Friday, October 21 2016


Keep fit and don’t quit rice: readers respond

Update: June, 24/2016 - 09:00

Last week, Việt Nam News asked its readers about whether those who are rice lovers would quit eating rice for the sake of their health.

Here are some of the comments:

Anh Thư, Hà Nội

In my opinion, in order to be healthy, one needs to consume fewer calories than he burns by his daily activities or exercises. One needs to have a proper balanced diet and adequate exercise. Removing some food from your diet is not advisable at all. Everything should be taken in moderation.

As far as I know, rice is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like niacin, vitamin D, calcium, fiber, iron, thiamine and riboflavin. These vitamins provide the foundation for body metabolism, immune system health, and general functioning of the organ systems, since vitamins are commonly consumed in the most essential activities in the body.

In order to be healthy, you do not NEED to stop eating rice, but limiting your intake of simple carbohydrates could be more balanced. I have to say, if you want to stay fit, the best way is do more exercise instead of dieting.

Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi

There’s nothing wrong with eating rice or potatoes or pasta on a regular basis. If Việt Nam stops eating rice because they are obsessed with Korean music (K-Pop) and Korean style-I say watch out! Their music videos have boys looking cuter than girls.

It’s much better to cut out red meat, drink tea rather than coffee and avoid anything fast food or franchise. The only Western diet you should follow is the Mediterranean diet. Eat fruit, vegetable, nuts, herbs and spice, with limited red meat and limited salt. That means no Pizza Hut, no Burger King.

A simple blood test can determine a custom diet suitable for your ethnicity. Combined with an interview with a nutritionist - how old are you, what are your daily activities, you can live a simple, healthy and productive life. Childhood nutritional needs are different than teenage years and adults have a different metabolism.

This is not rocket science, this is basic biology. Eating beef steak requires massive amounts of land, water and perfectly good-to-eat-now grains. Why not skip all those steps and grow a backyard or balcony garden?

Yes, I can and usually do eat rice each day.

Dave Lister, a reader

Yes, it’s true that South Koreans are eating a little less rice for sure. I’d put that more down to economic factors than health ones though. Since the 90’s Korea has been on the up and up. It is a lot richer than it was. Hugely richer. And the people want to try new things, consumerism is strong in South Korea and they have the means now. Of course they try more pizza, steak and Italian foods, etc. on some nights instead of a traditional Korean dish.

But they still eat a LOT of rice, like every day a person will eat at least some rice.

Wouter Sligter, a reader

A recent UN report found that the Vietnamese diet is remarkably healthy, except that people here eat too much rice, which isn’t good. I wouldn’t recommend changing rice to hamburgers, but a sandwich for lunch or potatoes for dinner wouldn’t hurt.

Khánh Hương, Vietnamese, HCM City

Many women around me are eating less rice than they used to because they said that rice could make them fat. It might be a strange story to many people, particularly young people today, when rice is considered a “dream” delicious dish to many people. My parents and grandparents usually tell us about the time of five or six decades ago when they were suffering from poverty and hunger. So, since I was a child, I have been told to treasure the rice and eat all of the rice in my bowl. I like Vietnamese traditional meals that include rice, vegetables, fish and fish sauce. Our meals today include many dishes including those from other countries. However, I think that many Vietnamese still prefer the traditional meals which they feel are tasty and familiar.

I heard somewhere that the way we cook rice could affect the nutrients the rice provides us. So, we should pay more attention to cooking so that the rice we eat can be good for our health.

There is a fact that Vietnamese children nowadays easily access foreign food, particularly fast food. They like sandwiches, Coke, KFC fried chicken more than rice. And all of us know that fast food is not good for our health but people still like it and keep eating it.

I remember a lesson I was taught at school: Eat different kinds of food and eat moderately! Too much of anything is not good. But it’s sad if Vietnamese people quit eating rice.—VNS



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