.
Avoid using salt to flavor glutinous rice if you are watching your sodium intake. Because of its bland nature, this rice makes a natural filler in soups. Add lightly cooked vegetables to white rice for a healthy side dish, or serve lean meats or plant proteins like tofu over a bed of glutinous rice.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Colorado State University Extension: Water-Soluble Vitamins
- Council for Responsible Nutrition: Vitamin and Mineral Recommendations: Minerals
- NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium
- NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Zinc
- Linus Pauling Institue at Oregon State University: Phosphorus
- NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium