Most Americans perceive that the only dishes Asian restaurants make are grease bombs that come in a to-go box, and that any other Asian dish is just too adventurous to try. Well, move over fried egg rolls and chow mein: Southeast Asian dishes are healthy, delicious and more than worthy to grace your dinner table tonight.
Growing up, I didn’t eat casseroles, meatloaf, and pasta every other day. Like most other Asian children, my staples were rice and noodles. I remember waking up to the smell of Pho` and eating my soup with a side of vegetables.
Pho` is a traditional Vietnamese soup and noodle dish filled with hot meaty broth. While there’s no standard Pho` recipe, beef is typically used to flavor the broth along with spices such as star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom and onions.
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You’ve heard it said before: brown rice is better for you than white rice. But no one ever says why, which leads us to wonder, is anyone really making the switch to the supposedly healthier grain?
According to a recent survey by NPR that included nearly 10,000 participants, roughly 50 percent of those surveyed said they frequently swap brown rice for white rice in their dishes. I suppose from a statistical standpoint, this really isn’t too bad. But considering how much healthier brown rice really is for you, it’s more eye opening than you’d think.
To get the low down on whether or not brown rice really does trump white, we consulted DietsInReview.com’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD to set the facts straight.
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The 17 Day Diet seems to be all the rage these days. Created by Dr. Mike Moreno, the diet was recently featured on The Doctors and the Dr. Phil Show. To go along with this “17″ craze, we’re featuring a list of 17 healthy carbs that you should be eating for overall health. With so many healthy options, you’ll never fall into a food rut again!
1. Oatmeal. It may seem boring, but oatmeal is such a delicious and filling breakfast choice. With lots of fiber, five grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, three grams of fat and only 150 calories, you get a lot of nutritional bang for your bite!
2. Barley. Also high in fiber, barley is great in soups, as a whole-grain side or even as a healthy rice replacement in risotto!
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In May of 2008, the FDA finally added brown rice to its list of whole grain products, which allowed it the right to bear the Whole Grain Health Claim. This claim states that the food contains at least 51% whole grains and can specifically say, “Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.”
Since there is no lab test to determine “the whole grain content,” the FDA decided in order to use the whole grain claim the product must be able to prove that the product meets or exceeds the fiber level of wheat. Originally, brown rice could not prove this claim and therefore was delayed from being added to the approved list and could not use the Whole Grain Health Claim.
Now, however, the FDA has clarified, that a compliance test is not necessary for brown rice or other single-ingredient whole grain foods. If the ingredients list shows that a product contains whole grain and nothing but whole grain, then it’s obvious that the package contains 100% whole grain and clearly exceeds the 51% requirement.
There are now numerous brown rice products out on the market, some in which all you have to do is throw it in the microwave. I encourage you to venture out and eat brown rice in place of white rice. You will never know if you like it or not until you try it…and if it’s better for your health then why wouldn’t you give it a taste?