Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Rice will kill you early

Received from an email.

Rice will kill you early
Rice is the Culprit....


The human body was never meant to consume rice! You see, our genes have hardly changed in more than 30,000 years. However, our food choices and lifestyle have changed dramatically. The caveman would hardly recognise our food or way of life. Caveman food was never cooked as fire was not yet tamed. Thus, he ate only those foods that you can eat without treatment with or by fire. He ate fruits, vegetables, fish (sushi anyone?), eggs, nuts and meat. Yes, even meat. You can even eat meat raw if you were starving in the forest. You have the necessary enzymes to digest meat. However, rice, like wheat and corn, cannot be eaten raw. It must be cooked. Even if you were starving in the desert, you cannot eat rice in the raw form. This is because we do not have the system of enzymes to break rice down. You were never meant to eat rice. To make matters worse, you not only eat rice, but also make it the bulk of your food.

In some parts of Asia, rice forms up to 85% of the plate. Even if you take rice, keep it to a minimum. Remember, it is only for your tongue - not your body. Actually, rice and other grains like wheat and corn are actually worse than sugar.There are many reasons:

Rice becomes sugar - lots of it! This is a fact that no nutritionist can deny. Rice is chemically no different from sugar. One bowl of cooked rice is the caloric equal of 10 teaspoons of sugar. This does not matter whether it is white, brown or herbal rice. Brown rice is richer in fibre, some B vitamins and minerals but it is still the caloric equal of 10 teaspoons of sugar. To get the same 10 teaspoons of sugar, you need to consume lots of kangkong-10 bowls of it.

Rice is digested to become sugar. Rice cannot be digested before it is thoroughly cooked. However, when thoroughly cooked, it becomes sugar and spikes circulating blood sugar within half an hour, almost as quickly as it would if you took a sugar candy. Rice is very low in the "rainbow of anti-oxidants."

Rice has no fibre. The fibre of the kangkong fills you up long before your blood sugar spikes. This is because the fibre bulks and fills up your stomach. Since white rice has no fibre, you end up eating lots of 'calorie dense' food before you get filled up.Brown rice has more fibre but still the same amount of sugar.

Rice is tasteless, sugar is sweet. There is only so much that you can eat at one sitting. How many teaspoons of sugar can you eat before you feel like throwing up? Could you imagine eating 10 teaspoons of sugar in one seating? Rice is always the main part of the meal. While sugar may fill your dessert or sweeten your coffee, it will never be the main part of any meal. You could eat maybe two to three teaspoons of sugar at one meal. However, you could easily eat the equal value of two to three bowls (20-30 teaspoons) of sugar in one meal. I am always amused when I see someone eat sometimes five bowls of rice (equals 50 teaspoons of sugar) and then asks for tea tarik kurang manis (less sugar)!

There is no real "built in" mechanism for us to prevent overeating of rice
How much kangkong can you eat? How much fried chicken can you eat? How much steamed fish can you eat? Think about that! In one seating, you cannot take lots of chicken, fish or cucumber, but you can take lots of rice. Eating rice causes you to eat more salt.
As rice is tasteless, you tend to consume more salt - another villain when it comes to high blood pressure. You tend to take more curry that has salt to help flavor rice. We also tend to consume more ketchup and soy sauce which are also rich in salt.
Eating rice causes you to drink less water. The more rice you eat, the less water you will drink as there is no mechanism to prevent the overeating of rice. Rice, wheat and corn come hidden in our daily food. As rice is tasteless, it tends to end up in other foods that substitute rice like rice flour, noodles and bread. We tend to eat the hidden forms which still get digested into sugar.. Rice, even when cooked, is difficult to digest
Can't eat raw rice? Try eating rice half cooked. Contrary to popular belief, rice is very difficult to digest. It is "heavy stuff". If you have problems with digestion, try skipping rice for a few days. You will be amazed at how the problem will just go away.
Rice prevents the absorption of several vitamins and minerals. Rice when taken in bulk will reduce the absorption of vital nutrients like zinc, iron and the B vitamins.
Are you a rice addict? Going rice-less may not be easy but you can go rice-less. Eating less rice could be lot easier than you think. Here are some strategies that you can pursue in your quest to eat less rice: Eat less rice - Cut your rice by half. Barry Sears, author of the Zone Diet, advises "eating rice like spice".
Instead, increase your fruits and vegetables. Take more lean meats and fish. You can even take more eggs and nuts.
Have "riceless" meals. Take no rice or wheat at say, breakfast. Go for eggs instead.
Go on "riceless" days - Go "western" once a week.
Take no rice and breads for one day every week. That can't be too difficult. Appreciate the richness of your food. Go for taste, colors and smells. Make eating a culinary delight. Enjoy your food in the original flavors.
Avoid the salt shaker or ketchup. You will automatically eat less rice.
Eat your fruit dessert before (Yes! No printing error) your meals. The fibre rich fruits will "bulk up" in your stomach.. Thus, you will eat less rice and more fruits.



Goodbye to Saudi Arabia and Hello to Canada

This letter was published in an Arab newspaper recently.

I find most of Arab countries have some restrictions for their (woman) nationals to get married to foreigners, outsiders, aliens etc for some reasons such as protection and national interests.

It is similar in Malaysia, but it is something sometimes beyond restrictions and regulations.

Love, getting married etc are also a human right. There are pros and cons for any situations and we have to go back to the basic, are all these restrictions conformed to ISLAMIC laws?

Goodbye Saudi Arabia

The decision to leave my country came after I knocked on many doors of the Saudi bureaucracy, hoping in vain to obtain the God-given right to live with my Arab-Canadian husband in the country of my birth.

Instead of a residency permit, I was called names and degraded. Why? Because I, a Saudi, had chosen to marry a non-Saudi.

Not only was I humiliated, I was also approached for bribes of up to SR40,000 (about $10,600) by people claiming to know how to manipulate the system. My husband was kicked out of Saudi Arabia twice because his temporary status had lapsed. At one point in this ridiculous process, an immigration official lost my husband's Canadian passport.

It was at the end of this long, fruitless and humiliating journey that I realized giving up and moving to Canada was the best decision to make.

Living constantly in distress because my country refuses to grant my beloved husband legal status is infuriating.

I tied the knot in June 2008, but only after a year of frustration in order to obtain the Interior Ministry's permission.

At one point in that process my father-my legal guardian-escorted me to the ministry to obtain legal recognition of my marriage. At the marriage license office, I interrogated the woman behind the desk.

"I see many women applying to get married to non-Saudis. Is the number increasing?" I asked. "Why is it so difficult to get the permit?"

"There are at least six or seven women applying every day," she answered. "The country wants to protect you and grants you your rights."

I refrained from scoffing at her reply.

"I have an 11-year-old son from my Saudi ex-husband," I said sharply. "I can't see my son whenever I want to."

She paused for a minute and her look softened.

"You're a reporter. You've got to write about the situation of women," she said, almost pleading.

She then told me her story: That she too was planning to marry a non-Saudi, but that she had been told she would have to resign in order to get the permit.

"I don't want to lose my job," she said. "At the same time, he's a really good man and I'm afraid of losing him."

This goes against everything I have learned about Islam. I am no scholar, but as I understand it, for a Muslim woman to marry, the requirements are: The consent of both parties, for the groom to be a Muslim, dowry to be paid by the groom to his bride, witnesses and a public announcement.

I don't see anywhere in these rules a nationality test for marriage. It is not written in Saudi law, either. But the reality on the ground is that the bureaucracy throws up roadblocks for Saudi women who want to marry an outsider.

I was taught in school that in Islam an Arab is not superior to a non-Arab or vice versa, just as a white person is not superior to a black person or vice versa. What matters are piety, moral standing and the content of one's character and soul. Islam teaches us that these are the only requirements for marriage.

Why is my husband denied residency? Is it because I am a woman?

This most certainly is the case.

If a Saudi man desires to marry a non-Saudi or two (or three or four) he is automatically issued a residency visa with the marriage certificate. Not only that, but after a few years and a couple of children, the non-Saudi wife is granted Saudi nationality. Their children are also Saudi by birth whether they are born in Saudi Arabia or on Mars.

The same does not apply to a Saudi woman.

In addition to the unwritten bureaucratic hurdles, a Saudi woman married to a non-Saudi does not have inheritance rights and her children are not considered citizens.

While I am writing this, my husband is filling out the application to sponsor me as a permanent resident in Canada. He downloaded the applications from the Internet, gathered the required documents and followed simple, printed instructions. The request could be accepted or it could be rejected, but the process is simple, straightforward and easy to comprehend. Nobody asks for bribes, and Canadian officials aren't offended by the fact that a Canadian wants to marry a non-Canadian.

So while I say goodbye to Saudi Arabia and hello to Canada, I would also like to express my hope that the situation will improve for Saudi women in their own country.