Is new ‘Slim Rice’ as healthy as it sounds?
It sounds too good to be true and experts suspect it just might be.
Around since 2013, Slim Rice is a kind of diet rice said to come in at just 7.7 calories per 100g has been launched across the UK. Considering that a 100g portion of white basmati rice provides 350 calories, this is a big claim from British producers, Eat Water.
The product, branded ‘Slim Rice‘, is made of 97% water combined with konjac, an Asian root said to suppress hunger pangs and prevent over-eating by stabilising blood-sugar levels.
So far Slim Rice doesn’t sound particularly appetising, and it doesn’t get much better. It is said to be a lot chewier than normal rice and flavourless save for a strong starchy smell which, according to instructions, can be removed with warm water.
Despite this less than appealing description, dieters have been flocking to health food shops, including Holland and Barrett, to get their hands on the new Slim range, which also includes pasta and noodle varieties. But would you spend £2.50 on two portions of food that essentially offer no nutritional value?
Choosing something like whole-wheat spaghetti or brown rice is more sensible than opting for heavily processed diet foods.
Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum is sceptical. She said: “There are nasty side effects to konjac. It will make you feel fuller but doesn’t do much for you. Konjac is an appetite suppressant and people will eat it thinking they will get slim but might not be aware they could be starving themselves of nutrients.”
What is konjac?
Konjac is a root vegetable grown in parts of Asia. Used as a traditional medicine and food source to make noodles and snacks, according to Healthline, it’s most commonly used in the western world as a food additive and supplement to help with bowel movements, improve metabolism, and lower cholesterol.
The benefits of Konjac can include:
- lowering cholesterol and blood glucose levels
- helping regulate bowel movements
While many use konjac as a weight loss aid, as it can help you to feel fuller for longer when eaten regularly, it does not help with the underlying causes that may be pushing you towards overeating or snacking between meals.
Balanced diet and carbohydrates
Many people looking to burn fat quickly think the key is to cut the carbs. True, too much bread, pasta and rice can make you put on weight but, like most foods, in moderation, these products are an important part of a balanced diet.
Choosing something like whole-wheat spaghetti or brown rice is more sensible than opting for heavily processed diet foods. Whole-wheat spaghetti is tasty, filling and full of dietary fibre, selenium and manganese. It is also low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, making it a great accompaniment to vegetables and protein (fish or meat).
Why do carbs matter?
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. While it can be tempting to remove a food group to speed up weight loss, doing so can potentially be harmful to your overall health.
Foods high in carbohydrates provide our bodies with glucose, which is converted into energy to support physical activity and bodily functions. Unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans give us vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
Low-carb diets often pushed as a way of quickly losing weight, often do involve the intake of fewer calories. However, as explained by Darwin Deen, MD, this rapid weight loss is from losing water weight. “The problem is that a low-carbohydrate diet is not a normal balance of physiologic nutrition. As soon as you start eating carbohydrates again, your body replenishes your carbohydrate stores and your weight comes back.”
The NHS currently recommends adults should have around 260g of carbohydrates each day, no more than 90g of which is made up of sugars. Dietitian Jo Withers explains more about how you can navigate your way around carbohydrates:
- Choose unrefined whole grains. Less processing means more fibre.
- Eat fruit whole and keep it in moderation (one to two servings a day).
- Have more carbohydrate in the early and middle part of the day, and a smaller portion in the evening.
Healthy weight loss
Fad diets, yo-yo dieting and restrictive eating can be detrimental to both your physical and mental health, and more often than not, diets don’t work leaving you feeling ashamed, dejected and cross with yourself, when it’s not your fault.
Maureen Moerbeck, specialist Eating Disorders Dietitian says that deprivation of good quality foods can be physical or psychological. “When you consistently do not eat enough, your body will crave energy because you are forcing it into a negative energy balance, which it doesn’t like.
We need food for fuel, and we need it to survive.
Weight management can be as much about what you eat as it is your relationship with food, so if you’re looking for support with weight loss, working with a nutrition professional is a helpful way to build habits that are healthy, sustainable and supportive of your overall goal.
Use the advanced search tool to browse therapists offering weight loss services, browse some profiles and when you find a professional that resonates with you, pop them a message straight from their profile.
Is slim rice good for weight loss?
Slim Rice contains konjac flour, which can help some people to feel fuller for longer. This can reduce the likelihood of snacking between means or overeating. However, some experts are concerned that suppressing natural feelings of hunger can do more harm than good. Ensuring that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet is key to sustained weight loss or weight management.
This news article was originally published 20th February 2013.
Updated: 21 February 2022.