American Heart Month

Boost Your Heart Health with U.S.-Grown Rice
 “Hearty” recipes and tips from USA Rice Federation for American Heart Month

February 4, 2013 ARLINGTON, VA —  Put a little love in your heart this month with U.S.-grown rice.  February American Heart Month is an ideal time to join with millions of Americans in committing to a heart-healthy lifestyle of good nutrition and exercise.  A serving of rice on your plate delivers heart-y benefits and the energy your body needs for physical activity.

Nutrient-rich rice is a complex carbohydrate that is low in calories, has just a trace of fat, and contains no cholesterol, sodium, saturated or trans fats. Rice partners well with other heart healthy foods, such as beans, seafood, vegetables and fruits.  Rice fits with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans/MyPlate grains recommendations for 6 one-ounce servings of grains daily, with half the servings coming from whole grains, such as brown rice, and the other half from whole or enriched grains like enriched, fortified white rice.

Studies show that rice is the foundation for healthy eating.  Brown, wild, black and red rice are 100 percent whole grain foods offering many nutrients, protein and fiber.  White rice is enriched in B vitamins and fortified with folic acid, which has been shown in studies to help maintain a healthy heart.  According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) diets rich in whole grain foods, such as brown rice and other plant foods, and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.  The American Heart Association reports evidence that low blood levels of folic acid are linked with a higher risk of fatal coronary heart disease and stroke.  One cup of cooked enriched white rice delivers 23 percent of the recommended daily value for folic acid.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet focuses on food rather than medicine to help lower blood pressure.  According to “Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH” developed by the National Institutes of Health, eating at least 6-8 servings daily of whole grains, such as brown, wild, black and red rice, may help control blood pressure.

Research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and Nutrition Today show that eating enriched white and whole grain brown rice helps improve overall diet and potentially reduces the risk for many chronic diseases. Compared with non-rice eaters, rice eaters are less likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome; they are more likely to have an overall better diet quality.  Individuals who eat rice also eat more vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood and fiber, while consuming less added sugar and less total fat and saturated fat than non-rice eaters, all important factors for cardioprotection.

American Heart MonthDuring February, try these nutritious rice recipes that are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3s, folic acid and whole grains.  At only 10 cents per serving, rice is the smart, affordable and delicious choice for heart-healthy eating.

Confetti Rice Pilaf, Teriyaki Salmon with Gingered Vegetable RiceOrange Chicken Vegetable Rice Bowl; or, Health Nut Brown Rice.   For more recipes and tips on rice preparation and storage, visit www.usarice.com.
Confetti Rice PilafTeriyaki Salmon with Gingered Vegetable RiceOrange Chicken Vegetable Rice BowlHealth Nut Brown Rice

USA Rice FederationThe USA Rice Federation is the global advocate for the U.S. rice industry, conducting programs to inform consumers about domestically-grown rice. U.S. farmers produce an abundance of short, medium and long grain rice, as well as organic and specialty rice including jasmine, basmati, Arborio, red aromatic and black japonica, among others. Farmers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas grow some 20 billion pounds of rice each year according to the highest quality standards.  Look for the U.S. rice industry's "Grown in the U.S." logo on packages of 100% domestically-grown rice. Look for the “Grown in the USA” logo on packages of 100-percent U.S.-grown rice.  Be sure to visit usarice.com; Facebook or follow on Twitter.