Are you a busy individual who is constantly searching for convenient and healthy meal options? If so, you may find yourself concerned about processed foods such as microwavable rice, wondering whether it’s actually good or bad for you. So, is microwavable rice bad for you? No, it isn’t. But, we can understand your concerns if you do not know much about it, how it’s made, and other points that would give you peace of mind.
We’re going to be giving you a lot of information in this article, covering all of the necessary points so that you can feel clued in when it comes to all things microwavable rice. Some of the things that we’re going to be covering in this article are as follows:
- What microwavable rice is, and how it’s made
- A comparison of microwave rice with regular rice
- Pros and cons of microwave rice
- How to choose the healthiest options
This is not an extensive list, and you will find more information contained within this article. The focus though is to educate you as much as possible so that you can make the healthiest possible choice going forward. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, keep reading.
An Explanation Of Microwavable Rice
Microwavable rice is a quick and convenient option for people who don’t have time to stand and boil rice fresh every time they want it. It is ready in a couple of minutes, whereas the usual cooking time for rice can be anywhere from 20 minutes onwards. This pre-packed rice has already been cooked so that you do not have to spend your time doing so, all you essentially need to do is reheat it.
You might be wondering how this is possible, but as we said, the rice has already been cooked. It goes through a process where it’s blanched in hot water, steamed and then rinsed to remove the excess starch. Once this has been done, it is placed in a large oven to dehydrate the rice so that the moisture content is around 12%. At some point during this process, small cracks will form in the rice which is what allows it to rehydrate so fast when it is microwaved.
There are many types of microwavable rice available on the market right now. Many different brands have their own version of this, with a range of flavor offerings as well. You can get your general white and brown rice, but you can also find crowd favorites such as egg fried rice and others in most stores.
Vitamins And Nutrients In Rice
One of the main reasons that people choose to eat rice is because it is full of vitamins and nutrients that the body needs. Rice generally provides more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals which are as follows:
- B vitamins
- Folic acid
A concern that people have with microwavable rice is that it loses these nutrients when it is cooked and then dehydrated. While it’s true that some of these will be lost during this process, the same can be said for boiling regular white rice.
In fact, studies have shown that there is no significant reduction in nutrients through the process of creating microwavable rice. As such, if getting the vitamins and nutrients that you need is your main concern, then microwavable rice is absolutely fine for your needs.
Nutritional Comparison With White Rice
One of the main concerns that people have with microwavable rice is the nutritional content. It’s essential that you know what you are putting into your body, whether it fits in with your diet goals, and what it is bringing to the table in terms of nutrients. Using information like this, you can make the best possible choice at meal times, sticking to your overall health goals.
|Nutrient||Microwavable Rice (Per 100g)||Regular White Rice (Per 100g)|
|Calories||120 kcal||123 kcal|
Pros And Cons Of Microwavable Rice
As with everything, there are pros and cons of microwavable rice. Microwavable rice is not inherently bad in itself as there isn’t that much of a difference between the two options. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons so we can grasp a solid understanding of what these are before we make any judgments.
|It is the faster option if you don’t have time to stand there and boil rice for your meal.||The way microwavable rice is cooked means that it loses some of its nutritional value.|
|Less mess when cooking microwave rice as there’s no chance of boiling water spilling and nothing gets dirty.||Higher levels of sodium make it a slightly less healthy option.|
|It is argued that microwavable rice loses less nutrients than when regular rice is cooked in water as it’s cooked in a lower amount of water.||Microwavable rice is often more expensive as it has already been cooked and dehydrated.|
|Fewer calories than traditional white rice, making it easier to fit within your calories.|
Tips for Choosing and Consuming Healthier Microwavable Rice Options
Now knowing what you know about microwavable rice, you can make healthier choices when it comes to this convenient alternative to regular boiled rice. Try not to be too put off by the cons that we have listed because overall you can make healthier choices when using microwavable rice.
Once you know what you’re looking for and how to make the best choice possible from what is available, you may feel more comfortable using it in the future!
Read Labels Carefully
First thing that you can do is make sure that you are reading the labels carefully. Check for all of the ingredients that are contained within the product, and ensure that it fits with your overall goals.
Double-check the nutritional information on the front of the packet, and look for any requirements that you may have. For example, some microwavable rice is organic, so if this is something that you want then you need to ensure that you’re checking the labels.
Brown And Wholegrain Rice
If you want a healthier option you could always look into brown or whole-grain rice. These tend to have a lower calorie count than white rice and a higher fiber content, so if calories are your main concern, then this is a good choice. Wholegrain rice options also contain a range of extra nutrients that your body needs, making it easier to get these into your overall daily diet.
Too much sodium in our diet is not good for us, and microwavable rice has a slightly higher sodium content than regular rice. As such, you should be looking at the nutritional information to find the lowest sodium option available. As a general rule, you should be assuming that anything over around 0.06g is too high as there are alternatives that have less salt in them.
Recommended Serving Size
When you are looking through the options available to you, it’s a good idea to look at the recommended serving size. Weigh out your rice to make sure that you are sticking to the nutritional information that has been listed on the packet. If you don’t do this, then you won’t be sticking to the nutritional information that you are looking at.
Choosing The Right Brand
You want your microwavable rice to taste good and to have everything that you want in it, which means that you should be comparing brands to find the best option. Some brands are well-known as ones to avoid when it comes to microwavable rice, so do your research before committing.
Precautionary Measures Before Eating Microwavable Rice
To ensure that you are being as healthy as possible, you should take a couple of precautionary measures. It’s important that you ensure that the rice is piping hot all the way through before you consume the rice to be certain that it is safe to eat.
If you are not going to eat the whole packet, you should not heat the whole packet at the same time. Once you have reheated the entire contents, whatever you don’t eat needs to be thrown away as it is no longer completely safe to eat. If you don’t heat the whole bag, whatever is left can be sealed and put in the fridge for one day before it needs to be thrown away.
As you can see then, like everything there are advantages and disadvantages, but is microwavable rice bad for you? No. In fact, due to the fact that it’s not that much different from regular white rice, it’s actually pretty good for you, as long as you are looking for the options with the lowest sodium levels. As long as you are careful with microwavable rice, you follow the precautions that we have stated and you check the label before you purchase, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using microwavable rice!