According to the University of California at Davis Biological Science Department, the consumption of rice has occurred since 2,500 B.C.; rice has been a staple food source longer than any other food. It is a versatile crop and can be used in main dishes, desserts, beverages and snacks. Rice can be prepared in a variety of ways, including parboiling, boiling, steaming and stir frying. In addition, rice boasts a nutritional profile packed with energy, providing carbohydrates and no fat.
Plain rice is calorically dense food, however, the addition of condiments such as butter or gravy increases the caloric content dramatically. A serving size of rice is ½ cup or 100 grams. A half cup of plain, steamed rice contains 140 calories while 1/2 cup of boiled white rice contains 123 calories. Adding 1 tablespoon of butter increases the caloric content by 102 calories and while ½ cup of chicken gravy adds 94 calories.
A serving of steamed rice has 31 grams of carbohydrate, and a serving of boiled rice contains 26 grams of carbohydrate. There are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate; for steamed rice, 124 of the total calories, roughly 89 percent, come from carbohydrate. Boiled rice contains 104 carbohydrate-derived calories, or approximately 85 percent. The carbohydrate source of rice is gelatinized starch.
Both steamed and boiled rice contain 1 gram of fat or less. The fat content of rice increases with the addition of condiments. One tablespoon of butter increases the fat content by 12 grams and ½ cup chicken gravy adds 6 grams of fat.
One half cup of boiled white rice provides about 3 grams of protein, according to the USDA Nutrition Database, and one serving of steamed rice also contains 3 grams of protein. Protein can be increased by adding a protein-rich food such as grilled chicken, fish, lean red meat or eggs to the rice entree.