rice and cholesterol
Metabolic Health
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Rice For Cholesterol - Is It Bad?

Rice is one of the staple food items that is consumed the most around the world. However, as people become more health conscious, there is a growing belief that eating white rice may lead to an increase in LDL levels, which causes bad cholesterol and can have a negative impact on cardiovascular health in the long run. Let’s find out the impact that different types of rice have on the body, what are rice cholesterol levels and whether or not rice is bad for health. 

Does Rice Increase Cholesterol Levels?

While rice does not contain any cholesterol in it, eating too much rice has been known to have an effect on the body by increasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Since the food we eat has a direct impact on the body and every body reacts to food differently, there are a lot of additional factors that need to be considered before determining how rice affects an individual. Whether or not rice causes or raises cholesterol depends on these varying factors:

  • the variety of rice that a person consumes 
  • the frequency with which they consume it
  • the size of their portions
  • the foods that they consume alongside it 

These are all important factors in determining whether or not consuming rice will raise cholesterol levels. Other risk factors for high cholesterol include being overweight, not getting enough exercise, and eating a diet that is deficient in nutritious foods.

Types Of Rice

Cholesterol levels in the body are impacted by various things and when it comes to rice, Cholesterol levels in the body are impacted by various things and when it comes to rice, choosing the right type of rice matters greatly. The type of rice a person eats may influence whether or not their cholesterol levels rise. Rice grains are classified into two types: refined grains and unprocessed grains.

  • Refined grains are made by removing the grain's husk, bran, and germ, leaving it devoid of minerals such as B vitamins and fiber. Although white rice is classified as a refined grain, it is often supplemented with nutrients. However, it is still deficient in fiber.
  • Unrefined or whole grains, on the other hand, include all of the natural nutrients that the plant started with, including fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Unrefined rice includes wild rice, brown rice, purple rice, red rice, and black rice.  

White rice cholesterol levels are Zero as the same as brown rice cholesterol levels. Here is the nutritional profile of a cup of cooked white rice and a cup of cooked brown rice which shows the following amounts of additional nutrients and fiber in them:

Nutrients   White rice (unenriched) Brown rice
Fiber       1.74 grams (g)           3.23 g    
Folate     1.74 micrograms (mcg)   18.2 mcg  
Choline     3.65 mg                 18.6 mg    
Niacin     0.505 mg                 5.17 mg    
Protein     3.52 g                   5.54 g    

Why Whole Grain Rice Is Preferable For Controlling Cholesterol

There have been multiple studies that have been conducted in determining which type of rice is good for health and which is not. Most studies have one conclusion that consuming whole grains or brown rice is preferable for maintaining general health and for cholesterol management. Eating whole grains rather than refined grains may help lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in people, regardless of whether or not they have risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Rice is a staple in south asian homes and it was noted that a greater intake of white rice was associated with an increased risk of diabetes in these countries. The glycemic index (GI) of processed white rice is comparable to that of white bread and it is widely known that eating foods with high GI levels is associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Moreover, an excessive amount of sugar in the blood may lead to high amounts of triglycerides, which in turn can produce high levels of cholesterol. However, eating an excessive amount of any type of rice might lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. One cup of cooked long-grain brown rice has more than 3 grams of fiber, while one cup of cooked long-grain white rice contains less than 1 gram of fiber. Because of this, selecting whole grain rice is a better way to contribute to the 22–34 grams of fiber that is the daily consumption dosage, recommended by healthcare systems, that individuals should consume each day, depending on their age and gender.

Studies also show that consuming dietary fiber from whole foods like brown rice may help reduce total and LDL cholesterol, and it can also complement statin medication in its ability to prevent heart disease. It is generally recommended to consume foods rich in fiber in order to prevent and manage many chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and hypertension. 

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How Much Should You Eat

It is recommended by doctors and nutritionists that adult individuals should consume anything between six and ten ounces (oz) of grains on a daily basis, depending on their age and gender. This quantity accounts for rice in addition to other types of grains including bread, oats, and buckwheat. Additionally, it is recommended that adults make whole grains up fifty percent of the grains in their overall diet. A serving size of one ounce is equal to half a cup of rice after it has been cooked. 

While eating rice may not exactly be harmful, cutting down on rice consumption may help a person keep their weight in a healthy range and keep their cholesterol under control. They have the option of consulting with a dietician or other health expert for guidance about the appropriate amount of food to consume. In addition, if someone selects white rice for their meal, they may make it more healthy by combining it with a source of lean protein, veggies, and fats that are good for them.

Is White Rice Good For Health?

When white rice is processed, it goes through many stages in which the hull, bran, and germ are removed. The hull is the tough outer shell of the grain. Infact, the germ layer is the one that contains the most amount of vitamins and minerals and has the most nutrient-dense composition. However, during the milling process, the majority of the rice's vital nutrients are lost, which is why white rice is nutritionally deficient.

White rice is produced by removing the bran and germ from brown rice, leaving just the endosperm. This endosperm is then refined to improve the flavor, shelf life, and cooking attributes of white rice. Studies have also shown that white rice consists entirely of carbohydrates that the body does not need. On the other hand, white rice may be supplemented with vitamin B and minerals, such as folic acid, niacin, and thiamine but it is not yet determined if that actually helps in filling the nutritional gaps that are present in white rice. 

More often than not, white rice does not contain any nutrients and is high in empty carbohydrates. On the other hand, when it comes to comprehending the connection between rice and cholesterol, specialists are of the opinion that white rice does not contain any cholesterol in itself but eating white rice on a daily basis does have the potential to expedite the development of chronic illnesses. 

White Rice Substitutes That Are More Nutritious 

Although consuming white rice might deliver additional nutrients, such as B vitamins, in general, individuals should restrict their consumption of refined grains to no more than half of their daily intake. It is always better to consume whole grains, in the long run, and people should generally opt for some more nutritional alternatives to white rice depending on the dish or recipe they are preparing:

  • Wild rice 
  • Brown rice
  • Black rice 
  • Red rice
  • Quinoa 
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley 
  • millet 
  • amaranth 
  • Bulgur 

All these can be used as an alternative to white rice and can be prepared by following the same recipes that white rice dishes have. 


There is some evidence that consuming refined grains like white rice and other foods like that may add to a person's risk of developing high cholesterol levels. As a result, it is advised by nutritionists that individuals take at least half of their recommended daily amount of grains in their natural, unprocessed state (whole grains). Therefore, in order to regulate cholesterol levels, a person may pick whole-grain varieties of rice to consume in proportions that are adequate for their weight and the health objectives they have set for themselves. In addition, cauliflower rice, quinoa, and bulgur are three alternatives to white rice that are much more nutrient-dense and overall a better choice. Consult your primary care physician or a registered dietitian if you have questions or concerns about lowering your cholesterol levels.


Is Rice Bad For Your Cholesterol?

No, Rice does not contain cholesterol, but it has the potential to influence the body in a manner that may cause elevated levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in a person. When eaten in excess, rice can be bad for cholesterol. 

Is Basmati Rice Good For Cholesterol?

Yes, basmati rice is good for cholesterol. Basmati is a grain that does not contain gluten and is low in fat. It is also devoid of cholesterol and contains most of the eight necessary amino acids, in addition to having a very low salt content and enough of folic acid which makes it a good choice.

Which Type Of Rice Is The Healthiest?

Whole grains, such as brown rice, provide more nutritional value than their processed counterparts. They have a higher fiber content, which not only helps you feel full more quickly but also ensures that your digestive system continues to function normally.

Is Jasmine Rice Healthy?

The phytonutrient content of jasmine rice is particularly high in its more vibrant variants, such as red, purple, and blue rice. Your immune system and general health may both benefit from phytonutrients' ability to shield the cells that make up your body. Folic acid may be found in abundance in jasmine rice and that’s why jasmine rice is considered healthy. 

Is Brown Rice Good For Cholesterol?

Yes, eating brown rice may help lower cholesterol levels. According to the findings of one research, consuming brown rice on a daily basis may help bring down levels of LDL cholesterol. 5 The risk of many health issues, including heart attack and stroke, is increased when there is a high amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood.


  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/is-rice-bad-for-cholesterol
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/is-rice-bad-for-cholesterol/photostory/83036725.cms


This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.