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.
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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.