The diet benefits of brown rice

The Daily Yomiuri has an interesting article on new test results which seem to clearly  show the diet benefits of eating brown rice:

From the article:

“The group gave mice a choice between diets of fatty food and normal food: a high-fat diet consisting of 45 percent lipids, 35 percent carbohydrates and 20 percent proteins, and the other 10 percent lipids, 70 percent carbohydrates and 20 percent protein. The mice chose the high-fat food every time and eventually became obese.

However, after the researchers replaced half of each diet’s source of carbohydrates–corn starch and other substances–with brown rice, the mice opted for the normal food and as a result cut half their increased weight. When the team mixed white rice with the food instead of brown rice, the same phenomenon was not seen.”

An interesting point, besides the results themselves, is that they now seem to want to create supplements based on the ingredient in brown rice which seems to cause this effect. Brown rice has never been popular in Japan, and it’s hard to get people to eat it because it has a history of being a “poor person’s food.”

I actually like brown rice, but almost never eat it because I don’t know how to make it and can’t find any “instant brown rice” here. In fact, I will reveal a shocking secret. Even though I’ve lived in Japan for almost 29 years I have never cooked rice, not even once, in my life. There – you now know my secret.

What I do is heat up microwave rice. But after reading that article I’m going to try to make brown rice. Maybe prepare a week’s worth and freeze it in 200 gm packets I can heat up?



The diet benefits of brown rice — 10 Comments

  1. I cook brown rice about once a week. The downside of brown rice is that it takes much longer to cook than white – about an hour – so I have to plan ahead more carefully. I start with a 3:1 water:rice ratio for brown rice, whereas I use 2:1 for white rice and the white rice cooks in about 20 minutes.

  2. I have to read up on the whole culture of cooking rice. I understand you have to wash it first? I really know zip about it.


  3. I normally cook grown-in-California rice that doesn’t require washing but I believe that is because of how it is processed. You should probably investigate whether Japanese rice needs to be washed, I think maybe it does.

  4. It says on the bag (along with a treatise on cooking instructions) that you should wash it. Japanese wash their rice. It’s part of “the process.”


  5. Doug,

    Most Japanese rice that you buy whether from supermarket or 米屋さん needs to be washed several times, until the white powder more or less disappears and the water looks more clear than milky. There are some varieties that don’t need to be washed, but they’ll be plainly labeled. For white rice, the automatic rice cooker is a dream. Brown rice is available from most 米屋さん and at COSTCO. Probably other specialty food shops (natural or organic food). Most of the newer electric rice cookers have a brown rice setting, but mine is 30 years old and doesn’t have one, so I use a pressure cooker. Soak at least 3 hours, pour off the water, add water to about a 1:1 ratio with the rice and cook about 25 minutes depending on your pressure cooker’s pressure. Time and water ratio will be clearer if you read the owner’s manual. Or just buy one of the newer electric cookers with a brown rice cycle (and follow the instructions. Then you’ll be set for any type of rice. I can also teach you how to cook white rice in a heavy kettle, but it’s a bit complicated to explain in writing. Anyway, I recommend 玄米 cooked in either a pressure cooker 圧力鍋?or an electric 炊飯器?with a brown rice setting.

  6. Dennis,

    I have access to a modern rice cooker, but… soak for three hours?!

    I hope that doesn’t apply to using the fancy rice cooker. I think I should take a look at the owner’s manual and see what it says!



  7. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked gobou either. So many things to try out.

    How long will cooked brown rice last? I usually have one or two 200 gm servings of cooked rice every day. Lately, 200 gm of cooked rice with some non-oil plum dressing has been my main breakfast.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.