Yet in some cultures (both modern and historical) that exhibit immaculate biomarkers of health, with low obesity and diabetes rates, it has been a dietary staple for centuries. Seems as if I have been discussing both sides of this argument in a variety of different virtual locations. Figured I’d put that all together into one comprehensive post for you.
Post Summary: This is a very controversial topic with no universal answer. Rice can be a good food choice for some and not for others — a stance I have been trying to explain for years — but many athletes don’t understand nutritional biochemistry and disease states (including “sedentary-itis”), and many scientists don’t understand exercise physiology and Sports Nutrition (jogging is not a sport). This article will includes 2 parts. (1) a clip from an upcoming nutritional video project. (2) An article that was published last week on my friend Adam Bornstein’s blog.
Why you should first assess whether or not you even need starch in your diet. Sedentary or insulin resistant, not so much, and the majority of your “carbs” should come from non-starchy vegetables and whole fruit (roughly 100-125g a day). No rice, white or other, necessary.
Why the depletion of muscle glycogen reserves through intense training places extra carbohydrate demands on the athlete — ANAEROBIC metabolism and muscular contractions run on glucose/glycogen stores. This is a different physiological condition than from those who are inactive, or even from those who only perform low-intensity, aerobic activity.
Why athletes should get the majority of their essential amino acids and essential fatty acids from animal proteins, and fiber and micros from plant foods. The primary reason to eat starch, then, is simply for the glucose chains that fuel anaerobic activity/exercise.
Why it is important to obtain those glucose chains with as little toxic compounds or “anti-nutrients” as possible.
Why that all sounds complicated, but it’s really not. In terms of practical application, it’s simple and straightforward — if Paleo/Caveman nutrition is the best baseline template for sedentary populations, WHITE RICE and ROOT VEGETABLES are the best starchy carb choices for anaerobic exercisers to add back in to support their training.
Some of this material overlaps, but it’s good to hear it more than once to break free from the dogmatic approaches to nutrition that dominate the industry (if you are going to sell to the masses there can only be One Way), and move closer towards the “you got to fit the plan to the person” Truth. It took me over a decade to learn that. Maybe I can help shorten your learning curve.
PART I — THE VIDEO: CARB CONFUSION & WHITE RICE