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is rice evil???

by (109)
Updated about 23 hours ago
Created June 16, 2012 at 8:09 AM

something has been bothering me for a minute now. and i have restrained myself from acknowledging it because i hate to seem overly concerned with my appearance, but it is really bothering me!

i have this friend and her mom is just STUNNING. she is petite, has perfect skin, is toned as you please. they are Laotian and this woman has to be at least 40 years old and looks 18. my question is this, she subsists on mostly a diet of meat and rice and vegetables, how does she stay so thin and so healthy-looking? granted, her diet is (as far as i know) mostly traditional, so i doubt she consumes any significant amount of franken-food.

what gives? is it because of my SAD roots that i would likely not be able to maintain a healthy body weight consuming rice twice a day?

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109 · June 17, 2012 at 8:01 PM

as i happen to be latina, i like this thread hehe

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109 · June 17, 2012 at 8:00 PM

hey i didn't think about that.

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109 · June 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

good answer! :)

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6117 · June 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM

But she's Laotian, not Latino. Do Laotians have better genes than "us" too?

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11048 · June 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

The weight is starting to come off and I'm hoping to begin controlling the T2 by diet and exercise alone soon. My numbers are definitely better than they have ever been since eliminating grains, sugars save for the occasional honey, and processed foods.

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10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:50 PM

If the SAD kept them from cleaning their plates that's a plus. I was always a member of the clean plate club though.

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10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I had that same problem when I was T2. Sushi rice would shoot my blood glucose up to 200, even in small portions. Getting my weight down got rid of the T2, but I'm still wary of high glycemic foods.

Medium avatar
10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:43 PM

That Berkeley Wellness phrase applies here. Our diets are not products of evolutionary determinism.

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10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

The payoff for eating perfectly is at end-of-life, whether you make it to 83 or 88. The payoff for a life of hunting-and-gathering is better. I'd rather be Jack Lalanne at 96 eating carbs to support a life of activity than a gouty old guy in a wheelchair eating minced liver at 80. People here put way too much emphasis on diet.

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8757 · June 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM

no need to step up on a soap box! my point was some cultures have better genetics, ie: her friends mother with perfect skin....seriously guys, relax!

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11048 · June 17, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Whose blaming anyone, Ben?

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15976 · June 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Excellent answer. It's so silly this whole "there are better sources of nutrition" line of reasoning. Who the hell cares! As long as one is healthy, active, eats appropriate amounts of meat, vegetables, and starch then who cares if every single item isn't absolutely optimized. Ridiculous. The healthiest, strongest people are the ones who live active and eat well-rounded reasonable meals. Dessert and suboptimal grains are definitely a part of that.

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15976 · June 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM

A third of most served American meals is actually closer to an appropriate amount. Portions are too big in the us. Don't blame people for eating what is closer to healthy portions.

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11048 · June 16, 2012 at 10:24 PM

LOL @ Mike T. It was irritating to read that blanket, bullshit statement.

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14877 · June 16, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Perfect example of where paleo has gone wrong.

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9402 · June 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

I would wager that "us" is any race that cannot be spelled with just the letters A, I, L, N, O, T.

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11048 · June 16, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Kelly, what do latino women have to do with anything and who is "us?"

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14877 · June 16, 2012 at 5:38 PM

^ LOL. Kelly Ripa is not Latino.

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14877 · June 16, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Kelly Ripa is not Latino.

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14877 · June 16, 2012 at 5:35 PM

^ "Latino women have better genes than us?" Hahaha. What about our Lord Mark Sisson who says you everyone can "reprogram their genes" by not eating grains or starches?

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8757 · June 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

btw, latino women have better genes than us, they are usually all gorgeous. Imagine living surrounded by them, very intimidating!

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15976 · June 16, 2012 at 12:17 PM

David's comment is good. Also, more generally, rice meat and veg sounds like a perfect diet to me. That's what many of the people I knew in Japan thrived on. None of them looked as old as western counterparts, we're fit and generally much more well off physically. Don't eat processed garbage and you end up pretty well off.

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15593 · June 16, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Leaving aside the rice question, I think there's very little mileage in extrapolating from individual examples (unless you can alter variables, as in n=1 experiments). Some people are just massive/petite/healthy/unhealthy despite doing everything you wouldn't expect to produce that result.

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9 Answers

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9402 · June 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Kurt Harris and Mark Sisson are both okay with it in reasonable quantities in healthy individuals:

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/9/29/jimmy-moore-inquires-about-safe-starches.html

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-rice-unhealthy/

But I guess it depends on what you mean by evil:

Is it paleo: no
Is it processed: yes
Is it low carb: no
Is it high in micronutrients: no
Can your body tolerate it: only you can answer that by trying it out.

I seem to tolerate it just fine and it works well for me as a source of starch. Thai food, Indian food and sushi all go much better with rice than potatoes. The processing doesn't bother me as I think that's what makes it safe to eat. The lack of micronutrients doesn't bother me as the rest of my diet is nutrient dense.

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1548 · June 16, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Individuality. You CANNOT compare others when it comes to YOU. Everyone responds differently to particular "grey" foods in the paleo zone. "Bad" for some is "good" for others. (shallowly speaking) Some people can process foods better than others. Sometimes due to metabolic lineage (family ancestory, metabolic makeup, etc)

Eat it. Do you feel good after it? Ultra tired? Symptoms of something negative to your health appear? You have to test the waters in order to find the ideal diet makeup that works for you.

From PERSONAL perspective: I maintain my weight (I'm extremely active and athletic) so eating things such as white rice, potatoes, and tubers is a daily thing. I eat rice 2-3 times a week. I maintained sub 10% bodyfat in the process while staying strong, fast, and good at my sport (soccer.) And NO, it's NOT because I have "amazing gifted genetics." It's because I stay active, work damned hard, and eat a highly compliant paleo TEMPLATE (notice, I use template, not diet.)

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109 · June 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

good answer! :)

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41544 · June 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Everybody rails on rice as being unideal or suboptimal, but I've said it many times before: who the heck says every bite you eat has to be ideal/optimal? It obviously works for these folks, does it work for you?

Medium avatar
10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:43 PM

That Berkeley Wellness phrase applies here. Our diets are not products of evolutionary determinism.

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15976 · June 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Excellent answer. It's so silly this whole "there are better sources of nutrition" line of reasoning. Who the hell cares! As long as one is healthy, active, eats appropriate amounts of meat, vegetables, and starch then who cares if every single item isn't absolutely optimized. Ridiculous. The healthiest, strongest people are the ones who live active and eat well-rounded reasonable meals. Dessert and suboptimal grains are definitely a part of that.

Medium avatar
10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

The payoff for eating perfectly is at end-of-life, whether you make it to 83 or 88. The payoff for a life of hunting-and-gathering is better. I'd rather be Jack Lalanne at 96 eating carbs to support a life of activity than a gouty old guy in a wheelchair eating minced liver at 80. People here put way too much emphasis on diet.

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11697 · June 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Some people tolerate it, it's definitely better than wheat. But it's not ideal either, it's got its own problems. Personally, I get eczema returning if I eat it. I have to be completely grain-free to maintain my health.

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8757 · June 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I believe cultural genetics and also they seem to know how to prepare things better than we do (ie: they rinse and clean the rice, sometimes soak it, how many people really wash your rice in the states? )

My husband is latino and all are SAD eaters. They however, eat fresh fruits, veggies and don't do much as far as fancy meals, just the standard traditional foods in the ways their grandmothers use to make. They are only now getting exposure to GMO's etc. On many return trips (when we lived in colombia) we'd stop on the roadside and buy fresh fruits farmed/cut right there in the jumgle....bunches of bananas (I mean the whole bunch)

They have fanstistc skin, I'm very white and pink, they are always concerned about my skin and the sun.....its genetic to much extent and the latinos have been eating rice for hundreds of years (in my house growing up it was only instant rice and not often)

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11048 · June 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM

For me, absolutely. I am T2 diabetic and it shoots my glucose levels through the roof. My husband and sons, however, are able to eat it with no ill effects. They have it occasionally, usually with stir fry, and I have extra veggies instead.

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11048 · June 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

The weight is starting to come off and I'm hoping to begin controlling the T2 by diet and exercise alone soon. My numbers are definitely better than they have ever been since eliminating grains, sugars save for the occasional honey, and processed foods.

Medium avatar
10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I had that same problem when I was T2. Sushi rice would shoot my blood glucose up to 200, even in small portions. Getting my weight down got rid of the T2, but I'm still wary of high glycemic foods.

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4100 · June 17, 2012 at 5:50 AM

You can never ever tell, she might have been to a really good plastic surgeon.

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109 · June 17, 2012 at 8:00 PM

hey i didn't think about that.

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1036 · June 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM

In addition to what else has been posted, I'd be curious to see her portion sizes. I'm guessing they aren't what most of us would consider a full meal. I know many girls that eat shitty SADs and they stay thin because they eat about a third of their meal and save the rest for leftovers.

Medium avatar
10234 · June 17, 2012 at 1:50 PM

If the SAD kept them from cleaning their plates that's a plus. I was always a member of the clean plate club though.

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11048 · June 17, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Whose blaming anyone, Ben?

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15976 · June 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM

A third of most served American meals is actually closer to an appropriate amount. Portions are too big in the us. Don't blame people for eating what is closer to healthy portions.

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5381 · June 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM

It still has a high associated rate of digestive issues (china for example has a high rate of ibs, but not as high as italy, which is through the roof), but its probably healthier than grains, generally speaking....

Are you carb fiending?

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