"How do East Asians eat rice all the time and not get fat?"

I have been asked this question more times than I can remember.
There seems to be a belief that people who eat rice all the time should be fat.
Let me briefly explain why this might not necessarily be so.

Proviso 1: Many of the points I mention below also applies to other Asians (Southeast, South, etc) who regularly consume rice in a traditional Asian diet. I only mention East Asian in my title and in my points below because that's who I am and that's what I'm familiar with. I think all the points below apply to all other Asian cultures that consume rice regularly.

Proviso 2: My examples below, of what I normally eat, follows a Traditional Asian diet. Of course, I am well aware that there are many, many food options available in the world. And I do avail myself of them, especially when traveling! But, I can honestly say, that for the vast majority of my days (~ 80 - 90%), I follow a Traditional Asian diet.

Extra details: In case you're wondering whether I'm fat, I will just share my height and weight with you. In my circle of East Asian friends (male), I am considered average in height and weight. My height is 1.83 m (6'0") and I weigh 75 kilograms ( ~ 165 lbs). I exercise every day for at least 30 minutes.

Let's Begin:

Usually, I eat rice three times a day. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
"So, how do East Asians eat rice all the time and not get fat?"
Many people who ask this question think that East Asians eat this amount of rice at every meal:
(I own none of the pictures below)

Do Asians really eat this amount of rice at every meal?
Do Asians really eat this amount of rice at every meal?

In reality, this is the amount of rice I eat at lunch and dinner, and a little less for breakfast:

Purple Rice in a Rice Bowl
Purple Rice in a Rice Bowl

I don't eat noodles as much as I eat rice. I eat rice every day, but I eat noodles, maybe once a week or so. In Northern Chinese cuisine, the reverse is true: they eat more noodles and buns than rice.
Note: Everyday meals are eaten with plain, boiled rice. Fried rice is a snack or standalone meal. There's a reason why East Asians eat meals with plain, boiled rice instead of fried rice - the explanation is too long to fit here and requires its own post.

If I have a bowl of noodles as a meal, it's about yea-big:

Yes. This is a bowl of noodles
Yes. This is a bowl of noodles

So, what else is eaten at these meals, besides rice and noodles?
All three East Asian cultures have their own specialties and dishes and proportions.

I subscribe to a 2+1 Method for basic meals:
2 Vegetables + 1 Fish (or Meat) dish.

First Vegetable Dish (preferable Leafy Green Vegetable) :

Veg Dish #1: Baby Bok Choy with Mushrooms
Veg Dish #1: Baby Bok Choy with Mushrooms

Second Vegetable Dish, usually prepared in a different way compared to First Vegetable Dish:

Veg Dish #2: Spinach
Veg Dish #2: Spinach

Fish (or Meat) Dish:

A Fish
A Fish

If I'm especially hungry, I will usually add a fourth dish.
Usually either a broth, or a very-easy-to-make dish.

Here are is one example of a supremely-easy-to-make dish:

Egg with Tomatoes
Egg with Tomatoes

Okay, what about dessert?
A Traditional Asian meal has NO dessert.
You eat the main meal, and that's it.
Traditionally, growing up, dessert meant Fruits.

A very common dessert was / is Orange Slices.
Or watermelon, especially during summer:

When life throws you oranges...
When life throws you oranges...
I really love snacking on Roasted Sweet Potato:
Here's one of my favorite snacks, Roasted Sweet Potato.

Well, there's always banana and nuts.
But, what if I get hungry between meals?
Roasted Sweet Potato
Roasted Sweet Potato

I don't make this at home, but if there's a good dim sum place nearby, I'll go buy a couple of 叉燒包 (roasted pork buns) and have them as a snack:

Char Siew Bao (Literally Fork-Roasted Bun, but really, it's just Roasted Pork Bun)
Char Siew Bao (Literally Fork-Roasted Bun, but really, it's just Roasted Pork Bun)


But what if I wanted to indulge a little?
What type of food would I eat if I wanted to hang out with my mates a little and have a drink?

One of my absolute favorites is 떡볶이, or romanized as Tteokbokki.
Which is Spicy Rice Cakes, a very popular street food.
I enjoy this maybe once every two weeks or so.
I consider it an indulgence.
This is a great dish for drinking outings.
Perfect with Soju and Maekju (Beer). Combine both those drinks to make Somaek.

Spicy Rice Cakes
Spicy Rice Cakes

Another favorite is 焼き鳥, or yakitori, which is skewered chicken, food commonly served at an izakaya. I eat and enjoy all parts of the chicken: gizzards, heart, liver, etc.
I always enjoy yakitori with several glasses of umeshu (plum wine) on the rocks:

Mmm...
Mmm...

Okay, all that is good and fine.
But if that's a Traditional Asian diet that I keep to, there must be food items I don't eat, right?
Compare all the above to things I don't eat:

I don't eat cereal and I don't drink milk. (although sometimes, it's hard to avoid milk if I'm eating outside):

Cocopops?
Cocopops?

I don’t eat pancakes, donuts, waffles, or muffins:

Four boxes
Four boxes

I don't eat bread, pastries, or cakes (although, I do eat bread when I'm traveling in countries where rice is difficult to come by):

So that means there's no this:

He's got the whole world, in his hands...
He's got the whole world, in his hands...

And no this:

Let them eat cake!
Let them eat cake!

I also don't eat Potatoes when they come in Mashed Potatoes-form:

Potayto, Potahto Version 1.0
Potayto, Potahto Version 1.0

I also don't eat Potatoes when they come in French Fries-form (I will however, eat Roasted Potatoes. ) :

Potayto, Potahto Version 1.0
Potayto, Potahto Version 1.0

I don't eat America-style pizza (NY, deep dish, stuffed) (I will, however, enjoy eating Italian-style pizza, but that's once in a blue moon):

Stuffed Pizza
Stuffed Pizza

And I don't like eating sugary foods, so I definitely don't eat food like this:

What am I?
What am I?

---------------------------------------------

Conclusion:

All of the above are possible reasons why East Asians are able to eat rice almost every day of the year without necessarily getting fat.

Thank you for making it this far!

"How do East Asians eat rice all the time and not get fat?"
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Most Helpful Girls

  • dancing_in_nebulas

    Our rice maker is constantly being used all day lol. Rice is like our snack, with halmeoni making meauntang or kongnamulguk, kept warm on the stove, to hold us over until dinner.

    She usually keeps fruits like bae, watermelon or apples in stock for sweets, as well as chappsal donuts, or those treats made of rice flour with the honey or fruit syrup fillings. I forgot their name, but omg I love them!

    Asian food I feel is the lightest on the stomach out of all types. My friends actually had stomach aches adjusting to heavy American foods.

    That massive cake would have probably them in the hospital for sure their first week here.

    My nini cooks all day, homemade kimchi always fresh in the fridge, but the portions are always just enough. Well, probably more than average feeding 3 grown men along with the rest of us lol.

    Variety during meals is something both Korean and African American culture share - ours is a lot bigger portions and heavier lol - with as you said, a meat or protein plus 3-4 sides. Sometimes 5-8 for big meals. Likewise, my black side of the family picks a meat like roast, with 3-4 sides.

    Kimchi and rice is always readily available and served with all our meals.

    All the food is just so light and healthy, that you'd have to literally try to get fat off of it!

    Is this still revelant?
    • "or those treats made of rice flour with the honey or fruit syrup fillings. "
      I think you might be referring to 송편 (songpyeon).

      I live alone, so I wish I had someone to make me homemade kimchi!
      Sounds awesome!

    • Yes!!! They're soooooo good!

      Awe, I'll have to bring you a jar 😆🥣 lol

    • Haha! Thanks! I mean, I know how to make kimchi (whether it's good or not - well...) but it does take a bit of time, though. It's not like you can do it before going to work!

    • Show All
  • 11110000bbbb

    That statement is very crazy to hear because yes rice might have a decent amount of calories
    But even there you don't have coffee much or soda that's another reason.
    Here people have the standard coffee and doughnut.
    Looking at the coffee alone for breakfast most people go to Starbucks and a Grande Caramel Frap'
    Blended is 400+ calories.
    Having a doughnut at Krispy Kreme for example, that is 190 calories.
    That's over 500 calories just for breakfast alone.
    12 ounce Cola is 140 calories
    Lets say 1 Big Mac that is 540 calories.
    not including any fries.
    For a heat up meal that people normally eat more than one serving of is like over 1000 calories.
    that's over 2000 calories daily. No wonder.
    (And I'm being very limited with the calories by rounding down)

    Is this still revelant?
    • Actually, I do enjoy coffee quite a bit. But I'm a very boring person - I always drink my coffee black, without sugar or milk. My friends call me "Boring Coffee Drinker" :)

    • yes but here we put large tablespoons of it in out coffee i mean coffee that is like made with a ton of sugar and not from home usually.

    • I can't take sugar in coffee. It feels strange to me :D

Most Helpful Guys

  • genericname85

    just take a look at beverage vending mashines in asia vs US. in the us you'll have 20 flavors of coke. in asia you'll have water, different teas and maybe one flavor of coke. also rice has half the carbs of bread. in asia it's mostly veggies and rice with a side of meat. in the US it's mostly bread (or other high carb shit like pasta, pizza or whatever) and fatty beef with a laughable amount of veggies.

    also look at serving sizes in asia vs the US. in the us you get a shovel full of fries (besides your main dish) and a 5 liter bucket of coke to your meal. in asia it's a small bowl of rice and a big plate of veggies with a little meat of stuff and meaybe half a liter of coke.

    the average Asian diet is way more healthy. carbs meat and sugar is basically like killing yourself slowly.

    Is this still revelant?
    • Unfortunately, with increased disposable income in the region, kids nowadays are consuming more sugar :/ For example, while I think tea-drinking is very healthy, there's something called "Brown Sugar Milk Tea" which is getting really popular in the region now - there's Milk and Sugar added to the tea, which young kids love, but obviously, is not as healthy as drinking your normal, plain brewed tea. Add in the "pearls" - or tapioca starch balls - in them, and you get empty calories aplenty. It's doing booming business and the kids just love it!

      Thankfully, I still see young folk enjoying veggies. The cuisine is set up such that sometimes, an entire "main dish" is just a dish with vegetables in it. This is not strange at all. It contrasts starkly with most US meals eaten outside, where vegetables are often just used as garnishes for a meal.

    • I mean having more money should result in buying more organic stuff without GMOs and antibiotics free meat, cause that would be the smart choice. Green tea is actually besides being just healthy also a natural nootropic, which enhances your brain activity. The American diet (red meat, sugar, carbs) is the most common reason for death and digestive syndrome (being fat and diabetic). In Japan there's even compulsory countermeasures against this.

    • Yes. But young kids, they love the sweet stuff! Especially right now, when it's hot and muggy in the region! It's all about eating what's popular - going to food establishments where you can take nice photos.

      I know what you mean about the meat. Take Japan - there's raw chicken sashimi.
      Would anyone dare eat raw chicken sashimi from chicken sourced from the US?
      I know I wouldn't.

    • Show All
  • Rice is actually healthier than bread. Not saying rice is exactly healthy but just by comparison. Bread itself has starch from the flour and usually has refined sugar added making it have more carbs than rice. Also they add tea to their diet which is a metabolism booster. Now let's talk about their lifestyle. In Asia, facilities are nearby your house that you can just walk to get there since a lot of people there share houses unlike living in suburban areas with a lot of houses with only two to three people in there that you will be force to use cars to travel.

    Is this still revelant?
    • Nice points on rice and tea.
      Another bonus for rice is that: nobody is allergic to rice! (unlike being allergic to wheat, gluten)

What Girls & Guys Said

2139
  • grizzlybearbite

    I live in Brooklyn, NY. I have a lot of Asian friends. And my best friend is Mandarin from Harbin, China. Most are skinny with the exception of one, my best friends younger brother. And here's what I've gathered.

    1. They always eat on a schedule. Never early, never late. No matter what you're doing, if it's time to eat, it's time to eat. This way, the human body knows when food is coming, and that food is guaranteed, the body doesn't go into "fat storing" mode, which happens when the body doesn't recieve food in a timely manner.

    2. Absolutely no processed foods allowed (this is why his younger brother is fat). Processed food can mean a number of things. Anything pre-made/pre-mixed/pre-cooked, to fast food. Obviously, the Chinese have their own variations of pre-made food, but they say the American kind is the worst... And... I suppose that's possible lol. So, whether it's an Eggo waffle, a can of Progresso soup, a Hot Pocket, a BigMac... You get the idea.

    3. ... Exercise! That can mean a number of things. Ever seen the way Asians behave throughout the day? They have no "chill" they don't exactly "take it easy", everything is fast, efficient, right away, hurry up. That, is calorie burning. Don't just walk, brisk walk. If something takes you 5 minutes to do, do it in 3 minutes instead. The goal is to burn whatever calories you consumed before your next meal (nothing gets stored)

    4. Vegetables... Raw... A lot... When vegetables are raw, they have within them all of their nutrients. If you boil broccoli (example), it's fullh cooked, mushy like a fresh turd, and you spilled out all the water you boiled them in, you just f*cked up! All the nutrician is in the water you just dumped. by the way, same goes for canned vegetables, not only do they no longer possess all their nutrients, but that water/liquid they're stored in probably has some preservatives/chemicals we want no part of. Frozen veg is for the most past, OK. But, the key is fresh/raw. If you want them heated threw, Throw them into boiling for literally 10-20 seconds. I happen to he Russian, we also understand the importance of fresh/raw vegetables, so this wasn't an Eye-opener for me.

    5. Don't eat Chinese food (take out, buffet, etc). That's fake Chinese food. They don't eat it. And, they told me countless times "it's for you dumb white people" 😂. When I go to a Chinese buffet (once every 6 to 8 weeks) I look at what the Asian staff eat during their break. Plane white rice, green beans, maybe a couple of dumplings.

    Asian diet does have a down side though. Just like this country, and much of the world, they are obsessed with deep frying. They are obsessed with excessive sugar and sodium. They are obsessrd with corn-starch. But, that's where the exercise part comes in. Prevent the body from storing it all.

    • Oh, one forgot to mention one other thing. They drink (mostly) plane water, plane hot tea, or soup broth. They don't regularly drink sodas and diet sodas. In fact, no one should ever, EVER drink that shit. And obviously, try not to drink any sugar at all. You're already gonna eat, why the he'll drink it? Makes sense?

    • You have written many good points. Here are my thoughts to most of your points:

      1. Frozen veg is okay. If it's Flash Frozen, it could even be fresher than fresh vegetables. But of course, only certain vegetables can be flash frozen. There's no point flash freezing bitter melon or pea shoots.

      2. We DON'T eat a lot of raw veg though. That's more Southeast Asia. East Asians generally cook veggies at high heat for a very brief moment - this makes them more easily digestible, while avoiding the problem of them turning to mush. Stir frying at high heat. Or blanching works as well. Especially in China - there's a very good reason why eating raw veg is not a thing - because in previous generations, night soil was used.

      3. I agree that American Chinese food is very different from authentic Chinese food. There are 8 types of Chinese regional cooking styles. American Chinese food has been adapted to satisfy American tastebuds.

      4. I will have to disagree with you about deep-frying. There are 8 Chinese schools of cooking. Some feature deep-frying more than others. Similarly, in Korea and Japan, deep-fried foods is just ONE aspect of both countries' cuisine. One can easily spend a lifetime in Korea without eating Korean fried chicken. One can also spend a lifetime in Japan without eating tempura.


    • 5. I also disagree with the excessive sugar. If you've been eating in China, South Korea, or Japan, you will know that what is considered "sweet" in East Asia is not sweet to Americans. Have you ever wondered why Asian food isn't famous for its desserts? Because we eat "dessert" differently. Traditional "Asian desserts" aren't popular in the West - European desserts are. For a very good reason.

      For example, have you eaten Japanese "cheese cake"? many Americans wouldn't even call it cheese cake, because it's not sweet. (and the texture is completely different)

      6. I will agree somewhat with the sodium levels. Restaurant food in all East Asian countries tend to put more salt in the food than one would usually put in home cooking. This is why sometimes, we get fed up with eating out, and just want a simple, clean meal at home.

      Thank you for sharing your insight!

    • Show All
  • streem26

    It is a no-brainer. Asian food has less'rubbish' added to it and based on fresh, clean produce. But the key is' portion' control. The Asians eat small amounts of a variety of foods. I noted this even when eating say italian or french food in Asia the portions are just right. No they are not hang up on carbs etc. Rice is good food as a small portion The reason the west has weight issues is portion size and to much processed rubbish.

    • The traditional East Asian diet also tends to not have dairy in it, like butter, milk, or cheese.
      I think this might be another factor, although, most Asians are lactose intolerant to begin with, so eating too much butter, milk, or cheese can be slightly uncomfortable for the stomach.

  • NatashaJ

    Here I sum it up Asians cook from scratch and barely eat out. My Chinese best friend use to be skinny and always cook from scratch (rice, noodles, etc). She start college and start eating out and she gain weight. While people over here in North America eat out more and don't cook from scratch (majority do this) so yeah there the big different.

    • I think what you eat when you eat out also plays a vital role. In East Asia, there are many places and food establishments where you can get really cheap and affordable food that is also healthy - and usually they're open until late at night. Sure, there's McDonalds and Starbucks and KFC and Pizza Hut and all the other "fast foods", but there are also places where you can get more traditional fare, like at night-market stalls, or those mom-and-pop stalls that sell only a few dishes, like a really good noodle dish, or raw fish, etc.

      The difference with the US, I think, is that in the US, there are a lot of places where one can eat out, but proportionally fewer healthy options. Eating "healthy" is often synonymous with paying more for food.

      But, that's just my opinion, of course!

    • NatashaJ

      That's what I mean there way more MacDonald then a healthy Asian restaurant! My friend got fat off American junk food so yes it does play a big role.

    • No doubt. She must have gained the 'ol freshman 15.

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  • midnightmoon05

    You gave away our thousand years secret!!! lol...
    Good take...
    Been on similiar diet my whole life.
    Just went to doct. for checkup... all good :)

    high on fruits and veggies
    some protein
    good healthy snacks...
    cheat sometimes...
    all good

    • Yes. I can't live without vegetables or fruits. For me, a meal without vegetables is not considered a meal. It feels strange to just have meat and carbs - I feel uncomfortable.

    • SSam23

      lol @ the thousand years secret!!

  • It's also a myth that rice is THAT high in calories. Yes it's a carb, but in comparison to bread for example, it's so much lower in calories. Rice and pasta actually contain a similar amount of calories, but it's true that pasta is processed while rice is natural and unrefined. This means that out of all staple carbs (excluding your fancier types like quinoa, bulgur), rice is definitely least likely to make you fat

    • I actually love quinoa and bulgur - but, at the prices they go for, you can't really eat it in the same amounts you eat rice!

    • Haha exactly! But rice is a close second if you're seeking that kinda grainy goodness

  • GuidoThePizzaMaker

    I eat rice or pasta every day
    I never got fat. Like you said portion control is everything 😊

    If you can control your appetite you will never get fat

    Great mytake the best diet/food one I have read

  • btbc92

    Exactly. Our diet is atrocious. In fact is not really much of a secret. I've been having similar diets for quite a while and that's why I've been Slim all these years. And having a healthy mindset while exercising is also beneficial.

  • dragoblack

    The reason many people get fat, is because they don't know what eating in portions looks like and tend to gorge themselves in bulk eating because that is how usa is. We are taught nutrition, but we are not told or shown how to eat in healthy portions, just that "big meal=full"

    • Perhaps there might also be an expectation, in the US, that portions are big, so that you can take away what you can't finish in a doggy bag. And maybe reheat it for tomorrow's breakfast or lunch. I think many Americans enjoy getting value for money, so maybe that's why they kind of expect big portions. Just my two cents, of course!

    • dragoblack

      Lol, no. It's all big portions. The school education on health and wellness is almost garbage. They show us a "food pyramid" and say "this pyramid graph shows the amount of each type of food you should be eating per day." There are no actual food portions shown to us, no teaching us how to make a well portioned and balanced meal... just a vague graph that doesn't help worth shit and the damn thing isn't even accurate when it should be showing proper portion meals with the vitamins and minerals needed for basic body and immune health

  • Amanda269

    I hadn't thought about it, but I can now see that there are a lot of different ideas of food. I will try to go for fruit as dessert and smaller meals with larger variety from now on.

    • Actually, you can eat fruit any time. I enjoy eating fruits and usually do between meals. A life without fruits would be a dull life indeed!

  • What do you think of the westerners who have half and half (half rice half fries) with their curries plus a couple of nan breads.

    • I understand the rice and naan bread, as they soak up curry easily.
      I'm not sure about the fries, though. I don't see fries being able to soak up curry.
      I suppose one could use the curry as a type of spicy dip for the fries.
      I have seen fries sprinkled with curry powder as well.

  • emmily2396

    Because anyone who isn't totally ignorant on food knows that gaining weight is all a matter of how much energy you get in from food vs how much you burn during your activities.

    I can eat only chocolate every day and stay skinny. Is it healthy? No. But the point is I can eat it without getting fatter, at least for a while, because I would start to lose muscle mass due to not getting enough protein. I would also develop plenty of other health problems.

  • I’m going on your diet immediately 😂. Also I love your photo captions. Very nice article 👍

  • Likes2drive

    That was a good mytake on an Asian diet, it looks good too, I try to eat healthy but some things are hard to resist

    • It's good to indulge every now and again.

    • have you tried mediterranean/middle eastern food?
      Sherwama, Falafal etc.
      Also try Chicken/Beef/Lamb Tikka (not Tikka masala, just Tikka).
      I lost several pounds after switching to a mostly sherwama (plate or pita sandwich) diet.
      My theory is most flavor of traditional American dishes comes from butter, cheese, oil, sugar or fried texture. On the other hand, most flavor of those dishes and the rice ones from Asia comes from very heavy use of spices. There is even a reason for the difference, European foods came from winter climate where fats were important, ours came from tropical climate where we need less fat but using less fat meant our food would be bland so we used spices in ways the west did not.

    • @shephardjhon Yeah that makes sense, I do eat more chicken than other meat and fish when I can

  • Pinay_ako

    I have to have rice regardless what country I am in. All these food is making me so hungry. I eat rice at least twice a day outside the Philippines. But I eat 3 times a day when in the Philippines. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I am not skinny nor obese but I just cannot live without rice. My rice cooker is cooking everyday. Filipino cuisine involves a lot of fat but the good fat. It tastes so good. My parents are very slim and young looking at their mid 70s. On top of that they eat a lot of exotic greens that I cannot find in Canada unless you look harder.

    • Rice cookers are the perfect kitchen appliance for those who eat rice every day :)

  • MrNameless

    There's certainly fat east Asians out there.

    It all comes to how active you are and how many calories you burned vs consumed. If you control your portions and burn more than you consume or at least equal it, you will lose or maintain weight.

  • JimRSmith

    That's a very informative read, and gives me a few ideas, too! Thanks!

    • You're welcome. I discovered something new: you can only have 20 images in a MyTake!
      Phwoar. You learn something new every day!

  • TripleAce

    Well Asians do get fat
    It really has to do with eating more calories than you burn

    White rice is not particularly good but if you pair it with veggies and meat its not so bad anymore as you bring back the fiber from veggies

  • Erykahbear20

    Most Asians I have met told me about they drink teas and that teas are natural fat burners I'm black and I used to wonder why Asians dont have too much of obese problem as much as other races
    Also does anybody find Asians to be very cute😍

  • Phoenix98

    It's mostly genetics that is the reason why. But also the fact that rice has pretty much 0 fat and sugar as well as being low in calories. Then there are the different types of rice which have various levels of nutrients some being incredibly healthy and others moderately so but all rice is low in fat and sugar, two things which make body fat quite fast.

    There is also rices higher carbohydrate content which means you'll feel more full even if you eat less then you would another food type.

    It's for those same reasons above that rice is favored by bodybuilders and people who work out and have to be strict with their food and rice is cheap, filling and can be mixed with a variety of different foods from meat, vegetables, fish and even fruit. That along with the high clean carbohydrates and the, meat, fish, vegetables, etc mixed in give you a fulfilling meal without adding on a ton of pounds.

    • You are right. Rice is relatively cheap, although the premium varieties can cost a fair bit.
      But pound for pound, rice, for me at least, is really value for money.
      That and nobody is allergic to rice!

  • Beanie10

    I’m South Asian and eat white rice 2 times a day almost daily. I’m slim 54 Kg at 172 cms. Genetics plays a role as well.

    • What are some popular rice varieties in South Asian cuisine?
      I know Basmati is popular.

    • Beanie10

      Yes. Basmati is popular but there’s also local Indian grown rice. Annapurna, bhut moori etc Most East Asians eat sticky rice, is that right?

    • I believe that Indians tend to eat the long-grain subspecies of rice called Indica rice (which gives rise to all the varieties you mentioned) while East Asian tends to focus more on short-grain rice belonging to the subspecies of rice called Japonica rice. Similar to India, there are a lot of what we call "native rice" varieties, and one of the most popular would be koshihikari rice.

      I like to try different varieties of rice - it's very fascinating as each rice has its own special taste!

  • rjroy3

    Yea, I always found it funny why people questioned it. It's like, most Asian cultures/families are eating healthy wholefoods that are filling and the rice is just a base for the whole meal. My go to breakfast right now it rice, cooked in butter, 2 eggs, 4-8oz of meat protein and cooked veggies sprinkled on top. My breakfast was only 584 calories and I wasn't hungry for 5-6 hours after that. Doesn't surprise me at all that eating that way would lead to you being very thin. If the bulk of my meals were like that I would likely struggle to put on weight, unless I added a little extra to every meal and ate 4 meals a day.

    • I'm pretty physically active so I eat 6 meals a day, the 3 main ones plus mini-meals in between.
      I think gaining weight - the healthy way, of course - is possible. One just has to make sure one consumes a caloric surplus and sticks to eating lean, healthy food!

    • rjroy3

      lol I'm built to put on size easily, so I'm jealous xD. Would have to be running a lot to do the same and still lean down quickly. You run or do HIIT I take it

    • Run, HIIT, martial arts, and soccer. If I don't get enough calories in, I feel whoozy and... well, like crap.

      But yes, you are right: I'm probably the opposite of you. I've always had trouble keeping my weight up. And with a 100% strict Asian diet, it's hard to gain weight, especially if you're very active. So you quickly learn to maximize your caloric intake. Am not at the Michael Phelps 6000-calorie per day level, but definitely a minimum of at least 2600 (on most days, 2800-3000). A bowl of rice, a lot of veggies, and fish - your observations are correct: this alone is not sufficient to gain weight healthily. So one must get really creative, and add things like sweet potato, bananas, pork, buns, and the occasional chankonabe (a type of Japanese stew which sumo wrestlers eat in copious quantities to gain weight).

      Your observations have been astute!

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  • Passinggas

    I must be Asian and not know it. I agree with your "don't" eats because I won't touch that stuff and I don't eat rice either (minimal). I am at 7% bodyfat and that is because I trained a diet similar to what you listed but I eat only basic from scratch foods. I tend to eat like the “Blue Zones”:

    www.nationalgeographic.com/.../

    Okinawa, Japan makes the list and tracks with what you mention.

    • I do eat fermented soybeans and goya (bitter melon) too, but I didn't put the photos up there, as I feel those food items wouldn't be as... palatable... for most people on GaG.

  • OrangeBoy2

    What about wholegrain brown rice?
    Do you like / use it sometimes?

    • I eat all sorts of rice, including brown rice. However, some things are better with white rice.
      Have you ever seen sushi with brown rice or wild rice or other varieties of rice?
      There's a reason why folks use white rice to make sushi.

    • OrangeBoy2

      Sushi is a good example. I get your point.
      Do you know the rice name/type used to make it?

    • We only use short-grain white rice to make sushi.
      (Or at least, I have never seen sushi made with any other sort of rice...)
      The rice type is known as japonica rice.
      There are many cultivars of japonica rice: koshihikari and calrose rice come to mind.

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  • ClearCyan

    Cause rice makes you full fast with relatively low calories

    • Actually, that is a pretty astute observation. One of the purposes of eating rice is that it gives you a feeling of fullness. Without the rice, it would take longer for you to reach a point where you feel full and satiated.

  • HereIbe

    Absolutely. Look at the folks of pure Asian ancestry in the USA--if their family has been here for several generations, they're as fat as any Euro-American gets. It's the overall dietary choices, indeed.

  • Silver158

    because carbs don't make you fat. Sustained caloric surplus makes you fat

    • Yes. Proportions matter. A guy who eats half a bucket of rice is going to gain weight - unless he has the metabolism of The Flash.

  • tenukitanuki

    Haha, such a geek out of Orientalism. Making me want some spicy rice cakes bro, so chewy. Firstly, it is almost forbidden for an Asian to become fat in public. You will get poked. By strangers. Old women. You are a target unless you're white, then it's your birthright to be a huge stinking savage.

    So much to unpack here but if I do then I'll just end up really hungry and in the kitchen, or worse, shopping. Of Asian culture, generally, they're less cynically motivated and don't need to trick themselves into bettering their own condition. White man is a self destructive ball of fire and smoke that comes screaming down from the mountains in search of a direction to explode. At least the white men that paved the road to modern day, cutting paths of blood all the way. We killed each other so fucking much we just had to take the show on tour.

  • Drooogie4

    Excess calories make you fat, not any given food specifically.

  • RobLovesDemi1234

    Because they dont eat the garbage americans eat and dont drink the crap soda or juices americans drink

  • shephardjhon

    I lost several pounds after switching to a mostly sherwama (plate or pita sandwich) diet.
    My theory is most flavor of traditional American dishes comes from butter, cheese, oil, sugar or fried texture. On the other hand, most flavor of those dishes and the rice ones from Asia comes from very heavy use of spices. There is even a reason for the difference, European foods came from winter climate where fats were important, ours came from tropical climate where we need less fat but using less fat meant our food would be bland so we used spices in ways the west did not.

  • iFarted

    I eat anything and everything, yet still not fat 😅 genetics, construction and long daily walks with doggys help.

  • Massageman

    Great take. Proteins are more of a "flavoring" than the "star ingredient" of many Asian dishes.

  • Prof_Don

    The rice vinegar y’all use when you cook the rice... also probably has an effect as well.

  • ericclayton

    It's more about the portion sizes than the type of food.

  • Loveherbut

    Thank you so much for saying East Asian, Americans need to learn their geography

  • hellacray

    Well in Asia they do move a lot more. Cause most people take public transportation. And I think very few people order delivery.

    And then I think the big game changer is fast food restaurants. My friend went to pretty much all parts of Asia and tried their fast food like McDonald's and KFC.

    They have healthier options there and people don't eat a bunch of junk. Makes me wonder why the USA has such crappy options. But then again it makes sense since the healthier stuff probably won't sell that well here.

    Well I mean in general it's kinda true that you are what you eat. I think a lot of Americans can be healthier, but just choose not too cause we're lazy like that.

  • Dolemite510

    They eat healthy for the most part and r very physically active that’s why they’re usually skinny

  • You MFer warn us before posting all of that food porn my mouth is wet for it

  • They are always starving to death and that's the only meal they eat per day

    • Unlikely. China is the 2nd biggest economy in the world, Japan is 3rd, and South Korea is not far behind. People aren't starving to death :)

    • They work for 8 cents an hour making iphones

    • That's like saying Americans work at Walmart.

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  • Yessir12

    Rice has no very little nutrition and I find it useless. Especially white rice.

    • Yessir12

      @June871 White rice has high glycemic index and not very healthy. I’m tlaking about white rice because that’s what the asker wrote about. Rice is useless

    • Yessir12

      @June871 I don’t believe that website

    • even if that was true @Yessir12 it's a good filler without having so many calories such as having high fat meals such as shown above a burger and fries.

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  • Daniel3035

    What? Rice is the lowest calorie and leanest food you can have why would anyone think that.

    • naijagurl

      It has a high glycemic index.

    • Daniel3035

      @naijagurl The glycemic index is a load of bull though eating something with "purer" glucose is not going to mean fatter if you eat a gram of glucose it could be highly glycemic a gram of glucose is a gram of glucose.

  • Sometimes i eat 2 plates of rice per meal haha

  • very interesting!!

  • ghostqueen

    Thanks for the insight

  • Anshul07

    They work hard too

  • i_am_tbjxii

    Rice alone doesn’t make you fat.

    • Correct

    • Lol honestly it’s really what people eat with it. Too much red meat and processed foods is what cause weight gain.

    • Eating more than what your body needs, not being active. (I am stating for a normal, healthy person)

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  • This was a good my take 👍

  • Thank youuu

  • They walk a lot
    And do Tai Chi

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