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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Misc: In defense of RICE, esp. during this low-carb frenzy

Links updated as of 1-16-09

Rice is the staple food of the Filipinos. I love rice and I grew up eating rice at every meal, sometimes even during merienda.

Then a daily help tip from My Yahoo posted this:
Choose complex carbohydrate over simple sugars! Simple sugars in white flour, pasta, rice and cake are digested and absorbed quickly and can cause blood sugar swings and cravings. Complex carbohydrate are foods that contain fiber, including whole grains, whole grain breads and cereals, whole fruit instead of juice and vegetables and salads.
HELLO! Excuse me! In biochemistry, simple sugars mean carbohydrates consisting of one (monosaccharide) or two (disaccharide) units. AS far as I remember, no food has monosaccharides. And as far as I know, the simplest sugars in our diet are the dissacharides sucrose (in table sugar), fructose (in fruits), lactose (in milk), and maltose (in beer) (tell me if you know of other sugars in our diet). Sugars with more than two units are polysaccharides, which may be simple (unbranched) or complex (branched). Starch, cellulose, glycogen (in muscles and liver of humans and animals), chitin (in exoskeletons of crustaceans like shrimps and crabs) are some examples. Starch is a complex polysaccharide.

This page shows a schematic diagram of grains in general (which can represent rice and wheat and other grains). It shows that most of the grain has starch as its major component in the endosperm. Therefore, rice, be it white or brown, is a complex carbohydrate. However, the brown rice is more nutrient packed and has more fiber (which is also a nutrient, by the way, in contrast to what some claim that white rice is devoid of nutrients). A comparison of brown versus white rice is found here. And this site shows a comparison of the nutrients in different carbohydrate-rich foods. So for the health-conscious, preferring brown over white rice is okay. For the white-rice lovers like me, don't be guilty. In the first place, these "healthier" options are sold at a higher price (siyempre, mapagsamantala sa business, parang yung mga nagsasamantala sa low-carb fad). Secondly, we Filipinos tend to eat more veggies than the typical American (meaning, not health-conscious) and less meat. We even eat the tender stems of many vegetables and those are rich in fiber! (The typical American don't. I know of one who even asked his friends if they eat the stem of broccoli...). The key is still a wide variety in the contents of your menu (should include all those included in the food pyramid).

So for those rice lovers like me, just know your limit in terms of carbo percentage in your TCR. Wag magpa-uto sa mga low-carb food items on the grocery shelves. Those are just for the ignorant. (Bakit ko babaguhin ang eating habits ko eh ang sexy ko kaya para sa may 2 anak...ano hilo?)

1 comment:

  1. Hello and good morning, i love ur blog site coz its very interesting and informative, but some links aren't working like the THIS of PDF, i hope to see the link soon, thanks and God bless


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