The Rice Diet – How It Works, What To Eat, And Benefits

Rice can lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure (1). Yes, you heard that right! In fact, a rice diet can also reduce hypertensionXHigh blood pressure caused due to the excess pressure exerted by the blood on artery walls. . Moreover, it may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes (1).  Bill Bradley, RD, says, “Rice is important in the diet because it’s rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates keep you energized. It’s also a rich source of B Vitamins that help improve nervous system health.”

Kitty Gurkin Rosati (MS, RD, LDN) and Dr. Robert Rosati published a highly successful book on this diet – The Rice Diet Solution – in 2006. Why is the rice diet followed by so many people? Read on to demystify the rice diet, its benefits, and everything else you need to know about this diet that works so well. Scroll down!

What Is The Rice Diet And How Does It Work?

The rice diet is a low-calorie, low-sodium diet created by Dr. Walter Kempner in 1939. While working as a professor at the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, Dr. Kempner created a dietary approach to help his patients lower blood pressure, improve kidney function, and keep a check on obesity.

The reason this diet works for treating people with hypertension or obesity lies in the foods allowed for consumption. It includes foods high in complex carbs, limited dairy, and foods low in sodium.

  • Complex carbs take longer to get digested (2), thereby reducing hunger.
  • Low-sodium intake may prevent the body from storing excess water weight and reduce the pressure on the kidneys. However, more research is needed in this regard.
  • A low-calorie diet (800 calories per day) is allowed initially, which is then increased up to 1200 calories per day.

Julius Cermak, Nutritionist and NaturopathicXDoctors that specialize in natural and non-invasive remedies for healing. Herbalist, says, “Inflammation is one of the most important factors in obesity, and a high sodium diet contributes to inflammation. So during that first phase of the rice diet, a particular emphasis is placed on limiting salt to eliminate bloating and is continued throughout the diet so that the weight loss process goes smoothly without inflammation interfering with the fat detox process.”

Matthew Scarfo, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Precision Nutritionist Counselor, adds, “The rice diet, in addition to being a low-salt diet, also is a low-fat diet. This is great for those with fatty liver disease, as it can help reduce cholesterol levels in the body. In fact, a 2014 study from the Korea Food Research Institute found that cooked rice may help improve cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”

In a nutshell, low-calorie, low-sodium, and high-fiber foods are the reasons behind the success of the rice diet. Now, let’s check out what foods you should consume and what to avoid.

Rice Diet Foods List

To Consume

The rice diet is quite restrictive. On this diet, you will be consuming:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Low-salt beans
  • Whole grains
  • Lean protein
  • Non-fat dairy

To Avoid

  • Junk food
  • Soda
  • Bottled fruit juices
  • Candies
  • Milk chocolate
  • Frozen food
  • Deep-fried food
  • Ready-to-eat foods
  • Refined flour, refined sugar, and trans fat foods

You will need to dump all the junk food and adopt better eating and lifestyle choices. But, there’s one burning question. White rice or brown rice – what’s allowed in the rice diet? Find out in the next section.

White Rice Or Brown Rice?

It depends. If you like having white rice, go for it! And if you choose to consume brown rice, you can do it. Brown rice is considered healthier as it contains more dietary fiber. But you may compensate for that by adding extra veggies to your bowl of white rice.

Taste-wise, white rice is certainly more palatable. But you might like the chewy texture of brown rice (it takes longer to cook and needs to be soaked for at least 20 minutes).

Dr. Kempner had advised consuming white rice as, at that time, white rice was widely consumed.

Now that you know what to eat and avoid, let’s get down to the toughest part – the diet itself. In the following section, I have broken down the diet into three phases. Follow the instructions for each phase, and you will smoothly glide through it. Take a look.

The Rice Diet Plan

Phase 1 – 800 calories

MealsWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8:00 a.m.)1 medium bowl of oatmeal with banana and chia seeds
Lunch (12:00 p.m.)Rice + stir-fried veggies + baked fish
Snack (3:30 p.m.)300 mL freshly pressed fruit juice
Dinner (6:30 p.m.)Grilled chicken and mushroom rice

Phase 2 – 1000 calories

MealsWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8:00 a.m.)1 toast + ½ avocado + ½ small bowl of homemade ricotta cheese + 1 cup green tea
Lunch (12:00 p.m.)Rice + stir-fried veggies + grilled chicken
Snack (3:30 p.m.)1 cup of mixed fruits
Dinner (6:30 p.m.)Vegetable and fish sushi

Phase 3 – 1200 calories

MealsWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8:00 a.m.)A medium bowl of vegetable quinoa + 1 cup green tea
Lunch (12:00 p.m.)Rice + stir-fried veggies + baked fish or fish curry
Snack (3:30 p.m.)1 cup buttermilk + 10 in-shell pistachios
Dinner (6:30 p.m.)Low-fat chicken and mushroom risotto

It is a tough diet to follow. So, it’s best to follow it for not more than two weeks. The rice diet has undergone modification as the nutritional requirements, food habits, and scientific views on food and nutrition have changed. Here are the new rice diet guidelines laid by Kitty Gurkin Rosati and Dr. Robert Rosati.

Consume (per day):

  • 1000 calories
  • 22 g fat
  • 5.5 g saturated fat
  • 500-1000 mg sodium
  • 0-100 mg cholesterol

Apart from changing your diet, you may do the following to improve your health.

Read more  10 Healthy Fish and Rice Recipes for Dinner

What Else To Do To Improve Your Health?

  • You must take care of your sleep pattern. Sleep deprivation is one of the causes of toxin build-up in the body. The harmful free oxygen radicalsXHighly reactive molecules produced in the human body that cause several health problems. alter your DNA and cause numerous health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (3).
  • Meditate for at least five minutes a day. Increase the duration as you become more comfortable.
  • Avoid alcohol. You may consume 30 mL of wine once a week.
  • Workout regularly. You will start seeing a change in your mood and energy levels from the very first day you exercise.
  • Drink at least two liters of water per day. You may add citrus fruits, mint leaves, ginger, and cucumber to make your bottle of water more palatable.
  • Eat at regular intervals. Going on a hunger strike will only weaken your bones, muscles, and brain function.

It is clear that, along with diet, you must follow a healthy lifestyle to keep yourself fit and happy. But, for that, you can follow a diet that’s not so restrictive. Try intermittent fasting – it works like magic.

Who should follow the rice diet? Find out next.

Who Should Follow The Rice Diet?

You may follow this diet if:

  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have heart disease.
  • You suffer from chronic renal failureXThe loss of function in the kidneys due to diabetes or high blood pressure. .
  • You have high cholesterol.
  • You are gluten sensitive.

“Rice is indeed a food that is low in potassium, which is ideal for those with a higher potassium level in their bodies,” says Isaac Robertson, ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist. However, he warns, “ Those who already have low potassium should try to avoid rice and have something with more potassium in it because the low quantity of it can be life-threatening.”

Note: Follow this diet ONLY IF your doctor gives you a green signal.

Before coming to a close, here are the benefits and side effects of the rice diet.

Benefits Of The Rice Diet

  • May help reduce body fat.
  • May help reduce cholesterol levels.
  • May help lower blood pressure.
  • May improve heart health.
  • May protect from diabetes type II.

Side Effects Of The Rice Diet

  • May cause nutritional deficiencies.
  • You may get bored of the diet and feel starved.
  • You may feel irritated.
  • May cause nausea.
  • May lead to weakness.

NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Precision Nutritionist Counselor Matthew Scarfo suggests consuming enough fat and protein on a rice diet. He warns, “The diet doesn’t allow for much protein or fat, which can cause trouble for some individuals. Women in particular, should get between 20-35% of their daily calories from fat, as dietary fat is essential in hormone production.”

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can you lose eating rice?

By eating rice in moderation and practicing calorie restriction and exercise, men can approximately lose 30 pounds and women may lose 20 pounds in about 10 weeks. However, the weight loss varies from person to person.

Is it ok to eat rice every day?

Yes, it is ok to eat rice every day in moderation. If consumed in excess, it may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Are eggs and rice healthy?

Yes, eggs and rice are healthy. They are a perfect balance of carbohydrates and protein. However, consume in moderation to avoid any negative side effects, like weight gain.

Which is the healthiest rice?

Brown rice and wild rice are considered the healthiest forms of rice.

Is pasta healthier than rice?

Whole wheat pasta is a healthier choice compared to rice. However, rice is a better alternative to refined pasta.

Is rice healthier than bread?

Rice (especially brown rice) has more minerals and vitamins that are not present in bread. However, if you are aiming for low calories and carbohydrates, whole grain bread is a better choice.

Is rice anti-inflammatory?

Brown and wild rice exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. They are rich in fiber that aids in reducing the inflammation. However, white rice does not contain fiber and may not help reduce inflammation.


— Update: 13-02-2023 — found an additional article What Is the Japanese Diet Plan? All You Need to Know from the website for the keyword fish and rice diet.

The traditional Japanese diet is linked to an array of health benefits.

Rich in nutrients and beneficial compounds

The traditional Japanese diet is naturally rich in various nutrients, including fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and E (4).

Vegetables contribute to the nutrient density of this diet and are often cooked in dashi, a dried fish and sea vegetable based stock. This reduces their volume and enhances their flavor, making it easier to eat large amounts (5).

The diet also offers good amounts of seaweed and green tea. Both are great sources of antioxidants, which are beneficial compounds that protect your body against cellular damage and disease (4, 6, 7).

What’s more, the many fish- and seaweed-based dishes included in this diet provide long-chain omega-3 fats, which promote brain, eye, and heart health (8).

May improve your digestion

Seaweed, soybeans, fruits, and vegetables are naturally rich in fiber, a nutrient that aids your digestion.

Insoluble fiber moves food through your gut and adds bulk to stool, reducing your risk of constipation (9).

These foods also boast soluble fiber, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut and helps reduce the space available for harmful bacteria to multiply (10, 11, 12).

When gut bacteria feed on soluble fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which may reduce inflammation and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis (9, 13, 14).

Moreover, the pickled fruits and vegetables commonly eaten on this diet are a great source of probiotics. These beneficial bacteria promote gut health and reduce digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea (15, 16, 17).

May promote a healthy weight

The traditional Japanese diet is rich in vegetables, has small portion sizes, and is naturally low in added sugar and fat. These factors all contribute to a low calorie count (18).

In addition, Japanese culture encourages eating until only 80% full. This practice deters overeating and may contribute to the calorie deficit needed to lose weight (19, 20, 21, 22).

Furthermore, research shows that the fiber-rich vegetables, soy foods, and soups typical of the traditional Japanese diet may help reduce appetite and boost fullness, thus promoting weight control (23, 24, 25).

Evidence also suggests that alternating between dishes, as is common during traditional Japanese meals, may reduce the total amount of food eaten per meal (26).

Read more  What Are Macros? They’re Good to Know About Whether You’re Keto or Not

May protect against chronic diseases

The traditional Japanese diet may safeguard against conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

It’s naturally rich in fish, seaweed, green tea, soy, fruits, and vegetables but low in added sugar, fat, and animal protein — all factors believed to protect against heart disease (27, 28, 29, 30, 31).

In fact, Japanese people’s risk of heart disease remains unexpectedly low despite their high salt intake, which typically raises heart disease risk (28).

What’s more, in a 6-week study in 33 men following the traditional Japanese diet, 91% experienced significant reductions in risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including excess weight and high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (32, 33).

Plus, the high green tea intake encouraged on this diet may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain types of cancer (34, 35, 36, 37).

May help you live longer

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies, which many experts attribute to the traditional Japanese diet (38, 39, 40, 41).

In fact, the Japanese island of Okinawa is considered a Blue Zone, which is a region with extremely high longevity. Keep in mind that the Okinawa diet focuses heavily on sweet potatoes and features less rice and fish than the traditional Japanese diet.

In a 15-year study in over 75,000 Japanese people, those who closely followed the traditional Japanese diet experienced up to a 15% lower risk of premature death compared with those eating a Westernized diet (3).

Experts link this increased lifespan to the traditional Japanese diet’s emphasis on whole, minimally processed foods, as well as its low added fat and sugar content (1).

— Update: 13-02-2023 — found an additional article Fish and Rice (Simple, Yet Heavenly) from the website for the keyword fish and rice diet.

Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best dishes, just like this recipe for fish and rice.

Two ingredients that compliment one another really well, with all the subtleties of their flavors.

Filling, and yet light at the same time, I think you will find this recipe with its tender rice, and white fish to be delicious.

What is Fish and Rice?

Fish and rice diet

Simply put this is a dish that is a combination of rice and fish cooked in the same baking dish.

The rice is par baked with the fish fillets being added later in an oven at medium heat.

Garlic powder and olive oil are often added and it is cooked until the rice is tender and the fish flakes easily.

How did This Combination Originate?

Fish and rice diet

In the east and south coastal regions of India, fish and rice are easily available, which is why they are found in many of their dishes.  

Rice is the staple food of Eastern India, Southern India and a few parts of Central India.

Many coastal areas like West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Goa and other east and south regions in India prefer eating fish and rice in their meals.  

In Bangladesh, rice and fish are considered staple foods. 

This is due to their easy availability, due to the geography of the country. 

Japan is also popular for sushi, which combines raw fish and rice. 

This method of preserving fish by fermenting it in cooked rice soon developed into sushi and became popular.

Before 1854, eating meat was prohibited in Japan, due to religious reasons, which is why fish was eaten as a substitute for protein. 

In Spain, seafood Paella is a classic dish that consists of rice, saffron, vegetables, and seafood cooked and served in one pan. 

It’s believed that Muslims began rice cultivation around the 10th century in Spain, and by the 15th century, rice had become a staple.

Rice as a Staple Food

Fish and rice diet

Rice is a common staple food in a variety of cultures around the world.

In terms of nutrients, it is also the most essential grain consumed by humans. 

Rice comes in 40,000 different variations, each with its own form, color, and size.

This hearty grain originated thousands of years ago in Asia. 

It’s thought to have been domesticated originally in India or Southeast Asia. 

Rice was first introduced to Japan over 3,000 years ago. 

It was most likely brought to South America by the Portuguese in the 16th century.

Interestingly, the Chinese word for rice is the same as their word for food. 

Rice is the symbol of life and fertility, which is why it is thrown at weddings, in the Celtic tradition.

Fish as a Staple Food 

Fish and rice diet

Fish is a valuable food because of its unique blend of high-quality protein and essential elements. 

Consumption of fish is very high in countries like  China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Japan.

This food is particularly important in many developing countries.

Fish is frequently the only affordable and widely available animal protein source. 

Fish is consumed less in many African countries south of the Sahara, despite the fact that fish can contribute significantly to human nutrition.

In 2009, fish provided 16.6% of total global animal protein consumption and 6.5 percent of total protein consumption (animal and plant protein combined).

Wild vs Farmed Fish

Fish and rice diet

Farmed seafood is cultivated in huge tanks, whereas wild-caught seafood is caught in its natural habitat (lake, ocean, or river). 

The two may appear to be the same in the store or on your plate, but they are not guaranteed to be similar.

The nutritional value is mostly determined by the diet of the fish. 

Wild fish consume a natural diet and have a lower saturated fat content than farm-raised versions. 

Farmed fish can have somewhat greater levels of omega-3 fatty acids.  

According to certain research, farm-raised versions can have greater contaminants. 

Furthermore, due to farming circumstances, farm-raised fish have a higher risk of disease. 

This often requires huge amounts of antibiotics to be given to the fish.

And of course they can then pass on to the humans who consume the fish.

White vs Brown Rice

Although white rice is the most popular, brown rice is usually regarded as a healthier alternative.

Rice in general is almost entirely made up of carbohydrates, with only a small amount of protein and almost no fat. 

Brown rice is classified as a whole grain. 

This means it contains all of the grain’s components, including the fiber bran, nutrient-dense germ, and carb-dense endosperm. 

The bran and germ, which are the most nutritious components of the grain, have been removed from white rice, which makes brown rice healthier. 

“In the hands of an able cook, fish can become an inexhaustible source of perpetual delight.” 

In addition, brown rice has more fiber and antioxidants, vitamins and minerals than white rice. 

Read more  Fish and Rice (Simple, Yet Heavenly)

100 grams of cooked brown rice contain 1.8 grams of fiber, whereas 100 grams of white contain only 0.4 grams of fiber. 

Brown rice may help lower blood sugar levels and minimize the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

White rice, on the other hand, may raise your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Brown rice and other whole grains may help to boost blood antioxidant levels and lower the risk of heart disease and obesity.

In terms of nutritional value and benefits, brown rice is the best option. 

However, there is nothing wrong with a little white rice every now and then.

— Update: 13-02-2023 — found an additional article 10 Healthy Fish and Rice Recipes for Dinner from the website for the keyword fish and rice diet.

Looking for some ideas to make your dinner table a little more interesting? These fish and rice recipes are sure to deliver!

Nothing is more satisfying than a meal combining two of our favorite things: fish and rice. When put together, you get something that’s both easy to make and delicious.

Fish and rice diet

Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or a casual weeknight dinner, we’ve got you covered. From fancy paella to quick rice bowls and fresh sushi bake, there’s something for everyone!

Take your cooking skills to the next level with this list of fish and rice recipes!

1. Spicy Tuna Poke Bowls

Are you on the hunt for a healthy, protein-packed lunch? Search no further than these spicy tuna poke bowls!

These bowls contain chunks of fresh tuna, avocado, cucumbers, spicy mayo, and scallions. It’s served over a bed of fluffy brown rice for a hearty, filling treat.

Each bowl is like a complete meal that’ll keep you full and satisfied. Plus, it’s bursting with fresh flavors that’ll bring brightness to your day.

The best part is that they’re super easy to make. Just mix all of your ingredients in a bowl and serve.

2. Mediterranean Brown Rice and Tuna Bowls

Searching for a healthy, filling lunch that’s also super easy? This Mediterranean brown rice tuna bowls recipe is the easiest in meal prep!

Each bowl is loaded with protein from the combination of tuna and chickpeas. It also packs the freshness of cucumber and tomatoes tossed in Greek dressing.

This bowl is brimming with bright colors and unique flavors. Once you taste it, you won’t believe it’s made in just 15 minutes.

3. Tuna Mayo Deopbap (Korean Tuna Rice Bowl)

If you’re a fan of Korean cuisine, you’ve probably already heard about deopbab. It translates to “covered rice, ” a bowl of rice covered with toppings.

And this tuna mayo deopbap is one of the delicious varieties of this one-bowl meal. It has chunks of garlic butter tuna drizzled with mayonnaise.

Each bowl packs the freshness of cucumber and avocado for a meal sure to satisfy. A bite will transport one bite and you to flavor heaven!

The best part? This recipe is a breeze to make and is ready in a flash. It’s faster than getting takeout for dinner.

4. Spicy Tuna Sushi Bake

Spice up your weeknight meals with this spicy tuna sushi bake.

It’s a fun, new take on sushi packed with tuna, mayo, sushi rice, and nori. This dish has all the goodness you love in sushi without the fuss of rolling.

Each layer packs the hearty goodness of tuna, the creaminess of the avocado, and fluffy sushi rice. Once this dish is out of the oven, you’ll surely want to dig in ASAP!

The best part? This tasty dish is equivalent to 20 large pieces of sushi, perfect for dinner parties.

5. Lemon Rice Recipe with Tuna and Spinach

Are you ready to be blown away with a fresh new treat? This lemon rice recipe with tuna will jazz up your plain, ol’ meals.

It has the perfect combination of salty and citrusy flavors that can brighten your day. The rice is simmered in chicken broth and aromatics to infuse a delicious taste.

The flaky tuna, zesty lemon, and nutty spinach leaves are tossed into the mix. Every ingredient blends perfectly with each other—it’s like a symphony of deliciousness!

6. Dump-and-Bake Italian Fish with Broccoli and Rice

If you’re staring down a busy day, this dump-and-bake recipe will be your life saver!

This one-pot wonder features hearty broccoli and rice topped with white fish fillet. As it bakes in the oven, the rice absorbs all the delicious Italian flavors that’ll make you swoon.

This recipe is convenient for hectic weekdays. Just dump everything into a casserole dish, bake it for 45 minutes, and it’s done.

And the best part? Your house will smell heavenly while you’re making this dish.

7. Spicy Fish and Rice Bake in Tomato Sauce

Spicy fish and rice baked in tomato sauce are the perfect comfort food for a cold night. It’s warm and hearty, and it will make you feel like you’re right at home.

The bright, spicy tomato sauce infused rice and fish with rich flavors. This dish is easy to prepare, but it tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen.

If you’re looking for something to make your family feel special, this recipe is the answer!

8. Spanish Paella

Bring the flavors of Spain to your kitchen and whip up the all-time favorite paella.

This delicious dish comprises fluffy rice, veggies, chorizo, and seafood. It has a rich umami taste with a hint of spice that’s sure to delight.

Today, it’s a staple in restaurants and homes around the world. And why not? Paella is delicious!

Plus, you can add any seafood you love to make this dish extra delightful. From clams to scallops and chopped pieces of fish, it will go amazingly with the other ingredients.

9. Sayadieh

Here’s another delicious dish from one of the world’s most delightful cuisine: sayadieh. It’s a Lebanese rice and fish dish packed with Mediterranean spices.

The tender fish is served on fluffy rice and topped with roasted almonds and parsley. It has a rich, complex flavor from the mixture of fragrant spices that genuinely packs a punch.

One bite of sayadieh will take your taste buds on a trip to flavor town. This dish is a taste of heaven!

10. Cantonese Chicken & Salted Fish Fried Rice

Nothing says “home” quite like the smell of fried rice. But this recipe isn’t your average fried rice!

Cantonese chicken and salted fish fried rice bring a delightful contrast of flavors and textures. It has fluffy rice with crispy fried fish and tender chicken chunks.

What makes this dish extra special is the authentic Cantonese flavors that are sure to impress. Each bowl of this fried rice recipe is like a complete meal that will keep you satisfied.

Fish and rice diet


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About the Author: Tung Chi