In many cultures, rice is a staple in the diets of the people and it provides a good source of energy in the form of carbohydrates. There are different kinds of rice; all are carbohydrate-dense and eating too much of it can cause you to eat too little of other nutrients your body needs to ensure optimal health.

Few nutrients in rice

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a cup of cooked short-grain rice contains 242 calories, 53 grams of carbohydrates and 4.39 grams of protein. It also contains small quantities of potassium, phosphorus, iron, thiamin and folate, as well as other micronutrients. Rice contains very little sodium and lacks vitamin C entirely. The minimal amounts or total absence of many micronutrients can lead to a nutritional deficiency if your diet consists largely of rice.

Carbohydrates in rice

Though rice is very high in carbohydrates, it is fairly low in calories. The recommended percentage of calories your body should receive daily from carbohydrates is between 45 to 65 percent. That is 900 to 1,300 calories for someone that eats an average 2,000 calories-per-day diet. A high intake of rice may adversely affect insulin production and glucose metabolism in the body.

Rice and flavor

Plain rice contains very little flavor, and it is therefore seldom eaten by itself. It is generally mixed with sauces or butter and it acts as a filler on the plate or a side. Eating a lot of flavor-enhanced rice can ramp up the calorie count quickly. If you add a pat of butter or a few tablespoons of sauce seasoning, it can double the calories in a cup of rice.

Rice can be very filling

Cooked white rice has 4 grams of fiber per cup and brown rice has 7 grams of fiber per cup. Eating too much rice will fill you up easily and hence making it tough to take in other foods. In addition to carbohydrates, the body should be receiving 10 to 35 percent of its daily calories in the form of quality proteins, and your body will also need 20 to 35 percent of its diet to be composed of healthy fats. Rice does not provide significant amounts of these nutrients and consuming too much rice will leave you without the appetite to include them in your diet.