White rice isn’t as fluffy and harmless as it seems. “Aside from being stripped of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, white rice is digested and absorbed quickly, creating a spike in blood sugar and insulin, leading to fat storage,” says New York Rangers nutritionist Cynthia Sass, R.D.
Stock this instead: Brown, red, black, or wild rice
Pick up brown rice or pilaf in the grocery store, or ask the Chinese takeout guy to substitute brown rice for white. It might cost a few more bucks, but it’ll be worth it. “Whole-grain rice options are higher in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and are digested and absorbed more slowly, which leads to a slower rise in blood sugar and insulin, allowing your cells to burn the good starch for fuel, rather than stock it away in fat cells,” says Sass.