Brown rice and oatmeal both count toward your whole grain requirement. However, an exclusive diet of brown rice and oatmeal to lose weight will not allow you to meet your other dietary needs, such as eating adequate amounts of protein, calcium, fats and the other vitamins and minerals your body needs. Rather than limiting yourself to brown rice and oatmeal, include these healthy choices in your weight-loss plan.
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A diet of brown rice and oatmeal excludes other food groups, which classifies it as a fad, or crash diet, according to registered dietitian Eleanor N. Whitney, one of the authors of "Nutrition and Diet Therapy." A crash or fad diet may become popular through the Internet or word of mouth, but the promoters of an unhealthy diet rarely offer scientific research or medical proof that such diets are healthy or effective. Whitney and her colleagues indicate that fad diets often rely on certain foods to lose weight, promise unrealistic results, and may cause nutritional harm if followed for a lengthy period of time.
Benefits and Nutrients
Whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice can help lower your risk of developing heart disease because consuming whole grains may reduce your cholesterol levels, and the fiber content may help with weight loss. Brown rice and oatmeal both retain the outer layers of the grain, which improves their nutritional value. Brown rice contains 3.5 g of fiber per cup, while white rice has less than 1 g. Oatmeal has 4 g of fiber, 6 g of protein, a trace of sugar and 3.6 g of mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Brown rice has less than 2 g of fat, .7 g of natural sugar and 5 g of protein in 1 cup. Neither brown rice nor unfortified oatmeal has any vitamin C or vitamin A. Oatmeal has a trace of vitamin E, while brown rice has none.
Eating 1 cup of brown rice and 1 cup of cooked oatmeal a day gives you 382 calories, 216 from the rice and 166 from the oatmeal. Even if you eat 2 cups of each every day, the 764 calories do not satisfy your minimum caloric intake when dieting, according to MedlinePlus recommendations. Limit your grain intake to 4 oz. if you are consuming 1,200 calories. Do not get all of your calories from brown rice and oatmeal in an attempt to lose weight. If you get 400 calories in rice and oatmeal a day, you leave yourself between 800 and 1,200 additional calories from other food types.
Use oatmeal for breakfast and brown rice for either your lunch or dinner grains. Keep the calories in both foods low by using water to prepare the oatmeal, and making the brown rice without adding oil. Add fruit to oatmeal to help you consume your 1-1/2 cups of fruit a day, and add either kidney beans or grilled chicken pieces to the rice to increase the protein content of that dish. Other important foods to eat while losing weight include dairy products and small amounts of healthy fats.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- "Nutrition and Diet Therapy"; Eleanor Whitney, et al.; 2007
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Brown Rice, White Rice, Oatmeal
- American Heart Association; Whole Grains and Fiber; January 2011
- MedlinePlus; Tips for Losing Weight; David Zieve, MD, MHA, and Linda J. Vorvick, MD; October 2009