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White Rice and the Myth of Nutrient Density


Nutrient density is the name of the game these days. Dr. Joel Furhman is all for leafy greens because they’re some of the most nutritionally dense foods known to man. He’s especially high on kale. If he were stranded on a deserted island with only one food, Dr. Fuhrman says he would choose kale. Ok, I’m sold; I already eat kale. Not daily but maybe once every fortnight.

But let’s look at another source of nutrient density. This time of the animal kind — egg yolks. For me, egg whites aren’t dense enough nutritionally, so I discard them. Actually, I despise egg whites with a deep-seated passion. That’s the real reason why I’m focusing on the yolks exclusively; they are an important source of vitamins and minerals. I don’t think there is another food that is more dense nutritionally. Maybe cow or chicken liver but there is nothing easier to cook than hard-boiled eggs.

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This is what the yolks look like when you don’t soak them immediately in ice water. The greenish-yellow tint isn’t very pleasing visually. You want the bright yellow tint which reminds you of well-done scrambled eggs or eggs benedict. Next time, I’ll have a bucket of ice water ready.

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I’ll store these yolks until I’m ready to consume them during the week. I eat at least one everyday. Sometimes two.

Here’s my dinner. It’s the usual grass-fed beef steak seasoned with dried, minced garlic and coffee. Some safe starch in the form of white Bismatti rice. Steamed Brussel sprouts, cut green beans and some onions. Herbs, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

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‘Tis the first time in a while that I’ve cooked a whole steak for dinner. Lately, I’ve been having soup regularly. It’s just a whole lot more convenient to microwave a bowl of soup than cook a piece of steak with obligatory side dishes; you only need to make a pot of soup once a week. For me, it’s usually a mix of bone broth with vegetables — carrots and turnips. I add some turmeric and beet horseradish, which turn the color yellow and red, respectively. I also pour in some white rice and a sprinkling of nori for flavor.

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I don’t know what Sally Fallon may think, as she’s been ruffling some feathers lately acting divisive and what not. But this is a nourishing meal par excellance. Healthy fats, healthy carbs, enough but not too much protein from the the grass-fed muscle meat, and plenty of micronutrients. The bone broth has tendons and collagen, so we have healthy Monos and Safas.

High on the nutrient density scale, too. But let’s not get carried away like Dr. Fuhrman and say that you should only eat something that’s nutrient-dense: white rice is empty calories but fulfills an important function. It’s a clean source of glucose and does the body no harm; it is not ever intended to be a fount of protein, minerals or vitamins. That’s what Dr. Fuhrman seems not to understand. Sure, kale is excellent. But what is your glucose source? Brown rice? Wild rice? Pinto beans? Red kidney beans? Surely, not when you are beset with IBS or intestinal permeability?

Eating white rice is like filling your car with clean, unleaded gas when your gas tank is empty. You need 60-150 grams of pure gluclose, depending on your size, activity, and protein intake. That will keep you from burning ketones, which is stressful and not the best fuel for those who’re destined to be sugar burners. Nothing more benign and easier to digest than white rice. Clean, unenriched and straight from the Himalayas.

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