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    Archive for the ‘rice’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Forbidden Rice

    organic_forbidden_riceCan you share some information on forbidden rice?  The other day I went to a Thai restaurant that had it on the menu as a side dish.  Is it nutritionally the same as white or brown rice?

    — Jake (Last name withheld)
    San Diego, CA

    Though white and brown varieties dominate the rice market in the Unite States, many Asian cultures frequently consume a wide range of colors.

    A trip to your local Asian supermarket will significantly increase your choice in the rice department.  You will, for instance, spot forbidden rice, a black rice that becomes a dark purple during the cooking process.

    Beautiful color aside (top it with scallions, cashews, and red peppers and you basically have an art piece), forbidden rice is a wonderful addition to any diet.  Like brown rice, it is a whole grain that boasts a nifty mineral profile.

    Additionally, black rice contains anthocyanins — the same healthful antioxidant pigment in blueberries that offers quite a level of protection from degenerative disease.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    chinese takeoutThe standard takeout container for a side of rice from a Chinese restaurant contains 2 cup(s) of rice, equivalent to 415 calories.

    (Note: One-half cup of cooked rice constitutes “one Pyramid serving” of grains)

    For many people, this side dish of rice covers more than half of their recommended grain servings for the day.

    Unfortunately, most people often perceive “a side of rice” as just one grain serving, regardless of the amount they eat!

    This also demonstrates how quickly the calories in a standard Chinese lunch special add up.

    Let’s crunch some numbers:

    • Average lunch special entree: 350 – 500 calories
    • Average side of rice: 415 calories (remember, all that rice is tightly packed!)
    • Average egg roll (comes with lunch special): 150 – 200 calories
    • Average packet of egg roll sauce: 25 – 30 calories
    • Can of soda (again, comes with lunch special): 143 calories
    • Average order of hot & sour soup (also comes with lunch special): 100 calories

    On average, you are looking at a lunch that provides anywhere from 1,183 to 1,388 calories.  This is roughly 70 percent of a 45-year-old man’s recommended daily calorie intake.

    Certainly explains why you tend to crave an early afternoon nap whenever the office orders Chinese!

    Next time a co-worker brings a Chinese restaurant menu to your office for “fried pork Friday”, be prepared.  Donate your egg roll, split your side of rice with someone else, and opt for a calorie-free beverage.  Those three minor changes save you a grand total of 475 calories!

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    Numbers Game: Takeout for… One?

    chinese_take_out_cartonThe standard takeout container for a side of rice from a Chinese restaurant contains ____ cup(s) of rice, equivalent to _____ calories.

    (Note: One-half cup of cooked rice constitutes “one Pyramid serving” of grains)

    a) 1/195
    b) 1.5/275
    c) 2/415
    d) 2.5/550

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Tuesday for the answer.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    An average 6-piece inside-out ‘uramaki’ sushi roll (rice on the outside, nori on the inside, as pictured at right) at a Japanese restaurant in the United States contains 1 cup of rice.

    (Note: 1 serving of rice = 1/2 cup)

    This is a perfect example of a relatively healthy, low-calorie Asian meal undergoing a monstrous caloric metamorphosis upon arriving to the United States.

    In Japan, the vast majority of sushi is eaten nigiri style (this is where rice is compacted into a small rectangle underneath each piece of fish) or maki style (nori/seaweed on the outside of each piece.)

    It’s also significant that maki rolls are approximately a half or a third of the size of inside out varieties common on this side of the Pacific Ocean.

    This figure means that 6 pieces of an inside-out roll pack in slightly less than 200 calories from the rice alone.

    Order two of those puppies and you are up to 4 servings of grains, per USDA pyramid standards.

    Another calorie shocker? Spicy rolls contain anywhere from 100 to 150 moe calories than their traditional counterparts — the special sauce is basically mayonnaise with a kick.

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    Numbers Game: Rice ‘n Roll

    An average 6-piece inside-out sushi roll (rice on the outside, nori on the inside, as pictured at left) at a Japanese restaurant in the United States contains _________ of rice.

    (Note: 1 serving of rice = 1/2 cup)

    a) 1/3 cup
    b) 1/2 cup
    c) 1 cup
    d) 1.5 cups

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Wednesday for the answer.

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