February 8, 2023

Not all carbs are built the same

To rice or spud, that is the dilemma.. (Instagram Post (Square)).png

“The superior satiating effect of potato compared with rice and pasta in a mixed meal was consistent with its lower energy density.”

From Zhang et al 2018, Subjective Satiety Following Meals Incorporating Rice, Pasta and Potato

To the fan of the South Indian Thali, the potato fry is a very distinct beast from sambar rice. It would be sacrilege to compare the two. They complement each other. 

But the macronutrient police have something to say. Potatoes, despite being a vegetable, are like rice in what nutrients they provide your body: Carbohydrates. 

But potatoes have a few distinct advantages over rice:

• An identical portion of cooked rice contains almost double the calories of uncooked/baked potato.

• Potatoes rank much higher on satiety than rice, pasta or most of their carb laden ilk. Potatoes, when paired with vegetables and protein, can keep you fuller for longer . 

• As a thumb rule, 200 calories (300 grams of potato) of potato will be more filling than 200 calories of cooked rice (one cup, 200 grams). Be measured and creative with how you include potatoes in your diet. 

The takeaways:

• Be measured with any carbohydrate. Pair carb sources with care. There is nothing wrong with white rice or any other grain. They are  and so it is prudent to be cautious with serving sizes especially if fat loss is the goal. 

• Potatoes are a underrated carb source. It's more satiating and provides fewer calories than rice or rotis for the same volume.

• If you must pair the two (and you should occasionally), potatoes and rice are interchangeable as far as  nourishment goes. Carbohydrates compete for the same 1/3rd presence (around 33 percent) of your plate. 

* When someone advises you to eat more vegetables, don’t count the potato fry or baked potato as a vegetable on your plate. Vegetables are less than half as calorific as potatoes and contain much much more fiber. They are also more rich in micronutrients. Vegetables need to occupy between a third to a half (between 40-50 percent) of your plate.

About Adarsh

- I run a strength and conditioning facility in Chennai, India
- I work with my clients to make training and eating for better body composition a part of everyday life
- I coach online and in-person
- I design and manufacture strength training equipment for use in our strength training facility