Monday, 10 August 2015

Traditional vs Microwave Rice

Brought to Australia around 1850 by Chinese gold prospectors, rice has become a staple of our diet. Their varieties continue to expand as we as consumers demand convenience and nutritional value, from microwave steamed rice to wild black rice, there is an expanse of rice varieties to choose from in your local super market that offer different textures, taste and nutritional value. The table below summarizes some common rice varieties and details their cost and nutritional value.

Variety of Rice
Cost per 100g
Nutrients per 100g


Protein
Carbohydrate
Fibre
Potassium
Magnesium
Niacin
Sodium
Brown
0.32
7.6
72.5
3.9
266mg
111mg
6.4mg
<0.5mg
Microwave
Brown
1.32
4
34
3
130mg
52mg
1.2mg
<5mg
Jasmine
0.32
7.2
78.8
<1
78mg
0
0
<5mg
Microwave Jasmine
1.32
2.9
33.5
<1
9mg
0
0
<5mg
White
0.25
6.8
79.1
<1
82mg
0
0
<5mg
Microwave
White
1.32
3
39
<1
47mg
0
0
<5mg
Brown Rice & Lentils
0.47
10.2
68.4
6.4
342mg
108mg
5.6mg
<5mg
White Rice & Quinoa
0.47
9.1
70.3
4.7
313mg
134mg
2.7mg
<5mg
Wild Rice Mountain Blend
1.10
8.2
74.4
4.1
207mg
117mg
2.7mg
<5mg



Rice can be a healthy alternative to refined carbohydrates and when high in fibre and minerals acts as a hearty addition to any lunch or dinner. Brown and wild rice have the best nutritional value in term of total fibre, protein and minerals and brown rice is one of the cheapest options coming in at 32 cents per 100g, which can be mixed with quinoa and black rice to add nutritional value while saving on cost compared to purchasing combination packs. White rice is your cheapest option especially when bought in bulk coming in at 25 cents per 100g, regretfully white rice loses its bran and germ during processing leading to a diminished fibre and mineral value producing a refined product that has a high glycemic load, meaning it significantly raises blood sugar levels in a short amount of time therefore increasing risk of insulin resistance and diabetes when consumed regularly.

The table compares some common rice varieties of fresh and microwave options, specifying significantly decreased nutritional value in the microwave options. Microwave options may be fast and convenient but they have an increased cost and contain a range of additives and preservatives. For example, microwave options contain cooked rice & water with added vegetable & sunflower oil, antioxidants, stabilisers (some of which contain soy), and distilled monoglyceride. Stabilisers act to increase shelf life, while distilled monoglyceride is used to remove impurities, these two chemicals are triglycerides or better known as trans fats and therefore can increase risks of heart disease, cholesterol, cancer and obesity when consumed regularly.


 Sarah Campbell