3

votes

How is rice better than white flour?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 05, 2012 at 6:02 AM

As far as I am aware both of them are mostly glucose that is quickly metabolized. Why is once safe and the other bad?

EDIT: The best answer I've seen is a difference in the corresponding proteins, the simplicity of the glucose molecules, and the the relative GI load. What I find, however, is that wheat is still vilified while rice is finding acceptance. I am genuinely curious if such a small difference can be what causes one to be useful and the other to be damaging.

Is the difference in GI load and simplicity of the glucose really the difference between something poison and something useful?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 02, 2012
at 10:42 PM

gluten is not a problem for everyone.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:38 PM

@CMM - I usually start with a short comment and then it grows! I should have made it an answer, I guess.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 14, 2012
at 07:53 PM

Wheat has Amylopectin A, a very fast absorbed and insulin spiking carbohydrate.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 14, 2012
at 07:52 PM

Yes, and wheat also contains gliadin, another protein that can cross the gut barrier and wreak havoc on the immune system. Rice is pretty much a symple carb, without a lot of bad stuff. Good Answer BTW

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Same thing happens to me when I eat a lot of liver; it's the riboflavin. Also; why exactly is this answer?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on July 07, 2012
at 12:34 PM

Dave, why wasn't this an answer, it was a good one?

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 07, 2012
at 04:23 AM

That has been answered in nearly every other answer to this question

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 07, 2012
at 01:10 AM

Why is gluten the problem?

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Totally agree Blitherakt. I would totally eat wheat flour every now and again, but I will go to all lengths to avoid canola oil.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Not necessarily chronic. Obesity induces its own poisons separate from diet: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7121/abs/nature05482.html. Beyond this behavioral change towards more activity - hunt-and-gather in paleo terms - has independent benefits in reversing insulin resistance.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 05:45 PM

So we're looking at something similar to over-training resulting in something like tendinitis that can, without treatment, result in chronic degeneration?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 05:43 PM

This is a bit better, but it is definitely still an observational study rather than an explanation of possible mechanics. It is difficult to tell if the increased intake in animal food decreased total wheat intake or if wheat intake remained high in absolute caloric terms. Thanks for trying either way. Upvote for you.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:53 AM

Foods that rapidly increase blood glucose cause a spike in insulin. Over time, excessive insulin activity can lead to insulin resistance. This, in turn, can lead to type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Leptin is also affected resulting in hypothalamic appetite dysregulation.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:19 AM

and what colour from 2 loaves of bread ?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:47 AM

That makes some sense, but I was hoping to get some information on the science behind it.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:39 AM

Yeah, that's the theory... Unfortunately, some of us get all icky with gluten, fermented or not. N=1 for the win.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:38 AM

This should be a separate question; lard vs. canola isn't even in the same galaxy as rice flour vs. wheat flour.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Please; no pee pictures.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Since I've had diabetes I'll explain how it worked for me dualhammers. Carbs left me feeling empty an hour after a meal. I could make up for this by increasing the portion size of a meal and stuff myself to hold off hunger longer, or I could eat lots of snacks to accomplish the same. The high carb diet left me with a very short period of satiety, and eating ad libitum they made me obese.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:32 AM

That's not really an answer...

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:30 AM

How does the ease of digestion cause obesity?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:28 AM

OK, but your anecdotal evidence isn't science and I am trying to actually learn what the actual mechanics are behind it since lots of people seem to claim it is a source of diabetes. If Paleohacks, a people who have learned a lot about the subject, is a stupid place to ask a question then where should I ask them?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 12:22 AM

+1 for calling me a dick. It's still a stupid question to be asking here though. I told you why both rice and wheat were bad for me. If I hadn't reduced my consumption I'd probably have had a stroke by now. My health problems had nothing to do with leaky gut, and fixing them had nothing to do with PHD.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Most people have NO problem eating wheat. The diseases of modernity result because starchy foods digest easily, causing obesity and diabetes, not because any one of them is a poison. The idea that leaky gut is the problem ignores the obvious.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 05, 2012
at 10:45 PM

But there are people such as followers of the PHD that say one is bad and the other is acceptable. Is the difference in GI load and simplicity of the glucose really the difference between something poison and something useful?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 05, 2012
at 10:43 PM

It was a serious question, and I couldn't get any serious science on what was the difference beyond them both being glucose. I also have still found very little info in how the speed of glucose breakdown can make one a deadly substance the other acceptable to certain people in the paleosphere. But thanks for being a dick; sure makes me feel like my desire to learn is welcome.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 05, 2012
at 07:11 PM

The rice I used to eat was 100 GI, vs 80 GI wheat. Both are high but the glycemic response spiking my blood sugar after a meal was about the same.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 05, 2012
at 06:58 PM

+1 for attitude. This is a pretty silly question on a paleo blog.

Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on July 05, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Why is sourdough OK? Is it because of the fermentation?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 05, 2012
at 01:46 PM

The problems with wheat are in the proteins, not the starch. These are gluten, gliadins and wheat germ agglutenin (WGA). They cause gut irritation/inflammation and leaky gut that can lead to auto-immune responses. Wheat consumption is correlated with joint pain (arthritis), diabetes, MS, and other auto-immune diseases, not to mention celiac. White rice is relatively non-toxic. Unless you have a broken metabolism - insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc - white rice is fine, although not very nutritious. I limit my intake to sushi. Rice never makes me feel bad like wheat does.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on July 05, 2012
at 12:28 PM

Was that an answer or a question? Either way here is some info for you. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-canola-oil/#axzz1zkczTDn3

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14 Answers

10
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 05, 2012
at 06:18 AM

I'm not sure I'd call one "safe" and the other "bad," but between the two, rice is preferred. Wheat contains gluten, a protein that many are allergic/sensitive to, and rice does not. Also, white rice contains much less phytic acid and fewer lectins than wheat. (Phytic acid can block mineral absorption, and lectins can bind to your digestive tract and insulin receptors).

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 14, 2012
at 07:52 PM

Yes, and wheat also contains gliadin, another protein that can cross the gut barrier and wreak havoc on the immune system. Rice is pretty much a symple carb, without a lot of bad stuff. Good Answer BTW

9
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 05, 2012
at 09:38 AM

As Luckie said, flour from wheat contains gluten, a protein some people have an allergy to.

Allergy: Rice is better.

Also, flour has undergone more processing than rice as it has been mechanically fragmented and is therefore more accessible for enzymatic digestion meaning more rapid absorption. You can test this for yourself by rolling flour and rice in your mouth and seeing how long it takes before it begins to taste sweet. That's your salivary amylase cleaving the starch to liberate glucose.

Processed carbs: Rice is better.

Glycemic load of rice is lower than that of flour.

GI: Rice is better. *

B group vitamins are approximately the same for both.

B group vitamins: Rice equal to wheat flour *

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 05:45 PM

So we're looking at something similar to over-training resulting in something like tendinitis that can, without treatment, result in chronic degeneration?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 05, 2012
at 10:45 PM

But there are people such as followers of the PHD that say one is bad and the other is acceptable. Is the difference in GI load and simplicity of the glucose really the difference between something poison and something useful?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 05, 2012
at 07:11 PM

The rice I used to eat was 100 GI, vs 80 GI wheat. Both are high but the glycemic response spiking my blood sugar after a meal was about the same.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:30 AM

How does the ease of digestion cause obesity?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:47 AM

That makes some sense, but I was hoping to get some information on the science behind it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:53 AM

Foods that rapidly increase blood glucose cause a spike in insulin. Over time, excessive insulin activity can lead to insulin resistance. This, in turn, can lead to type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Leptin is also affected resulting in hypothalamic appetite dysregulation.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Most people have NO problem eating wheat. The diseases of modernity result because starchy foods digest easily, causing obesity and diabetes, not because any one of them is a poison. The idea that leaky gut is the problem ignores the obvious.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Since I've had diabetes I'll explain how it worked for me dualhammers. Carbs left me feeling empty an hour after a meal. I could make up for this by increasing the portion size of a meal and stuff myself to hold off hunger longer, or I could eat lots of snacks to accomplish the same. The high carb diet left me with a very short period of satiety, and eating ad libitum they made me obese.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Not necessarily chronic. Obesity induces its own poisons separate from diet: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7121/abs/nature05482.html. Beyond this behavioral change towards more activity - hunt-and-gather in paleo terms - has independent benefits in reversing insulin resistance.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 14, 2012
at 07:53 PM

Wheat has Amylopectin A, a very fast absorbed and insulin spiking carbohydrate.

4
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 06, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Gluten, a protein, is essentially a toxin for lots of people. Wheat has it, rice doesn't. That is the major reason why wheat is "villified". There are people who are downright allergic (in the literal sense) to gluten, and others that can't tolerate it (i.e. they don't break out in hives but it causes them major health issues).

My opinion is that there are a LOT (like many multiples of those that are allergic or intolerant) of people for whom gluten causes persistant, chronic low-grade problems, like skin and hair conditions, stomach upset, insomnia, moodiness, etc. but not bad enough to be called allergic or whatever. These problems are significant but aren't recognized by most people and doctors. These people (of which I think I am one) can benefit from dropping gluten, but have absolutely no problem eating rice.

4
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on July 05, 2012
at 06:04 AM

I believe it's the gluten. Rice doesn't have any.

3
6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 05, 2012
at 09:25 AM

How is lard better than canola oil. As far as I am aware both of them are fats that I can cook my steak in?

UPDATE My answer wasn't really an answer, I found the question silly and anyone eating paleo should at least know what is wrong with wheat. If not OP should do a little research. Sorry OP.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 12:22 AM

+1 for calling me a dick. It's still a stupid question to be asking here though. I told you why both rice and wheat were bad for me. If I hadn't reduced my consumption I'd probably have had a stroke by now. My health problems had nothing to do with leaky gut, and fixing them had nothing to do with PHD.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 05, 2012
at 10:43 PM

It was a serious question, and I couldn't get any serious science on what was the difference beyond them both being glucose. I also have still found very little info in how the speed of glucose breakdown can make one a deadly substance the other acceptable to certain people in the paleosphere. But thanks for being a dick; sure makes me feel like my desire to learn is welcome.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:28 AM

OK, but your anecdotal evidence isn't science and I am trying to actually learn what the actual mechanics are behind it since lots of people seem to claim it is a source of diabetes. If Paleohacks, a people who have learned a lot about the subject, is a stupid place to ask a question then where should I ask them?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on July 05, 2012
at 12:28 PM

Was that an answer or a question? Either way here is some info for you. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-canola-oil/#axzz1zkczTDn3

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:38 AM

This should be a separate question; lard vs. canola isn't even in the same galaxy as rice flour vs. wheat flour.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 05, 2012
at 06:58 PM

+1 for attitude. This is a pretty silly question on a paleo blog.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Totally agree Blitherakt. I would totally eat wheat flour every now and again, but I will go to all lengths to avoid canola oil.

3
6b6c938c368e7a135e74c468c9ed1189

on July 05, 2012
at 08:41 AM

Me? I feel good when I eat rice, and I feel like ass when I eat unfermented wheat flour. Don't really care about the research; I let my body tell me what to eat. Unbleached white sourdough on the other hand is heavenly. . .

Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on July 05, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Why is sourdough OK? Is it because of the fermentation?

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:39 AM

Yeah, that's the theory... Unfortunately, some of us get all icky with gluten, fermented or not. N=1 for the win.

2
F38ece2204c6ab63fef7887e9f4e30d2

(100)

on July 05, 2012
at 07:50 PM

Another factor against wheat is the modern strain of wheat that is currently being used.

From http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/04/whistleblowers-wanted/

"So something happened to wheat in the 1970s during the efforts to generate a high-yield strain that required less fertilizer to make a 24-inch, rather than a 48-inch, stalk. Multiple other changes occurred, including changes in the structure of gluten, changes in wheat germ agglutinin, changes in alpha amylase (responsible for wheat allergy) . . . to name a few.

But chief among the changes in wheat were changes in the gliadin protein molecule. We know, for instance, that the Glia-alpha 9 sequence, absent from traditional wheat, can be found in virtually all modern wheat. This is likely the explanation underlying the four-fold increase in celiac disease over the past 50 years, since Glia-alpha 9 predictably triggers the immune reaction that leads to the intestinal destruction characteristic of celiac disease."

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:56 AM

Here's a typical text block from Ned Kock's analysis (healthcorrelator) of the China Study regarding wheat consumption:

"From the graph above we can tell that wheat flour intake increases mortality significantly in both age ranges; in the 35 to 69 age range (beta=0.17, P=0.05), and in the 70 to 79 age range (beta=0.24, P=0.01). This is a finding that we have seen before on previous posts, and that has been one of the main findings of Denise Minger???s analysis of the China Study data. Denise and I used different data subsets and analysis methods, and reached essentially the same results.

But here is what is interesting about the moderating effects analysis results summarized on the graph above. They suggest that animal food intake significantly reduces the negative effect of wheat flour consumption on mortality in the 70 to 79 age range (beta=-0.22, P<0.01). This is a relatively strong moderating effect. The moderating effect of animal food intake is not significant for the 35 to 69 age range (beta=-0.00, P=0.50); the beta here is negative but very low, suggesting a very weak protective effect.

Below are two standardized plots showing the relationships between wheat flour intake and mortality in the 70 to 79 age range when animal food intake is low (left plot) and high (right plot). As you can see, the best-fitting line is flat on the right plot, meaning that wheat flour intake has no effect on mortality in the 70 to 79 age range when animal food intake is high. When animal food intake is low (left plot), the effect of wheat flour intake on mortality in this range is significant; its strength is indicated by the upward slope of the best-fitting line."

This may not be the sort of science you are interested in, but analysis of population study data is a science in itself, and can lead to testable theories. As you can see from this quote, wheat is expected to increase mortality, but the effect is eliminated by eating animal food with the wheat.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 05:43 PM

This is a bit better, but it is definitely still an observational study rather than an explanation of possible mechanics. It is difficult to tell if the increased intake in animal food decreased total wheat intake or if wheat intake remained high in absolute caloric terms. Thanks for trying either way. Upvote for you.

1
91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on July 05, 2012
at 11:23 AM

As a Celiac one will cause an autoimmune reaction (the flour) and one won't (the rice).

0
D9c40ed922094d92273ea1e80014ba73

on October 08, 2013
at 12:18 AM

Your obese and t2 diabetic because you were not eating enough plants. Humans have evolved eating plants and as soon as we stop eating them and start just eating processed foods, diseases come.

Perfect example is here in New Zealand where the Maori here had never struggled with diabetes or obesity until the europeans came here and they started eating processed food. Now its an epidemic with the maori people (as it is in america)

So in other words plants are the answer to weight loss, and diabetes control and has been proven to cure T2 diabetics. I have done this research because I am a horticulturalist and my partner suffers from T1 diabetes. I think people need to know that plants are the answer to health.

0
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:46 PM

When well cooked, neither is better in terms of things like nutrition, phytic acid content, glycemic load, anti-nutrients, and problematic lectins; these factors are pretty much equal. Here's where I think the differences are:

  • The gluten issue has already been brought up in other answers, but it's important. Allergy and intolerance to rice happens, but at a much lesser rate than wheat. Many people experience intestinal maladies due to gluten, horrible ones in the case of celiacs. And there is some evidence that gluten peptides can pass though a leaky gut and into the blood and cause additional damage to various parts of the body. Of course, the gluten issue is individually variable; no leaky gut and no immune response to gluten and it's not really a problem.

  • White flour is often bleached with nasty chemicals, rice almost never is. Maybe these chemicals are removed completely, but it's hardly something I'd bet on. Not all white flour is bleached of course.

  • White flour and rice are often "enriched" with synthetic vitamins and minerals (like folic acid) added in. These can be problematic. You can find both without but in my experience it's easier to find unenriched rice.

  • Fructans are a fermentable fructose polymer that causes a number of people gastronomical distress. Wheat is a decent source of fructans, rice isn't.

I think the potential for gut problems from eating wheat, which can but don't necessarily happen, make rice better better recommended to people than white flour products (when both are unbleached,unenriched, and well cooked). I don't think you should eat a lot of either, but if you tolerate both I wouldn't say eat one over the other as long as you know you can always develop gluten intolerance.

0
6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Gluten is the problem.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 07, 2012
at 01:10 AM

Why is gluten the problem?

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 07, 2012
at 04:23 AM

That has been answered in nearly every other answer to this question

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 02, 2012
at 10:42 PM

gluten is not a problem for everyone.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 05, 2012
at 07:08 PM

No difference for me. Rice and wheat were co-partners in making me obese and giving me T2 diabetes. Like most people on the planet I have no allergic response to wheat and ate it in mass quantities as dry breakfast cereal. For other meals I ate mass quantities of steamed white sticky rice, which was just as processed as the wheat and higher glycemic (what I was eating was 100 GI, same as straight glucose).

I don't believe that either is intrinsically bad because billions eat them every day without obesity or diabetes. The bad comes less from allergy, and more from eating them ravenously (due to the easy digestion of glucose) and without limit.

edit: having trouble inserting this comment above, so appended it here. Paleo people aren't learned in this dualhammers. They solve the problem by avoiding both. Thus this is not a good place to get your question answered. I've tried to describe the mechanism by which I developed the classic diseases of modernity by eating both at ridiculous levels. I'm sorry I can't offer you any more. You might look at Ned Kock's take on the China Study, which does some comparative work on rice vs wheat diet in a non-obese population. Wheat comes up a little short for old age health, but these results are confounded by the uncontrolled mixture in the diets. The difference between the two is pretty small.

-3
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on July 06, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Did you know that if you eat 2 boxes of Rice Krispies that you will pee bright yellow from all the B vits??? Its true and I have proof!

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Please; no pee pictures.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:19 AM

and what colour from 2 loaves of bread ?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:32 AM

That's not really an answer...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Same thing happens to me when I eat a lot of liver; it's the riboflavin. Also; why exactly is this answer?

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