Nutrition Q: rice or potatoes?

Got a bet on this (who buys the doughnuts for work tomorrow! There’s nutrition for ya!:smiley: )

Which is most healtier: a cup of boiled potato (no butter, salt, etc.) or a cup of boil rice (with the same restrictions), and why is it more healthy than the alternative?

I won’t tell ya which one I think is correct, 'cause I don’t want to look dumb if I’m wrong…

Healthier is a very subjective term Astroboy so there’s not going to be definitive answer on this one.
The cup of potato should contain more digestible carbohydrate total and therefore more calories, so if you’re looking to survive on it in an emergency the potato will be healthier.
Unpolished whole grain rice will have more fibre and so will be healthier from that perspective even if the cup of potato includes the skin. A cup of rice will contain more air spaces, and probably more water. Whole grain rice should also have more protein than potato.
Each will conatin it’s own unique suite of vitamins, minerals, toxins and other interesting chemicals, so ‘healthier’ probably depends on the individual.
For the ‘average’ healthy human being in good health and adequate nutrition I’d go with the rice if it’s whole grain and unpolished. Any processing of the rice will alter this.

Hmmm… thanks Gaspode… any idea how often rice is eaten whole grain and unpolished? I know that most rice I run across is definitely processed at least to some degree.

Ummm…Stove Top?

From the low-carb view, the potato will edge out the cup of rice, but not by much and both are bad anyway. I would aslo say it depends on the type of rice.

k2dave, this goes to the original discussion that lead to the doughnut bet (which I’m in danger of losing! :eek: )… are they both bad for you? If so, why?

Couldn’t say anything about frequency Astroboy. Basically any milling removes the outer husk to produced polished or white rice A quick search gave this site on relative nutrition:

I personally wouldn’t bother to eat white rice, it’s flavourless, but it’s a big seller here. Cracked or fully milled rice is just gruel, and doesn’t sell here at all much. You’re in Korea somewhere from memory so when it comes to rice, preferences are probably different.

Actually since I’ve got the search engine open anyway now heres a sight with the basic nutritional information a medium potato, which I assume is about a cupful.

Except for the higher fat levels I guess even polished rice is ‘healthier’ on most common accounts. Hope you bet rice.

I didn’t :sad:

from a low carb viewpoint:

Any food that contains high amounts of starch or sugar should be avoided (fiber ok). Eating either (esp. by themselves) will cause starch to be converted to glucose and rapidly absorbed into the blood. this causes the blood glucose level (BGL) to rise much higher then it should. the body dumps insulin into it to lower your BGL.

Glucose must be burned (way too much of it to burn it all unless you are running a marathon), .or. stored as glycogen in te muscles and liver (but these glycogen stores are full for anyone who follows a non-low carb diet, unless you are running a marathon), .or. converted to fat (which most is, unless you are running a marathon).

We’ll get back to the fat that glucose being converted later.

What happens now is that your BGL crashes too low. your body doesn’t have enough free glucose available so you feel tired and hungry (even though you just ate), so you eat again too soon, and if it is more carbs - your weight continues to grow.

now back to the fat.

the fat that is created is not ‘good fat’ and raises the bad colesteral, lowers the good and raises triglicerides (yes I know the spellings are wrong, so what). when you have yourself checked out, your bloodwork comes back really bad, yoru Dr. tells you to cut out the butter and other fats, which you do thinking you are helping, which to some small extent it does, but your ratio of good:bad colest. gets worse even though the total may come down.

About 6-7 years ago I staarted Atkins. in year 2 I decided I better get myself checked out. I got the bloodwork test done. went to pick up the results (why they couldn’t fax it is beyond me). The Dr. handed me the results and said everything was normal - now I was eating something along the lines of eggs/ bacon/ sausage/ steak (not nes. lean)/ pork/ dark meat chicken w/ skin (don’t like white)/ some green veg’s w/ butter/ cheese/ 80% lean ground beef, etc… but didn’t tell the Dr.
While I was leaving, I heard the Dr. say to somebody (re: their blood test) that their numbers were terrible and they have to cut out was normal - now I was eating something along the lines of eggs/ bacon/ sausage/ steak (not nes. lean)/ pork/ dark meat chicken w/ skin (don’t like white)/ some green veg’s w/ butter/ cheese/ 80% lean ground beef, etc…

Here is some nutrional analysis comparisons for you (In order to use the links, you’ll have to click on the report key after selecting the URL)

Brown Rice
White Rice
Boiled potatoes, flesh
Boiled potatoes, skin

Hmmm… those last two give me the heebies after all the Hannibal hype.

These come from The USDA Nutrient Database for Standard

Now for the low-fat, moderate carb point of view.

I am not a nutritionist, but this comes from years of reading various articles on diet and nutrition, especially one article I wish I still had.

Your body wants the blood sugar(glycogen) level to be within a certain range. Too high, and the body produces insulin, which converts the blood sugar to fat. Too low, and the body will convert stored fat back to blood sugar. As I understand it, when the latter happens, this triggers hunger so that you will eat - the body does not want to use fat stores. Diabetics don’t produce insulin correctly, and have too much glycogen in their blood stream. Hypoglycemics either don’t start converting stored fat quickly enough or don’t feel hunger until blood sugar levels get crtically low.

Other things are happening at the same time:
Fat cells absorb fat in the bloodstream
Cells that need repair, or to divide grab amino acids (protein building blocks)
Any cell that needs energy will use glycogen first, if that is unavailable, then it will break down and use amino acids, then finally break down and use fat.
Note that these processes are very local - you may not be out of glycogen completely, but there may not be any glycogen close enough to a cell for it to use, so it will use the amino acid instead.

Dr. Atkins scenario of blood sugar rising, triggering insulin and dropping abruptly can happen -
the real question is how many carb calories can you consume before it happens. Dr. Atkins maintains that it happens as soon as you eat any carbs. IMO, in a healthy person, this is not logical - a healthy body being maintained in a reasonable fashion will always keep within tolerances, not bounce from one extreme to another. Since carbohydrates have always been a part of the human diet, it seems unreasonable (at least to me, and apparently to most nutritionists) that moderate carbohydrate intake will cause the problem. I have had this happen to me, but only when eating candy bars - 150+ calories in less than 5 minutes with no fiber or anything else to slow digestion/absorbtion down. And yes, I usually end up craving more sugar after a candy bar.
IMO, the Atkin’s works because it does what other diets do - stops snacking on pre-packaged food (look at how many items in your vending machine don’t have carbs), eliminates a lot of fried and fast foods and other fats(yes, you can fry your steak - but how often do you see unbreaded fried food on a menu? And don’t you normally have fries or a loaded baked potato with your food?) and encourages eating vegetables - out of sheer boredom.