White rice might be the world’s most popular food, but that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy one. Depending on the way you cook it, white rice can have many surprising side effects, including weight gain and malnutrition.
Learn more about this staple grain and its surprising health effects here!
1. Weight gain:
One potential surprising side-effect of eating white rice is weight gain. This is because white rice is a high-glycemic food, meaning it causes a quick spike in blood sugar levels.
When blood sugar levels spike, the body releases insulin to bring them back down. The problem with this is that insulin triggers your body to store fat, which can lead to obesity.
Obesity increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes so those are other potential side effects as well.
Another reason why rice may cause weight gain is because when you eat it, you may not eat enough foods that contain protein or fiber to help balance out the carbohydrates in white rice.
2. Insulin resistance:
Eating white rice can lead to insulin resistance, which is when your body can’t effectively use insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
This can eventually lead to type-2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, eating white rice can cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Additionally, eating white rice can lead to weight gain and an increased risk for heart disease.
Studies show that people who eat more than two servings of white rice per week are at a significantly higher risk for metabolic syndrome than those who don’t eat any at all.
In addition, those who ate four or more servings of white rice per week were found to be 4 times as likely to develop type-2 diabetes.
3. Risk of kidney stones:
One potential side-effect of white rice is an increased risk of kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard deposits that form in your kidneys when there is too much waste in your urine.
If you eat a lot of white rice, your body may not be able to get rid of all the waste, which can lead to kidney stones.
Symptoms of kidney stones include pain in your side, back, or groin; blood in your urine; and difficulty urinating. You should see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Avoiding kidney stones with white rice requires reducing your consumption and adding more fluids to your diet.
4. Metabolic syndrome:
If you’re eating white rice on a regular basis, you may be at risk for developing metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a collection of conditions that include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess body fat around the waist.
While there isn’t a cure for metabolic syndrome, making lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms.
A healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains like brown rice can be an important part of this.
One study found that when people with metabolic syndrome replaced their usual starchy foods with beans, they lost weight without reducing their calorie intake.
Replacing carbs with protein-rich foods also helps stabilize blood sugar levels in those who are diabetic or prediabetic.
Another potential side-effect of eating white rice is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine.
This can lead to fatigue, weight gain, and muscle weakness. While white rice isn’t the only cause of hypothyroidism, it can be a trigger for those who are already susceptible to the condition.
If you think you may have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.
6. Fat storage:
When you eat white rice, your body converts it into glucose and stores it in your liver in the form of glycogen.
If you don’t use this glycogen for energy, it gets converted to fat and stored in your fat cells. Over time, eating too much white rice can lead to weight gain and obesity.
The more weight you gain, the higher your risk of health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
In fact, a 2012 study found that people who ate high-glycemic foods (like white rice) three times a day were twice as likely to become obese over a five-year period than those who did not consume these foods at all!
7. Brain fog:
If you’ve ever felt a bit hazy after eating a big bowl of white rice, you’re not alone. This common side-effect is called brain fog, and it can be caused by several things.
For one, white rice is a high-glycemic food, meaning it raises your blood sugar levels quickly. This can lead to a crash later on, as well as feelings of confusion and tiredness.
When it comes to brain fog, some people say that swapping out white rice for brown or wild rice will help. But others argue that this won’t solve the problem because brown and wild rice are also high in carbs.
8. Male infertility:
We all know that white rice isn’t the healthiest food out there. But did you know that it can also have some pretty surprising side effects?
For example, did you know that eating white rice can lead to male infertility? It’s true!
According to a study done by Harvard School of Public Health, men who consumed a lot of high glycemic index foods (such as white rice) had higher levels of sperm abnormalities than those who didn’t.
The good news is that the reverse is also true: men who eat high-fiber diets had lower levels of abnormal sperm counts.
Plus, whole grains like brown rice are rich in antioxidants and nutrients which may help reduce oxidative stress and free radical damage which could be associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer.
And speaking of prostate cancer, another study found that soy protein from whole soybeans reduced prostate tumor growth rates in mice significantly more than the same amount of soy protein from isolated soy protein powder.
9. Excess estrogen:
We all know that too much estrogen can be a bad thing. But did you know that eating white rice can actually increase your estrogen levels?
It’s because the grain contains an enzyme called phytoestrogenase which breaks down two naturally occurring estrogens in the body, 17-beta-estradiol and estrone, into inactive forms.
Theoretically, this would lower estrogen levels; but studies have shown that women who eat high amounts of white rice also have higher levels of estradiol and estrone in their blood.
One study found that when groups of postmenopausal Chinese women ate either 75 or 150 grams per day of cooked rice, they had significantly higher estradiol levels than those who didn’t eat any.
So while it might not seem like eating white rice could contribute to having too much estrogen, the truth is