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Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

Rice helps a healthy diet, according to a new study. California grows short-grain rice, which is starchier than long-grain varieties. About 90 percent of California’s 4.5 billion pound crop grows within 100 miles of Sacramento.

No surprise: Rice helps healthy diet

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 - 2:24 pm

A new study confirmed what billions of people know: Rice goes a long way in a healthy diet.

Americans who consumed rice regularly tended to have healthier diets overall, according to new research.

In a study published online in the peer-reviewed journal “Food and Nutrition Sciences,” lead author Theresa Nicklas of Baylor College of Medicine analyzed seven years of data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The sample included 14,386 adults and what they ate from 2005 to 2010. Nicklas and her team evaluated the association of rice consumption with overall diet quality and key nutrient intakes.

What they found: Consumers who ate more rice tended to get more nutrients while eating less fat and added sugar. They also tended to eat more fruit and vegetables.

“Our results show that adults who eat rice had diets more consistent with what is recommended in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, and they showed higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber while eating less saturated fat and added sugars,” Nicklas said. “Eating rice is also associated with eating more servings of fruit, vegetables, meat and beans.”

On average, Americans eat about 27 pounds of rice a year. Of that, about 70 percent is enriched white rice.

Most of that rice was grown in the USA; American farmers grow an estimated 20 billion pounds of rice a year, according to the USA Rice Federation.

California, the No. 2 rice-growing state, annually accounts for about 4.5 billion pounds, mostly short-grained rice. Virtually every piece of sushi made in the U.S. contains California-grown rice.

More than 95 percent of California’s rice crop grows within 100 miles of Sacramento. So, when it comes to rice, Sacramentans can eat local — and healthier, too.


Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

Read more articles by Debbie Arrington



About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
cmacias@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
apierleoni@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
brobertson@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob


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