Q: As i sip tea and eat cereal (wishing it was a goat cheese and pepper frittata so lusciously described a few days ago), i read the following in NY mag’s “50 simple steps to happiness”:
“No. 21: Forget the brown-rice sushi. The Japanese are some of the most long-lived people on the planet, and they only eat white rice.” – Dr. Oz Garcia, Nutritionist; I won’t believe it until I hear it from your lips…… what’s the verdict?
This dude is called the “Nutritionist to the stars” and has written several books. Well, I’ve been googling for a solid 20 mins and can’t come up with any credentials. Unfortunately anyone in NY can call themselves a “nutritionist” without any actual schooling or experience. You want to look for “R.D.” – registered dietitian – after someone’s name. Anyone who has actually spent the (absolutely glorious) many years pursuing this license will have the initials RD after their name. Also concerning is that I can’t find what he got his PhD in. It could be in history, for all we know!! (if you want to read more on this dude,Go Here!)
Ok, now that the whining is out of the way, on to brown vs. white rice.
According to WHFoods, one of my fave sites, to produce brown rice, the outermost layer (the hull) of the rice kernel is removed. This layer is inedible anyway, so there is minimal loss in nutritional value.
Converting to white rice destroys:
-67% of Niacin (Vitamin B3)
-80% of thiamine (vitamin B1)
-90% of the vitamin B6
-50% of the manganese
-50% of the phosphorus
-60% of the iron
-Over 75% of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.
Fully milled and polished white rice is required by the FDA to be enriched (i.e. vitamins are added back in) with vitamins B1, B3 and iron.
While enriching with these suckers sounds like it solves everything, we really don’t know how nutrients in the original source interact with each other. Plus, white rice doesn’t have the fiber, b6, phosphorus or fatty acids that brown rice does.
But in general it’s a good habit to get into in to start ordering brown rice (the same as with whole grain bread/pasta/pizza crust) where ever and whenever possible. That way making healthy choices just becomes second nature.
And hopefully it will be second nature to look into credentials, too, right babes???