The Rice Diet – How It Works, What To Eat, And Benefits

Rice is the main staple food across the world in more than 100 counties. Some people consume rice more than one time every day. The rice is a high-calorie starchy grain found at a low cost. Rice named differently in different countries such as paella in Spain, risotto in Italy, jambalaya in the southern part of US, steamed rice in China, rice beans in Mexico, sweet rice-Portugal.

Oryza is a scientific name of rice. Oryza sativa is a subdivided and common species of long grains of India and short grains called japonica.

Nutrition Facts

Cooked rice provides the following nutrition.

Quantity: 1-cup

  • Calories: 242
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Protein: 4.4g
  • Potassium 35 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 28 g
  • Dietary fiber 0.4 g
  • Sugar 0.1 g
  • Protein 2.7 g
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium 1%
  • Iron 1%
  • Vitamin D 0%
  • Vitamin B-6 5%
  • Cobalamin 0%
  • Magnesium 3%


Rice contains nearly 53gm of carbs in one serving. There are only small carbs present in the fiber. Most contents of rice contain sugar and starch.

Rice is a starchy source of carbs. If you are counting carb consumption in a diabetes diet, measure the portion size of rice.

White rice has 73 glycemic indexes, whereas brown rice has 68.


Boiling rice in only water provides not fat because rice does not contain any fat amount.


One cup cooked rice provides 4-grams of protein.

What is Rice Diet?

The rice diet gives low calories and low sodium. The rice diet is presented by Dr. Walter Kempner in the year of 1939. He was working as an educator at the Duke-University, North Carolina. He designed a dietary plan to help his patients with low blood pressure, improve their kidney functions, and manage obesity.

The rice diet managed well for people with obesity and hypertension because it provides complex carbs, low sodium, and limited dairy products.

Dr. Walter Kempner believed that the essential organ kidneys in the bodywork of two functions one metabolic and other excretory. He speculated that if the electrolyte and protein load over the kidneys get reduced, then the kidney might perform better for the metabolic role. His thinking was complex, but he started to treat the patients with fatal hypertension with a diet formed of nothing but only fruit and rice. However, this diet worked amazingly and shown rapid improvement.

The execution of Dr. Walter Kempner was very strict but also accurate. The patients were admitted for many weeks at the starting of the treatment.

The starting treatment was pausing all medications and keeping the patient strictly on the diet of white rice, fruit, sugar, vitamins, iron, and fruit juices. This diet was provided 2000 calories, 700-1000 ml fruits liquid, and 20 gm of protein. Rice diet had extremely low sodium around 150 mg every day. This diet contains 200 mg of chloride every day.

Kempner achieved a remarkable result, and he had to present them in the meeting of NewYork- Academy of medicine in 1946. His presentation remained and shown clear evidence, including retinal photography, blood pressure charts, chest radiography, laboratory results, electrocardiograms, and benefits.

How does Rice Diet work?

Rice provides a complex carb that takes more time to digest and prevent frequent hunger.

Reduced sodium consumption prevents excess water weight and lower pressure over the kidneys.

It is a low-calorie diet that provides 800 calories every day and increases up to 1200 calories every day.

The rice diet had success due to high fiber, low sodium, and low calories.

Rice Diet Foods List

What to eat

The rice diet is very strict and requires to consume limited foods.

Whole grains

All kinds of whole grains are the best source of complex carbs and provide minerals and vitamins. Whole-grain carbs are essential for a healthy diet. Grains provide natural fiber and keep you full for more time. Adding whole grain in your rice diet prevents diabetes, heart disease, and cancer risk.

Healthy whole grains include barley, buckwheat, brown rice, cracked wheat, oatmeal, millet, popcorn, and whole wheat bread.

Fresh fruits

Fresh fruits consumption is healthy for enhancing the rice diet. There are various fruits to include in the diet that provide plenty of vitamins, minerals. You can include mango, papaya, kiwis, melon and strawberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, and blueberries.


The vegetable is essential for the rice diet as it provides plenty of minerals and vitamins. Include dark green vegetables, dry peas and beans, and starchy vegetables. You can also add carrot, broccoli, butternut squash, and mint risotto.

Lean Protein

Lean proteins are best for the rice diet to get all nutrients. It helps to repair damaged tissues, hormone functions, cell maintenance, muscle building, and enzymatic reaction. Protein also manages to regulate blood sugar and weight.

What to avoid

  • Junk food
  • Candies
  • Soda
  • Bottled fruit juices
  • Frozen food
  • Milk chocolate
  • Deep-fried food
  • Readymade foods
  • Refined flour
  • Refined sugar
  • Trans fat foods

Which Rice Is Good For The Rice Diet?

White and brown rice are good. Brown rice is considered as healthiest dietary fiber food. You can also enjoy white rice with more vegetables.

Depending on taste, white rice is preferable by most people. If you wish to go for brown rice, then it will have a chewy texture, and it will require to soak for 20 minutes before cooking.

Dr. Kempner suggests choosing white rice as it was a wide choice for everyone.

The Rice Diet Plan

Phase 1 – (800 calories)

  • Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.
    • Consume one bowl oatmeal with chia seeds and banana.
  • Lunch: 12:00 p.m.
    • Consume Rice, baked fish and stir-fried veggies
  • Snack: 3:30 p.m.
    • Drink fresh fruit juice of 300 mL
  • Dinner: 6:30 p.m.
    • Consume Mushroom rice and Grilled chicken

Phase 2 – (1000 calories)

  • Breakfast – 8:00 a.m.
    • Consume 1-cup green tea, 1-toast, ½ avocado, homemade ricotta (½ small bow)
  • Lunch -12:00 p.m.
    • Consume Rice, grilled chicken, and stir-fried veggies.
  • Snack – 3:30 p.m.
    • Mixed fruits- 1 cup
  • Dinner – 6:30 p.m.
    • Fish sushi and Vegetable

Phase 3 – 1200 calories

  • Breakfast 8:00 a.m.
    • Consume one bowl vegetable quinoa with 1-cup green tea.
  • Lunch 12:00 p.m.
    • In lunch eat Rice, baked fish and stir-fried veggies
  • Snack 3:30 p.m.
    • 10-Pistachios with one cup buttermilk
  • Dinner 6:30 p.m.
    • Mushroom risotto with Low-fat chicken

The rice diet is difficult to follow. Therefore, practice this diet only for two weeks. The rice diet got modifications according to nutritional requirements and your food habits. Here are some guidelines from Dr. Robert Rosati and Kitty Gurkin Rosati.

Consume (per day):

  • 22 g fat
  • 5 g saturated fat
  • 1000 calories
  • 500-1000 mg sodium
  • 0-100 mg cholesterol

Benefits of Rice Diet

The best source of energy

Rice provides control over many ailments. Consuming brown rice provides sufficient neurotransmitters and prevents the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It also consists of antioxidants that save your heart health and reduce heart disease occurrence and stroke. Its diuretic qualities help to heal dysentery.

High Nutrition

Both white rice and brown rice provide high nutrition. White rice contains a high amount of minerals such as iron, calcium, and vitamins like niacin, thiamine, vitamin D, and riboflavin. Brown rice is the best source of fiber and improves the digestion process. It consists of low cholesterol and saturated fats that make it suitable for heart-healthy food. It is the reason rice is part of many cuisines all over the world.

Prevent Disease Occurrence

Prevent Disease Occurrence

Rice helps to manage different diseases. Brown rice consists of high neurotransmitters that help to prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s ailment. The content of antioxidants helps to save heart health and reduce disease occurrence.

Reduce Inflammation

Rice is one of those food containing natural antioxidants that helps to lower the inflammation. Everyday life causes us to get the opposite effect and frequent deteriorate health. Rice is gluten-free food, which makes it an ideal choice for gluten insensitive people. Gluten sensitivity causes a serious intestinal problem if consumed by mistake. Rice diet helps to lower the inflammation and oxidative response in the body.

Prevent Cancer

Rice diet also helps to prevent cancer risk. There are different kinds of rice types full of fiber. Even processed rice varieties are nutritional and provide fiber. Fiber helps to boost the intestinal tract reaction between healthy cells. Research tells that the rice diet helps to lower the cancer growth.

Apart from fiber, rice provides natural antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, flavonoid compounds, and phenolic, which prevent free radical effects. According to a study of 2017 BioMed Research-International, rice provides optimal chemoprevention from its content of antioxidant phytonutrients.

Benefit Nervous System

Rice is the best source of vitamin B, which is essential for nervous system functions. Nerve fibers require to be coated with an insulating sheath of muscles, which prevents electricity loss before sending signals to target organs. Vitamin B is essential for neurotransmitters production that helps to regulate biological processes.

Boost Heart Health

Rice consumption every day promotes heart health by regulating healthy cholesterol levels. It improves your bile acid production and hormones. It reduces inflammation and deposit of atherosclerotic plaque in the blood vessels wall. Rice also reduces the risk of stroke and heart ailments. Brown rice is best for the absorption of nutrients.

Prevent Constipation

Rice provides sufficient fiber. Consuming regular rice provides dietary fiber and prevents the risk of constipation. Often people experience blocked colon with waste. Fiber easily moves when water is trapped in the colon structure and keeps the stool soft for easy excretion. Make sure to drink more water to stay hydrated.

Manage Blood Sugar levels

White rice helps to control your blood sugar. Brown rice also helpful for managing blood sugar. The fiber presence in rice helps to absorb glucose. It slows down the blood entry with insulin and shuttle the glucose. Diabetes is a harmful disease, which does not have a cure, but managing a healthy sugar level increases life expectancy and prevents disease.

Vegan Protein

Rice is the best source of vegetarian and vegan proteins. Soy is a popular staple protein for many people, but regular consumption may cause a problem in men. Whereas rice provides high protein and fulfills the supplementary needs.

Promote Immune System

Rice contains plenty of minerals like magnesium, which is essential for the enzymatic process in the body. It also stimulates the immune system and supports probiotic bacteria growth in the intestine. It also prevents infections occurred by foodborne vectors. When you have suppressed good bacteria, it will increase the chances of developing infections in the body.

Natural Diuretic

Rice diet provides the body with a natural diuretic ability. Following the rice, the diet promotes the urination frequency and supports your kidneys. As rice contains low sodium, it manages healthy blood pressure in the body.

Brown Rice Best for Selenium

Adding brown rice in your diet provides a good amount of minerals. It promotes the ability of body functions and assists in metabolism. Brown rice also boost male sexual health. Reduced selenium in the body lowers the levels of testosterone and fertility. Selenium also lowers the DNA mutations and prevent cancer growth.

Prevents Obesity

Rice is an essential part of a good diet as it gives rich nutrients without affecting your health. Reduced fat, sodium, and cholesterol help to prevent obesity and its related condition.

Many people believe that consuming rice increases blood glucose levels, which is the main cause of obesity, but the research of 2013 tells that rice consumption does not cause obesity. Including rice with vegetables can be a clever idea for nutrients.

Manage Controls Blood Pressure

As rice contains less sodium, it is good food for people with hypertension. Sodium may affect arteries and veins to constrict, raise stress, and strain your complete cardiovascular system like your blood pressure rise high. It is linked with the heart, such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes, so skip more of this mineral.

Skin Care

Rice also beneficial for the skin. It manages the skin complexion bright and prevents acne marks. Rice diet is beneficial for lowering skin surface inflammation. Rice contains phenolic compounds, that specifically, present in brown rice and provides anti-inflammatory properties. Whether you apply rice topically or consume, it works effectively to treat skin conditions. Rice is the best food for removing premature aging and wrinkles.

Stop Alzheimer’s Disease

According to a study based on rat by Michiaki Okuda et al., shows that brown rice cooked with more pressure provides essential nutrients. The brown rice with high pressure lower the amyloid-beta in your brain, which is the main protein linked with Alzheimer’s disease. Rice also improves your cognitive dysfunctions.

Gluten-free Food

Rice is free from gluten, and it is suitable food for people suffering from celiac disease. People suffering from protein allergies such as barley, wheat, oats, and rye can also consume rice. Rice provides high nutrition and promotes your health.

Relieves IBS

According to the research team of New York University show the report that rice is beneficial for irritable bowel syndrome – IBS in the World Journal-of-Gastroenterology in 2018. They said that rice is fermentable carb called as FODMAPS is suggested for controlling digestive disorder. Rice provides low FODMAP, which is clinically recommended for IBS as it helps to provide resistant starch. It also helps to stimulate good bacteria growth and promote regular bowel movements.

Low Salt

The rice diet reduces salt consumption. Normally the body swells with water and salt. Most of the diet contain nearly 4-7 grams of sodium, still lower than half of one gram per day is important for normal body functions.

Salt creates a problem for people with kidney problems and high blood pressure. Generally, salt presence is necessary as it stimulates your appetite, whereas spices and herbs only flavor the food.

Limited salt intake lowers health risk, including blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, heart size.

Other Benefits

Easy to cook

All types of rice are easy to cook, but brown rice may take some more time to get cooked. You will need rice and water in a saucepan to cook rice. Cook it on medium flame to save the nutrients. After boiling, simmer it by covering with lid for15 minutes till the rice become completely tender and chewable. Keep checking rice while cooking and stir with a spoon at least two times to make sure all rice is cooked.

Is Rice Processed?

Is Rice Processed?

All rice types are originally whole grains with their bran. White rice is processed to get pearling. While the pearling process, the rice grain goes through the machine where the bran is removed. It makes the rice processed, and it is no more whole grain. Brown rice holds more nutrients than any other rice type.

Storing Rice

Cooking and eating fresh rice is the best way to get nutrition for diet. You can keep the cooked rice in the refrigerator till two days after that it will have an unpleasant smell because it gets expired.

Store the white rice in an airtight and dry container. Keep the rice in a cool place at 70 F temperature. Rice can be stored for 10-years, and it will not lose nutrients. Make sure to keep it clean and safe.

Varieties of Rice

Rice has different varieties based on its seeds and colors. Rice can have short, medium, and long grain. Within these three varieties, there are different kinds of processing.

For example, parboiled rice is boiled to remove the outer surface starch. It makes hand-processed rice grains. Converted rice hold more nutrients and get cook somewhat faster than milled rice.

Completely cooking rice and freezing it cause to remove nutrients.

Drain the Rice Starch or Not?

While cooking rice, you will see the liquid starch come, which is a combination of rice grain outer layer and water. This outer layer of rice contains micronutrients and essential vitamins. Therefore, liquid starch is healthy.

During the ancient Asian and Indian culture, rice starch was the main food, and it was never allowed to throw.

Gradually people have mistaken it as it should be given to only sick people.

What Happens with The Boil and Drain Method?

  • Nearly 15% of starch gets removed when you boil rice and drain the starch.
  • The starch draining may less influence on blood glucose. It also reduces the Kapha of food from the carbs and prevents constipation.
  • It also lowers insulin resistance, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
  • Often, polished rice raises the blood sugar quickly, which is called as high GL of food. In contrast, brown rice contains low GL and release glucose slowly in the bloodstream and reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • There is also the concern of arsenic content in rice in the sub-continent of India because arsenic-contaminated areas have the risk of contamination. Using the parboiled rice method removes the arsenic content from rice and reduces the chances of the disease by 24%.
  • Rice prepared in the boiled and drain method provides more visual impression and fluffy texture to the rice. It can be an observation of person to person.

Allergies and Interruptions

According to research, rice can induce FPIES (Food Protein-Induced-Enterocolitis-Syndrome). This condition can cause inflammation in your intestine. It may have symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or shock in severe cases. Medical experts tell that rice may cause allergy if you have a corn allergy.

The Rice Diet: Side Effects


Some people experience nausea while on a rice diet. According to scientists, lectins present in rice belong to proteins family, which is a natural insecticide that presents more in undercooked grains and legumes. It can make you temporarily uncomfortable.

Research tells that ingesting more undercooked lectin causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


People with rice allergy may feel irritations such as the runny nose, sneezing, asthma, itching, eczema, and stomach ache. Even breathing steam of rice or cooked rice also causes rashes and irritation.

Bored Of The Same Food

Eating everyday rice may make you feel bore and disinterest in eating. It will reduce your food intake and make you sick.

Nutritional deficiencies & Weakness

White rice does not have essential minerals and vitamins. It also gets digested fast and increases your appetite. As rice break down fast in the body, it may link with weight gain.

The rice diet works effectively, but it is one of the very restrictive diets. You should follow the rice diet under certain health conditions and with advice from your doctor. Rice diet may not support weight loss because it works differently.

Who Should Adopt The Rice Diet?

Who Should Adopt The Rice Diet

Here the conditions in which people can follow the rice diet to manage the specific health condition.

People with High Blood Pressure

As the rice diet contains low sodium, it is best suitable for regulating high blood pressure.

People with diabetes

Rice diet can be suitable for people with diabetes. This diet regulates glucose and insulin.

Heart disease

People with heart disease or heart problem risk can follow a rice diet, but they should ask the doctor because everyone has a different condition.

People with High Cholesterol

As white rice has no cholesterol, it helps to lower high cholesterol said by US Department-of-Agriculture. Expert tells that cholesterol present in food affects negatively on blood cholesterol.

You might have got the idea of how rice diet work and what are its necessary steps to follow. Make sure you have a particular condition to adopt a rice diet. Make sure to ask your regular doctor for a better understanding of your health and occurring risk factors. If you get any side effects, then stop the diet and get the expert advice about treating it.

Everyone has different health; therefore, the rice diet may work differently.

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