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Grains and cereals provide carbohydrates and are the main sources for energy. According to Healthy Eating Pyramid, grains (or plant-based foods) should make up the largest portion of our diet each day. Apart from white rice, other whole grains like brown rice, high fibre cereals, bread, noodles, pasta, etc. should be kept in kitchen to provide carbohydrates and fibre to our diets.

There are many different types of rice sold in the market, most commonly are white rice, red rice, brown rice (unpolished rice), pearl rice, sticky rice (glutinous rice), Japanese rice. The taste and texture of each type of rice is different.  People choose the rice according to their preferences.
 
Brown rice: The husk of brown rice is removed but bran coating and germ (or embryo) are retained.  It has a different taste and texture, generally more nutty and chewy than white rice.  It is considered to be a healthier option as vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber of the grains are remained in bran and germ.  It takes longer to cook in comparison to white rice.
 
Red rice: The husk of red rice is removed but bran and germ are partially retained in it.  It is a variety of brown rice that is coloured a deep, reddish brown by its anthocyanin content.  Compared to polished rice as white rice, it has the higher nutritional value of rice eaten.  With reference to the package instruction, wash and soak the red rice before cooking.  Because of the bran and germ layer, same as brown rice, it takes more time to cook.   It is suggested to cook with white rice.
 
White rice : The white rice has been polished in order to get rid of its bran and germ.  The only component which is left is the starchy kernel and. The nutritional value gets reduced. Brown rice and red rice are considered healthier than white rice as cellulose, Vitamin B, Calcium, Phosphorus, zinc as well as fiber are contained in the bran layer, which is removed when brown rice is polished to reveal the white grain.
 
Pearl rice:  Pearl Rice is a short grained rice which it sticks together when it is cooked. It is a lot finer than other type of rice. It can be used as a base or sushi or in rice pudding.
 
Glutinous rice (Sticky rice): Glutinous rice tend to be sticky while cooking.  The texture of glutinous rice is stickier, tenderer and chewier than other type of rice when it is cold.  It is need to chewed hard before swallowing and it may cause digestive disturbances. The elderly, child and patient are suggested to having it cautiously. The rice can cause short-term rise in blood sugar and therefore it is not suitable for diabetics.
 
Japanese rice: Outside Japan it is sometimes labeled sushi rice.  Japanese rice is short grain and become very sticky when it is cooked. The majority of Japanese rice is polished to remove the bran.  To enjoy delicious Japanese rice, soak the rice for about 30-40 minutes before cooking.
 
Tips for buying and storage: 
  • Choose vacuum-packaged rice and cautious best-before date.
  • Characteristics of a good quality rice: free of empty or half filled grains, uniformly size and shape, free of spots and cracks, free of impurity in a material.  Generally speaking damaged and discolored kernels indicating poor quality rice.  
  • Excessive chalkiness appears upon the leftover rice.
  • Do not store too much at home, for it’s not rare to find bugs in rice.
  • Put all rice in impenetrable containers once open the packet.  Store at cool place, avoid humid and high temperature.