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White Rice and The Perfect Health Diet

by (363)
Updated about 21 hours ago
Created February 05, 2011 at 1:49 AM

In The Perfect Health Diet, the authors list white rice as a safe starch. I have began experimenting with soaking then cooking white rice as I run better on more carbs. Has anyone tried adding some rice in their diet? If so, how did you react? How about soaking rice? Thanks.

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5132 · January 05, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Rinse, not soak. Sort and remove dirt or debris, if any. That's all, I think. I soaked a bag of rice (as if I was soaking a beans) for a week and ruined it. When cooked, rice becomes soggy, is never done. Was trying to remove that white stuff when you rinse but apparently, that's not necessary.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809
565 · November 26, 2011 at 4:14 AM

Soaking solved the problem for me, too.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3
827 · October 09, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Some japanese rices specifically state that they are Talc-Free. I assume that the others don't do that because they are not talc-free.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd
5929 · August 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM

We're Paleo-inspired. We think Paleolithic diets were very healthy, and that most Paleolithic diets closely resembled ours. But there are a few established "Paleo" brands which differ a bit from our diet, and we don't want to fight with anyone over the meaning of the word "Paleo." Our commitment is to the healthiest possible diet, not the most Paleo-like diet, so the name we chose seems more descriptive.

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16
4283 · August 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM

I don't believe all grains contain gluten. I believe all grains contain prolamines of which gluten is one type. I also believe the prolamines are in the rice husk, so whole grain rice would be bad but polished rice is almost all glucose.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228
1049 · May 15, 2011 at 6:58 PM

You don't have to spend so much, when you carve up your own, but the whole satisfaction comes from the "choreography" chop sticks, soy sauce, wasabee........take all that away and you've got plain old healthy fish.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228
1049 · May 15, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I believe you are right that each person has different needs. I am still not too convinced that my daughter's needs are not different than mine. I cannot feel her body yet also cannot trust her instincts (sugar). Would love to have a dietary bible printed out for me, but alas there really is not only one Paleo book. I'd be perfectly willing to offer her potatoes as a desert if she was still hungry, but before the better choices...no go!! And guess what, as a desert, she won't be satisfied. So I can't yet justify them.

03f8e74520b0a79c6ce1501524509ac2
120 · May 15, 2011 at 4:30 PM

I don't think that they polish with talc in the US anymore. Could be true of non-US rice, though.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab
3521 · May 15, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I had the exact same experience. It was surely the talc that was causing the problem.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · May 15, 2011 at 2:01 PM

How to you for your glucose levels ? How does the rice differ from potatoes ? Thanks !

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · May 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Nice answer. I do what you're talking about save for the beans. maybe I should experiment. I agree that white rice as a solid starch foundation to do some serious lifting/athletics is wise. Not essential, but wise and harmless. i go sweet potatoes and white rice.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78417 · May 15, 2011 at 3:31 AM

There's actually gluten in rice as well, just a different "type" of gluten. All grains have gluten believe it or not, the one that is most known and causes the most damage is gluten from wheat, rye and barley. The good news is white rice contains the least amount of gluten and is the safest grain because of this, next to the fact it has no anti-nutrients of course. But if you have blood sugar issues I've heard sweet potatoes work better.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10
5838 · May 11, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Jack, does basmati fall under the white rice, "safe" starch? Do you need to soak it? Or should I just be using long grain white?

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7
1227 · February 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Ikco, Not much a quarter cup maybe with butter. Same with mashed potatos. The starch seems to allow a more comfortable bowel movement, just to be blunt about it. Eating a little starch in these forms seem to be the missing piece of the dietary puzzle for me. I am at my goal weight and I suspect that the starch may interfer with weight loss, but it the amount has not caused me to gain.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · February 16, 2011 at 8:30 PM

So Doris, adding starch has effected your constipation how ? How much of it do you eat ? Thank you (we're in the same boat) ;)

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383 · February 06, 2011 at 5:09 AM

lol, so true Tom

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2283 · February 06, 2011 at 2:01 AM

Yes, of course. I know correlation does not mean causation. I should have stated it differently. It is something to perhaps note, though, that their diet is very close to a paleo diet (in definition) and they happen to have long life expectancy. Could be any number of things. All that aside, I personally feel better with starch in my very active life. Take that for what you will ;)

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d
3717 · February 05, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Sashimi is awesome, except you have to spend $100 to get full.

149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0
3202 · February 05, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Yeah true...but the joke is Potato sushi...funny! That's why the Irish didn't invent sushi.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:12 AM

The answer is sashimi! ;-)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:11 AM

Oops "like of" should have been "lack of"

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:10 AM

Correlation does not imply causation. Just because Okinawans eat rice and Okinawans are healthy does not mean the rice is the healthy part of their lives. COuld be any number of things like exercise, sunshine, like of chemicals and hormones in their environment, etc. Even though I am tempted to agree that their diet sounds more healthy than most, I do not want to fall into the trap of assuming correlation implies causation.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:08 AM

I don't eat it much, but I suspect a little bit doesn't cause any major problems. Just that as you said, it has very little nutrients in it so it's basically empty calories. Potatoes and tubers, on the hand, have some nutrition to offer. As I eat less food these days, I also find myself looking more at the overall value of each food that I eat. When I eat a food, I like to think that each bite it a healthful contribution to my body. I don't feel that way about rice, although it might be helpful for those who want to gain weight, are tired of potatoes, and can't think of any other carb.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
2283 · February 05, 2011 at 4:49 AM

I believe this is what you're referring to: http://www.celiac.com/articles/8/1/What-is-gluten-What-is-gliadin/Page1.html

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78417 · February 05, 2011 at 3:32 AM

I think soaking is not needed since its so processed. I think rice isnt so processed. soaking changes somethink. The preperation is the thing which makes rice healthy or not.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78417 · February 05, 2011 at 3:31 AM

I think soaking is not needed since its so processed it defintly makes a difference.

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363 · February 05, 2011 at 3:06 AM

Thanks Jamie. I agree. I also feel similar about needing more starch. kept thinking 'what am i doing wrong?' turns out all i needed was some more starch. I am very active.

94577e0344bb1671288ccee96083baf2
363 · February 05, 2011 at 2:05 AM

Thanks for the reply. Yeah i do feel better on more carbs and do eat tons of sweet potatoes but i'm looking for some other safe starches. I don't have blood sugar issues and use most of my starches for post workout recovery. ps-keep up the great work on your blog.

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0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
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2283 · February 05, 2011 at 2:36 AM

I feel that if you're active and need safe starches, white rice is about the safest there is. The Okinawans have about the healthiest diet and longest life span. Lots of fatty meat. A little protein and some starch, mostly rice. I personally felt really bad on strict paleo with only sweet potatoes as starch. I started to eat waaaay too much fruit. I just felt bad. I tried for over a year, too. Then, I added in rice and white potatoes and felt much better. Obviously, it will be different for each person. We all have different genetics, toxin loads, environments, etc. I do think, though, that a more active person will generally need more carbs in the form of safe starches.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228
1049 · May 15, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I believe you are right that each person has different needs. I am still not too convinced that my daughter's needs are not different than mine. I cannot feel her body yet also cannot trust her instincts (sugar). Would love to have a dietary bible printed out for me, but alas there really is not only one Paleo book. I'd be perfectly willing to offer her potatoes as a desert if she was still hungry, but before the better choices...no go!! And guess what, as a desert, she won't be satisfied. So I can't yet justify them.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
2283 · February 06, 2011 at 2:01 AM

Yes, of course. I know correlation does not mean causation. I should have stated it differently. It is something to perhaps note, though, that their diet is very close to a paleo diet (in definition) and they happen to have long life expectancy. Could be any number of things. All that aside, I personally feel better with starch in my very active life. Take that for what you will ;)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:11 AM

Oops "like of" should have been "lack of"

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:10 AM

Correlation does not imply causation. Just because Okinawans eat rice and Okinawans are healthy does not mean the rice is the healthy part of their lives. COuld be any number of things like exercise, sunshine, like of chemicals and hormones in their environment, etc. Even though I am tempted to agree that their diet sounds more healthy than most, I do not want to fall into the trap of assuming correlation implies causation.

94577e0344bb1671288ccee96083baf2
363 · February 05, 2011 at 3:06 AM

Thanks Jamie. I agree. I also feel similar about needing more starch. kept thinking 'what am i doing wrong?' turns out all i needed was some more starch. I am very active.

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405
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3885 · February 05, 2011 at 7:51 AM

White rice is the name given to milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. After milling, the rice is polished for a bright, white, shiny appearance.

Very often the rice is polished using Talc- Talc is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. In loose form, it is the widely-used substance known as talcum powder.

The reason, traditionally, to soak rice or least wash it thoroughly several times is to remove residues of Talc which is almost always present in polished rice.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3
827 · October 09, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Some japanese rices specifically state that they are Talc-Free. I assume that the others don't do that because they are not talc-free.

03f8e74520b0a79c6ce1501524509ac2
120 · May 15, 2011 at 4:30 PM

I don't think that they polish with talc in the US anymore. Could be true of non-US rice, though.

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39841 · February 05, 2011 at 4:24 AM

I choose potato over white rice every time except for sushi. Potato sushi never fails to disappoint.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228
1049 · May 15, 2011 at 6:58 PM

You don't have to spend so much, when you carve up your own, but the whole satisfaction comes from the "choreography" chop sticks, soy sauce, wasabee........take all that away and you've got plain old healthy fish.

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e
383 · February 06, 2011 at 5:09 AM

lol, so true Tom

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d
3717 · February 05, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Sashimi is awesome, except you have to spend $100 to get full.

149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0
3202 · February 05, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Yeah true...but the joke is Potato sushi...funny! That's why the Irish didn't invent sushi.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:12 AM

The answer is sashimi! ;-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
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56606 · February 05, 2011 at 1:55 AM

I think soaking is not needed since its so processed. I'd try to figure out how it effects your blood sugar, maybe with a glucose meter? It doesn't bother me. I'm eating some now because I had a lot of sauce with my curry and needed something to absorb it. My main objection to it is that it can displace better foods.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8
5132 · January 05, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Rinse, not soak. Sort and remove dirt or debris, if any. That's all, I think. I soaked a bag of rice (as if I was soaking a beans) for a week and ruined it. When cooked, rice becomes soggy, is never done. Was trying to remove that white stuff when you rinse but apparently, that's not necessary.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · February 05, 2011 at 5:08 AM

I don't eat it much, but I suspect a little bit doesn't cause any major problems. Just that as you said, it has very little nutrients in it so it's basically empty calories. Potatoes and tubers, on the hand, have some nutrition to offer. As I eat less food these days, I also find myself looking more at the overall value of each food that I eat. When I eat a food, I like to think that each bite it a healthful contribution to my body. I don't feel that way about rice, although it might be helpful for those who want to gain weight, are tired of potatoes, and can't think of any other carb.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78417 · February 05, 2011 at 3:32 AM

I think soaking is not needed since its so processed. I think rice isnt so processed. soaking changes somethink. The preperation is the thing which makes rice healthy or not.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78417 · February 05, 2011 at 3:31 AM

I think soaking is not needed since its so processed it defintly makes a difference.

94577e0344bb1671288ccee96083baf2
363 · February 05, 2011 at 2:05 AM

Thanks for the reply. Yeah i do feel better on more carbs and do eat tons of sweet potatoes but i'm looking for some other safe starches. I don't have blood sugar issues and use most of my starches for post workout recovery. ps-keep up the great work on your blog.

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18412 · February 15, 2011 at 10:48 PM

soaking is for brown rice only. no need to soak white rice at all. the soaking process is actually to ferment the brown rice, which is why you soak with raw whey, and the only reason one who would to do this is to have positive bacteria predigest the rice so that it becomes more easily digestable for you. it reduces phytates (phytic acid) that is present in brown rice only.

and although brown rice is a darling 'grain' among mainstream 'health conscious' folk, it is only so for the same reasons that other whole grains are. the only difference between brown rice and white rice is the nutrients and the fiber of the shell. the jaminets argue that the there is no need to ingest that because you can simply get those same nutrients elsewhere, and you can avoid the antinutrients and grain proteins associated with the brown rice by just eating the stripped down version that we know as white rice. with rice, the starchy portion is separable from the rest. this is different from white flour products, which still contain the gluten proteins of wheat since the it's all ground up together during processing.

so now, after a several month hiatus from white rice, i'm glad to say it's back! just remember, white rice always taste better with a spoonful of pasture butter melted into it while it's still hot!

enjoy :)

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5838 · May 11, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Jack, does basmati fall under the white rice, "safe" starch? Do you need to soak it? Or should I just be using long grain white?

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20 · May 15, 2011 at 2:24 AM

One of the best ways to lose fat and gain muscle mass, is eating a diet that consists of rice - even white rice, with bean - veg and animal protein. No Sugar, No Bread, No Dairy, Just rice, beans / veg and animal protein...

You??ll never feel hunger pains, and you??ll have plenty of energy to go to the gym...I??ve never experienced such dramatic gains in my weight training, in as far as muscle ' strength gains and fat loss, until I started eating this way...

I stay away from all sugar, bread and dairy..and I eat rice, beans /vegetables..etc chicken, steak, eggs...and a lot of water. Combined with exercise, particularly anaerobic - weight training..You??ll be amazed at how much muscle you??ll gain, and how the fat melts off.

When I come accross people who pupu white rice, my first thought is ??What A Damn Idiot??..White rice is a great foundation, for anyone who wants to get and stay fit.

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15976 · May 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Nice answer. I do what you're talking about save for the beans. maybe I should experiment. I agree that white rice as a solid starch foundation to do some serious lifting/athletics is wise. Not essential, but wise and harmless. i go sweet potatoes and white rice.

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559 · February 05, 2011 at 3:49 AM

this is completely anecdotal, but i grew up eating white rice and remember how it was important to thoroughly soak and rinse the rice before cooking to remove the toxins. then when i started learning about health food, i switched to brown rice, and the argument became 'don't rinse it! you're washing out all the fiber and nutrients!'

years later i believe all the fiber in my high-fruit, high-fiber diet had a bad effect on my gut and led to IBS.

since going paleo rice is one of the few carbs i still eat. i like to eat it with lots of butter or bacon grease to make it more satiating. but in general it tastes very bland to me and prefer mashed sweet potatoes.

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2004 · August 26, 2011 at 5:03 AM

After reading Carbohydrates and the Thyroid yesterday I tested on 3 tablespoons of white rice.

In the night my belly started to rumbel and now I'm puffy round my eyes, bloated and my nose is congested.

Could I get accustomed to it, if I ate it regularly? Or does it look like some allergic reaction?

Edit: My jaw joint has made a cracky noise for a few times this morning and my mouth feels as if my teeth have grown.

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1227 · February 05, 2011 at 12:21 PM

The starch issue as stated by the Jaminets shed light on my main dietary problem: constipation. According to them starch causes mucin to form in the intestenial tract, as I understand it, making a protective surface on ones innards. A little white rice or potato or sweet potato goes a long way. I use Texmanti rice from Rice Select. It does not seem to be highly polished and I don't soak it.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7
1227 · February 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Ikco, Not much a quarter cup maybe with butter. Same with mashed potatos. The starch seems to allow a more comfortable bowel movement, just to be blunt about it. Eating a little starch in these forms seem to be the missing piece of the dietary puzzle for me. I am at my goal weight and I suspect that the starch may interfer with weight loss, but it the amount has not caused me to gain.

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2399 · February 16, 2011 at 8:30 PM

So Doris, adding starch has effected your constipation how ? How much of it do you eat ? Thank you (we're in the same boat) ;)

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1061 · February 05, 2011 at 3:45 AM

I have seen studies that say rice has something in it that is very much like gluten. So, if you know have problems with gluten, you may want to slowly add rice to a paleo diet - for example, have some one day, then wait a few days before you have more.

As I recall, Dr Harris says to have some potatoes or white rice if you seem to need starch. I do not think the Jaminet's consider themselves to be paleo.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd
5929 · August 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM

We're Paleo-inspired. We think Paleolithic diets were very healthy, and that most Paleolithic diets closely resembled ours. But there are a few established "Paleo" brands which differ a bit from our diet, and we don't want to fight with anyone over the meaning of the word "Paleo." Our commitment is to the healthiest possible diet, not the most Paleo-like diet, so the name we chose seems more descriptive.

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4283 · August 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM

I don't believe all grains contain gluten. I believe all grains contain prolamines of which gluten is one type. I also believe the prolamines are in the rice husk, so whole grain rice would be bad but polished rice is almost all glucose.

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78417 · May 15, 2011 at 3:31 AM

There's actually gluten in rice as well, just a different "type" of gluten. All grains have gluten believe it or not, the one that is most known and causes the most damage is gluten from wheat, rye and barley. The good news is white rice contains the least amount of gluten and is the safest grain because of this, next to the fact it has no anti-nutrients of course. But if you have blood sugar issues I've heard sweet potatoes work better.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
2283 · February 05, 2011 at 4:49 AM

I believe this is what you're referring to: http://www.celiac.com/articles/8/1/What-is-gluten-What-is-gliadin/Page1.html

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0 · January 05, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I eat very strict paleo and my boyfriend was going to try it for 30 days but he is a type 1 diabetic and the doctor said he needs more direct carbs mim 120g a day. so we are going to add more sweet potatoes for him but we are trying to decide if adding rice or beans would be better for him. Does anyone have any answers for us and can help here?

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15976 · May 15, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I eat white rice probably twice per week and have no reactions. I like it a lot, in fact.

I do not think you have to, or its worth your time to, soak white rice. You CAN indeed rinse it, though. This i believe is more just to get off any physical items like dirt, whatever that may have attached itself to the grains.

Living in Japan I learned that almost all people always rinse their white rice. Its absolutely default there. Brown rice, incidentally, is very rare. It is of course available but its something special, that one would have to make a point to get ahold of and cook.

I will note though that in the last maybe 10 years brown rice has indeed become more available on menus in Japan. I presume this is just the general consensus that brown rice is better for you spreading around the world.

Secondary question if i may be allowed: though many here would opt for white rice I wonder if the seriously small amount of bran that is even on brown rice would matter either way. In other words, we usually say "brown is actually no good so eat white" though society will tell you different. I just wonder if it matters either way, assuming its not an absolute staple in your diet.

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3162 · May 15, 2011 at 2:02 PM

The first time I tried white rice after not having grains for months, it gave me serious gas. I hadn't rinsed or soaked it at all and when I poured the cooking water over it, the water was instantly cloudy. I remember thinking that it didn't look right, but I was too lazy to do anything about it.

A few weeks later I gave it another go, but I rinsed it in a sieve under running water until the water ran clear and I had zero problems. Good thing too, cause I love white rice, and potatoes just don't go with some things.

Now I have rice several times a week and I always rinse it til it sits in clear water. Maybe it was the talc that was the original problem?

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565 · November 26, 2011 at 4:14 AM

Soaking solved the problem for me, too.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab
3521 · May 15, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I had the exact same experience. It was surely the talc that was causing the problem.

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942 · May 15, 2011 at 2:42 AM

I eat some white rice. But it does seem to elevate my blood glucose excessively.

Also, I want more and more and more. I could easily eat a huge plate of rice.

For carbs I tend to go with "roots," including potatoes.

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2399 · May 15, 2011 at 2:01 PM

How to you for your glucose levels ? How does the rice differ from potatoes ? Thanks !

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
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78417 · February 05, 2011 at 3:33 AM

There are different ways of white rice.

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