Here in Hawaii, rice is at the core of our local culture and we have access to all types: steamed, fried, white, short-grain, long-grain rice, etc. Rice is a carbohydrate - a natural source of energy for your body. You can eat rice with vegetables, protein, add it into casseroles, and it also serves as a great side dish to any meal. It’s also a top choice for those on the kidney diet, which is great news!
Now you’re probably wondering, “Which type of rice can I eat? Can I have brown rice, white rice or wild rice?” While all are healthy when served in the right portion size, there are a few differences in how each can impact your nutritional needs.
White rice is a product of the milling (or removal) of the husk, bran, and germ of brown rice, followed by a polishing process resulting in its bright white color. White rice is recommended for those who may be limiting phosphorus and potassium in their diet as most nutrients are reduced during its refining process and is a great source of calories for those on dialysis.
Brown rice has a nutty flavor and is more nutritious than white rice as it still contains the bran and germ. It also contains higher amounts of minerals and dietary fiber. Brown rice is normally recommended for those in the early stages of chronic kidney disease as those individuals may not have problems with mineral balance.
Wild rice is actually not a rice but the seed of wheat grass. It has higher amounts of minerals such as potassium and phosphorus than white rice. Wild rice is a food item that may be asked to be avoided or consumed in moderation due to its potassium and phosphorus content.
Rice is a great food choice for persons on the Kidney Diet, and it is possible to fit all varieties of rice into your diet while keeping potassium, phosphorus, and carbohydrates in check. Your dietitian can always help you to create a meal plan according to your dietary needs.