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Quinoa or brown rice: Which grain makes for a better weight loss food?

Updated on:28 December 2020, 13:15pm IST
If we give you a choice between two hallowed weight loss foods—quinoa and brown rice—what would you pick? Confused? Then, listen to this expert and make your decision.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Who will win in this ultimate face-off of weight loss foods—quinoa and brown rice? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When we pledge to abide by the rules of weight loss, then the first thing we start off with is by managing our diets. From our snacks to sugary items, everything becomes gluten free. We are constantly on the lookout for superfoods that will help to accelerate our weight loss journey. And if we look back, in 2020, two weight loss foods topped the charts – quinoa and brown rice. 

But what if we ask you to pick one? Well, before you start figuring out the pros and cons of both these grains, we would like to save some of your time. And to help us out, we’ve got a nutritionist, Manisha Chopra who will help us solve this mystery. 

So, let’s see who the winner is: quinoa or brown rice.    

Here’s everything you need to know about quinoa before your introduce it in your diet

Nutrition is of utmost importance, and if we talk about nutritional value of quinoa, then one cooked cup contains almost around 220 calories, including approximately 72% water, 20 grams carbs, four grams proteins, three grams fibre, and two grams fat.

weight loss foods
Give your diet a kick of protein and fibre with quinoa. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are some amazing benefits of quinoa:

  • It is gluten-free – Quinoa is gluten-free and is the best option, if you want to increase the nutritional and antioxidant value of your diet. Quinoa can be used as an alternative by people who prefer a gluten-free diet. It can be used in place of other gluten-free products such as corn and potato.
  • High in protein and fibre – Quinoa is a plant-based source of protein. The proteins found in quinoa contain a wide range of amino acids that are needed by the body. These amino acids support muscle development and boost immunity. Quinoa is also rich in fibre and hence, it helps prevent constipation, maintain low cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Rich in mineralsQuinoa is rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Magnesium helps in reducing type 2 diabetes, maintaining blood sugar levels, and prevents insomnia. Iron helps in the proper functioning of blood cells and the brain.
  • Good for the gutQuinoa has anti-inflammatory properties, and is good for the gut, as it protects the gastrointestinal tract of the body. 

Quinoa can be consumed anytime – at breakfast, lunch or dinner. But it is best to eat healthy food like quinoa before going to bed. It induces sleep, because it relaxes the muscles, due to its high magnesium and protein content. 

“One can eat one-two cups of cooked quinoa in a day. Also,  one should avoid eating quinoa if he/she experiences stomach ache, itchiness or vomiting after consuming it. That person may have a quinoa allergy,” suggests Ms Chopra. 

Here’s some things about brown rice that you need to know 

One serving of white rice contains over 53 grams of carbohydrates, four grams of protein, two grams of fibre and two grams of fat.

weight loss foods
We can’t get enough of our rice. But brown rice is any day better than white rice. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Brown rice is also at par with quinoa and here are its benefits:

  • It is naturally gluten-free – Rice is also naturally gluten-free like quinoa. It is a great option for people who are on a gluten-free diet.
  • Gives instant energy – Rice is considered as a good energy-boosting food. It is high in carbohydrates and is preferred by most people for instant energy.
  • Brown rice is high in fibre – Brown rice is a great source of fibre. It is easy on the tummy and easy to digest. Due to its high fibre content, it keeps the stomach full for a long period of time.
  • Brown rice is good for the heart – Brown rice lowers the cholesterol levels in the body, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. As brown rice contains many vitamins and minerals, they help in transporting oxygen in the body.

The best time to consume rice is during lunch time. Our metabolism is faster during daytime, so the rice gets easily digested and also, our body needs energy to work for the next 8-9 hours.

“One cup of cooked rice is enough for a day. Diabetics and the ones who are trying to lose weight should avoid eating rice,” she recommends.

And the winner is…

In comparison, quinoa is richer in fibre, proteins, and other nutrients. Quinoa has fewer calories and carbohydrates than rice. So, quinoa is a healthier choice as it not only gives you extra nutrition, but also a small portion will fill up your stomach faster, and will also keep you full for a long time,” concludes Ms Chopra.

There you go! Now you know what you need to pick up from the grocery store, and include in your diet to lose weight. 

And BTW, you are welcome! 

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.