Adding Red to Your Rice

A whole new world of whole grains is opening up to us these days, and rice alone comes in a host of varieties. You may have eaten basmati rice at an Indian restaurant, green “Bamboo” rice or even black rice that actually cooks up to be dark purple and is popular in China and Thailand.canstockphoto12136641

This week’s Health-e-Recipe is for Red Rice Dressing. The phytonutrient called anthocyanin – also present in red berries – creates its hue. Red rice is grown in countries as far-flung as France and Bhutan. (Don’t confuse it with “red yeast rice,” a supposedly medicinal substance used in traditional Chinese medicine.) Red rice contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals.

All rice provides about the same number of calories in a half-cup serving: about 200. But brown, wild and colored rices can contain more cancer-fighting fiber thanks to their whole-grain status from retaining their germ and bran, versus white rice that has had these fiber extras refined out of them. Not all exotic rice is a whole grain, either: if you’re looking for basmati or jasmine rice, for example, choose brown versions to get the most fiber.

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Making it Easier for Kids to Eat Whole Grains

Research shows many reasons why it’s important for kids to eat a diet rich in whole grains. Whole grains can help your kids – and you – maintain a healthy weight. And as your kids become older, whole grains can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and diet-related cancers.Wheat ears in the child hands

Recent research that I have collaborated on through the CHANGE Study suggests that children who ate more than 1.5 servings of whole grains every day had a 40 percent less risk of being obese than children who did not consume whole grains.

Yet only about 5 percent of American adults and children eat the recommended servings of whole grains every day and not all whole-grain products are good or excellent sources of dietary fiber. There are a lot of positive developments in what food companies and others to help kids get more whole grains. But there is still more progress that we can make in three main settings.

Marketplace: Changes made by food companies that have reformulated ready-to-eat breakfast cereal products, combined with new school nutrition policies and healthier meals served at home, will collectively make it easier for children to consume the recommended three servings of whole grains every day. Continue reading