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Rice eaters’ diets more in line with Dietary Guidelines: study

By Maggie Hennessy , 18-Apr-2014
Last updated on 18-Apr-2014 at 04:40 GMT2014-04-18T04:40:19Z

Photo credit: Wikipedia
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Consumers who eat white or brown rice every day tend to have better overall diet quality and nutrient intake, according to a study of five-year data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  

Researchers used NHANES data from 2005 to 2010 to evaluate the association of rice consumption with overall diet quality and key nutrient intake in a sample of 14,386 US adults.

In a study published online in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Nutrition Sciences, lead author Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, of Baylor College of Medicine, analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey datasets from 2005-2010 and evaluated the association of rice consumption with overall diet quality and key nutrient intakes in a nationally representative sample of 14,386 U.S. adults.

Overall diet quality scores increased by 5.5 points between non-consumers of rice and the highest rice consumers (equaling 1 ounce or more). Moreover, the researchers rice consumption tended to correlate with higher fruit, dark green/orange vegetable, grain, meat and bean consumption; along with less added sugar and saturated fat.

"Our results show that adults who eat rice had diets more consistent with what is recommended in the US Dietary Guidelines, and they showed higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber while eating less saturated fat and added sugars," said lead author Theresa Nicklas, DrPH of Baylor College of Medicine. "Eating rice is also associated with eating more servings of fruit, vegetables, meat and beans.”

The highest rice consumption group also consumed 360 mg more of sodium than non-consumers of rice. Indeed, despite that rice itself is sodium-free, the authors suggest that this may be due to some rice products being processed with added sodium or that consumers season rice with added salt or high-sodium ingredients.

This research builds on two previously published studies that also showed the positive contribution of rice to diet quality. A 2009 observational study using NHANES datasets and Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII), found that rice eaters consumed significantly less fat and saturated fat and consumed more iron, potassium, fiber, meat, vegetables and grains.

And a follow-up study in 2010, also using NHANES datasets, included children in the study group and further confirmed that rice consumption was associated with greater intake of a range of healthier foods and nutrients.

The majority of rice consumed is white rice.

The research was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, and it was funded in part by The Rice Foundation.

Source: Food and Nutrition Sciences
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2014.56062
“Rice consumption is associated with better nutrient intake and diet quality in adults: national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES) 2005-2010”
Authors: Nicklas TA, O'Neil C, Fulgoni V.

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