But rice is not paleo!

Sure. So?

You know what else is not paleo?

  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Shoes
  • Cars
  • Going to work (good enough reason to go paleo eh?!)
  • Condoms/Birth control pills
  • The internet
  • Toilets
  • Air-conditioning
  • Playboy

You use all of these don’t you? Why? Because you have the ability to think. And because you have the ability to think you thought ‘I don’t live in the paleolithic era. This is 2011. I need these things to live normally and respectfully!’

Don’t just dump something because it isn’t technically paleo. Look into the nutritional content of the food and then decide if it’s a yay or nay for you. Once you do that, figure out the best way to cook it and the optimal situation to consume it.

About rice…

  • Does rice have any harmful anti-nutrients? Yes. Phytates, trypsin inhibitors and haemagglutinin.
  • Does cooked white rice contain any of these anti-nutrients? No. All anti-nutrients are present in the bran/hull and removed during processing/cooking.
  • What does white rice contain? Energy (calories), lots of carbs, minimal fiber and negligible micro-nutrients.
  • How much energy/carbs? 1 cup of cooked rice provides ~ 200 calories and ~ 45 gms of carbs.
  • What are these carbs? Starch with very little fiber (2% of carbs from fiber)
  • What happens to starch in the body? It is converted to glucose almost instantly.
  • What happens when these is a sudden rise in blood glucose? Insulin is released.
  • Is this good or bad? Depends.
  • When is starch in the body a bad thing? When the consumer is overweight or sedentary or when consumed in excess.
  • Why is this a bad thing? Read this.
  • When is starch in the body a good thing? Immediately after strenuous activity.
  • Why is it a good thing? Because insulin helps shuttle nutrients into cells and if insulin is released immediately post strenuous activity it will nourish muscle cells with nutrients.
  • So should I eat white rice? Depends on when you eat it and how much you eat.
  • When should I eat it? Immediately after workout/strenuous activity/sport.
  • How much should I eat? Depends on your body-weight and the activity. For most people 1 cup of cooked rice along with their heap of lean protein and vegetables helps immensely with recovery, glycogen repletion, leptin control and diet sustainability.
  • How often can I eat rice? As often as you workout hard (which shouldn’t be more than 2-3 times a week. Remember smart training?)

And since I know many of you will ask me this…

  • Isn’t wheat better than white rice? No.
  • Why? Because wheat contains deadly gluten. Enough said.

Get your mind right. The concept of paleo eating is about learning from the millions of years of experience of the pre-historic man about what we, as omnivores, are meant to eat. It’s not a reenactment of how the paleolithic man lived.

If you insist though, be sure to buy your grass-fed meat from this guy. He’s got an angry face, but I hear he’s pretty funny.

Adios!

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17 responses to “But rice is not paleo!

  1. Arvind Ashok January 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Neat post and great point. No reason to pigeon-hole oneself just for the sake of it. Taking the good from everywhere and concocting one’s one version of awesomeness is the way to go!

  2. Mamatha January 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Or better yet, hunt it yourself!

    Is there a reason why the protein has to be lean for post-workout recovery?

    • RG January 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      fat blunts insulin secretion. this is a good thing for the most part except immediately post workout when your tissues are hungry for nutrients. hence… avoiding insulin = stupid. controlling insulin = smart.

  3. Imran January 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Good post… I like the philosophy of choosing what’s best for you rather than trying to follow a diet like a religion. I think extremes usually cause imbalances.

    I’ve been trying to read up on nutrition as well lately, and given what you said about rice, was wondering what you take is on these guys saying that there is a link between brown rice and good health:

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/health-gains-from-whole-grains/index.html

    • RG January 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

      Imran,
      Whole grains have all the benefits mentioned… but they also contain anti-nutrients which mess with your gut big time. Now there are different anti-nutrients and each one of them have different effects on the body… but it is safe to say that all of them hinder nutrient absorption in the body and cause many long term effects – autoimmune diseases, asthma, arthritis, diabetes etc. Read this for more information – http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/ and this http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-grains/.

      Now even if they didnt contain any anti-nutrients they provide MUCH lower nutrition than vegetables. See these graphs – http://hbfser.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/lets-talk-numbers/

      Sure eating some every once in a while won’t kill you. But say you are eating 2000 calories a day. Would you rather eat nutrient rich vegetables, meats, nuts, dairy and berries or fill up on nutrient deficient and gut damaging grains?

      My concept – Eat what you need. If you’re training hard and engaging in strenuous exercise, you need some carbs post activity and so be sure to get them. Dense starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, squashes, rice are all great choices.

      But if all you do is sit on your ass all day and eat grains, grains and more grains you will be putting yourself at a high risk of those autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

  4. Lavanya January 6, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I like the two main points 1. do not slot yrself into any particular holes and 2. there’s no one size fits all when it comes to diet. I think this is why you shld research and figure out what works best for you.

    • the mad momma January 7, 2011 at 7:52 am

      yes, but I don’t know if everyone is able to work out what works best. That is why people end up following diets. It takes a lot of determination and research to work that out. In this case RG has had a history and hence the determination to do this. I can’t figure out how I’d do this for myself.

      • RG January 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm

        Very simple. If you do workout add in a starch (rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc.) within 60 mins of working out. See how you feel. Chances are you will recover much better than when you don’t eat any carbs.

        If you feel like crap. Don’t do it.

        Again, this is if you workout hard or do any strenuous activity. If not you’re definitely healthier with just awesome veggies.

      • RG January 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm

        Btw… Pretty awesome blog you’ve got out there.

      • the mad momma January 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

        thank you. I love your blog. i havent been in to eating healthy but am slowly heading that way and Lavanya and Ashok introduced me to your blog.

        anyway, getting to the point, i wasnt criticising, but merely observing that most people don’t have what it takes to research their food habits. be it the patience or the resources or simply, the brains! I am one of them. that is why we fall into the bad habit of just picking up a diet and following it. i have five kilos i’d like to lose and stamina i’d like to pick up on. so i’m watching your blog with an eagle eye. Lead kindly light…

      • RG January 9, 2011 at 1:59 am

        I did not think you were criticizing. No worries. If you have anything specific you want to discuss feel free to email me at raj.hbfser@gmail.com.

  5. paleotyro March 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Good post. It’s easy to say “don’t eat white rice” when you’re not powerlifting! Dr.Kurtfrom PANU also approves of white rice. Paleo isn’t about exclusively what our ancestors ate but rather mimicking their metabolism and “biomarkers” by manipulating our diets. You shouldn’t avoid carbs per se but avoid carbs high in things such as Linoleic Acid.

  6. Pingback: Grains – Friend or Foe? « Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

  7. vaani January 25, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Hi Raj,
    If wheat has this dangerous gluten..how come North Indians’ staple diet is wheat… how many of them are having celiac diseases or sensitivities?>.Im really seeing lots of these food sensitivities allergies here in US (even Indians here)) esp with peanuts, wheat, lactose…and pediatricians blame it on the way these things are processed here…..im really confused

    • RG January 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Vaani – The wheat consumed by the early north Indians were of a different strain than the current ones. The ones that we consume now are much higher in gluten content. Chris Masterjohn has written about this in great detail. Check it out if you get a chance.

  8. Nithin March 26, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Ok, so eating a bowl of rice post workout helps with a shot of insulin, but thats not the whole story as far as muscle growth is concerned right ? What about the Growth hormone ? Considering GH is released if one IFs (starves) post workout how do u determine which is more benificial ? Moreover one can still be a heavily muscled monster on a purely carnivorous diet ! (No insulin surges) How do u explain that ?

  9. Pingback: The Gluten(free) Myth – Is gluten-free the solution? « Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

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