Rice Vs Bread

nasi5EATING rice and bread is pretty much of a norm for most of us here in Malaysia.

Whether we do realise it or not, rice is a part of our identity.

On the other hand, bread has also become a part of our lifestyle too.

From very young age we were taught to have rice as our daily staples but also bread in all its shapes and sizes came second. Though come to think of it now, the bread from my growing up years were more of buns of different flavours and shapes sold around the villages by an elderly Indian uncle who rode a motorcycle with big metal container at the back carrying all sort of breads and buns.

As people are getting better informed on dietary requirements especially for those who’re suffering from diabetes, we started seeing wholemeal breads popping up at supermarkets and sundry shops.

I didn’t really pay much attention to it though until I got married to John.

Being Asian I must eat rice at least once a day if I can help it. Otherwise rice will be my main meal for both lunch and dinner.

But John only ate rice once a day. He would alternate having rice either for lunch or dinner.

bread1It was interesting because our meal times would feature fusion of Asian and Western dishes. I would have rice with it’s all accompaniment such fish curry and stir fried cabbages while John would have his pan-fried salmon or corn beef or cold beef slices sandwiches.

Though John loved typical local dishes such as Asam Pedas Tenggiri or sambal belacan or Patin masak lemak cili api, but he would have this dishes minus the rice. It was just that eating rice twice a day was bit too much for his Scottish stomach.

Even for Adam who grows up in kampung, he only eats rice once a day. He would be happy having bread instead for the rest of meal times. Must be in his genes or something. Just my wild guess here.

Funny though because this post came about when Danny was surprised to learn that I eat bread too. Before you start to jump on him for his statement, born and grew up in New York/ New Jersey, he eats rice (brown varieties by the way) since he was small. He honestly thought that yours truly only eat rice day in day out. Must be my fault cos EVERYTIME I told him about my meals… it would be… yes you guess it right… rice! Lol!

labimg_870_nasiJeff called me a rice person because I can’t go on my day without eating rice! While he was enjoying his paratha or roti canai I would happily tuck into my mixed rice or white rice with beef rendang or just simple stir fried greens… 😀

But honestly, if you travelled to any countries in Asia, the odds are there is one particular thing that unites us all as one big Asian culture: Rice.

Here, especially in South-east Asia, rice forms part of a cheap meal. No doubt you’ll encounter it in various forms during your travels; fried rice, boiled rice, sticky rice, steamed rice, rice noodles, rice soup, rice cakes, rice porridge, you may even come across rice popcorn!

There’s a good possibility that you’ve drank it too…Lol! in the form of rice wine!

If you’ve ever been offered some suspicious cloudy liquid by locals chances are it’s ‘rice wine’ or ‘rice whiskey.’ Just travelled from Vietnam, Cambodia, to Thailand and further down to Indonesia, the odds are that most travellers would eat rice every day of their journey.

To us Asians, especially for the disadvantages, rice is not just a food. Rice equals life. For thousands of years this tiny grain has shaped the cultures, economies and environments of many countries and regions in this part of the world. Entire lifestyles are focused upon the growth and protection of this staple food.

sliced-breadNow lets take a look at bread.

In the last two decades or so, more and more Malaysians have incorporated bread in their daily meals especially breakfast and tea times.

In fact bread has been around in the country since 1950s though it was only produced commercially in a big way in 1970s with the first commercial bakery company in the country, Australian company Quality Bakery. I will write about bread history in Malaysia in my next post!

After scouring countless articles written on the subject – both rice and bread – here’s the breakdown between the two…

And I am sure that you might have seen this list many times over especially when you’re trying to shed some weight and live healthy. But for our benefits, here’s the (list) again…

Macronutrients
If you are trying to limit your calories or your carbohydrates, bread makes a better grain choice than rice. A 1/2-cup serving of brown rice contains 108 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, 0.8 gram of fat and 22.4 grams of carbohydrates, while a slice of whole-wheat bread has 69 calories, 3.6 grams of protein, 0.9 gram fat and 11.6 grams of carbohydrates. White rice and white bread have similar amounts of calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein as their whole-grain counterparts.

brownriceFiber
When it comes to fiber, opt for the whole-grain versions of rice and bread. A 1/2-cup serving of brown rice provides 1.8 grams of fiber, and a slice of whole-wheat bread contains 1.9 grams, while white rice only contains 0.3 gram of fiber and white bread only provides 0.4 gram. Fiber helps keep your digestive tract healthy, limits your risk for heart disease and assists in weight maintenance. Women should aim to consume 25 grams per day, and men need 38 grams of fiber per day.

Vitamins
Neither bread nor rice is particularly high in vitamins. However, a 1/2-cup serving of white rice provides 77 micrograms of folate, or 19 percent of the daily value, and a slice of white bread contains 43 micrograms, or 11 percent of the DV. This is due to the fortification of these products, as brown rice and whole-wheat bread don’t provide a significant amount of this nutrient, which is important for forming DNA and cell division.

Minerals
Brown rice provides the most minerals out of these four options, since it contains 42 milligrams of magnesium, or 11 percent of the DV, as well as small amounts of the other essential minerals. Magnesium strengthens bones, improves immune function and keeps your heart beating regularly. White rice and both types of bread provide small amounts of each of the essential minerals, but aren’t a particularly good source of any of them.

Well after all, the wise men said always do things in moderation. Yes, that should include your daily intake of rice and bread – either white or wholegrain bread. The same goes to white or brown rice… A

fresh-bread (2)