Is Brown Rice much healthier than White Rice?

brown rice vs white rice
June 24, 2019 0 Comments

Most rice lovers don’t get satiated even after eating a piece of bread or roti unless they have eaten at least a morsel of rice.  You’ve been told to eat whole grains and you’ve even made the big switch to brown rice when giving yourself to Chinese and Sushi. But, you’re not really loving it and you’re wondering what the real deal is with it. It’s brown rice vs white rice all the way. Let’s put it to bed for good this time.

The Low Down on White Rice

White rice is generally uber treated. When you hear that you should be avoiding all “processed and refined grains”, well, white rice is at the top of that list.

A grain is considered a whole grain when it includes 3 parts:

  • The bran,
  • Germ, and
  • Endosperm.

The bran is the outer skin of the edible kernel. It contains antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber. The germ also contains B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats. The endosperm contains mostly carbohydrate, protein, and some vitamins and minerals.

White rice has both the bran and germ removed, leaving only the endosperm, which is the nutritionally nearly negated fragment of the grain. When you’re downing that bowl of rice with your General Tso’s chicken, you’re not consuming any fiber and you’re getting fewer B vitamins, folate, potassium, and protein than brown rice.

Science has proven a possible linking between a diet high in white rice and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

Most white rice produced in the US is enriched to add thiamin (vitamin B1), iron, and folate back into it, leaving it nutritionally greater in these vitamins compared to brown rice. Read more on Brown rice vs White rice and see the difference if/any for yourself.

 Is Brown Rice really the Better Option?

Though white rice is enriched, it’s still lacking in the supplementary benefits that brown rice has plus selenium, protein, choline, fiber, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. The higher amounts of fiber in brown rice will also work to keep you fuller longer, possibly making you eat fewer calories over time. It also improves the good gut bacteria of your microbiome.

Studies have shown that regular consumption of whole grains is associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes as brown rice is lower on the glycemic index.

This study, in particular, shows that a group of overweight people who ate more brown rice than white were efficacious in dropping their glucose levels as well as their confrontation to insulin.

brown rice

Brown Rice Nutritional Facts

One cup of brown rice contains :

Carbs44 grams
Fiber3.5 grams
Fat1.8 grams
Protein5 grams
Thiamin12% of the RDI
Niacin15% of the RDI
Pyridoxine14% of the RDI
Pantothenic6% of the RDI
Iron5% of the RDI
Magnesium21% of the RDI
Phosphorous16% of the RDI
Zinc8%of the RDI
Copper10% of the RDI
Manganese88% of the RDI
Selenium27% of the RDI

This whole grain is also a good source of folate, riboflavin (B2), potassium and calcium.

Additionally, this is exceptionally high in manganese. This little-known mineral is vital for many important processes in the body, such as bone development, wound healing, muscle contraction metabolism, nerve function, and blood sugar regulation. A deficiency in manganese has been linked to a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, bone demineralization, impaired growth, and low fertility.

Just one cup of rice fulfills nearly all your daily requirement for this important nutrient. Aside from being an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, it provides powerful plant compounds, as well. For example, brown rice contains phenols and flavonoids, a class of antioxidants that help protect the body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with a number of health conditions, including heart disease, certain types of cancer and premature aging. The antioxidants found in this help to prevent cell injury caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. It also reduces inflammation in the body.

Studies suggest that the antioxidants found in rice may be the reason for the low prevalence of certain chronic diseases in areas of the world. You get a whopping 88% of your daily requirements of manganese from brown rice, a mineral involved in collagen production (making it super important for skin health.

Brown Rice for Weight Loss – Is it good?

Replacing white rice with that of the brown rice may definitely aid you to lose weight. White rice, white pasta and white bread (refined grain) deficiencies in fiber and essential nutrients. For example, one cup of brown rice contains 3.5 grams of fiber, while white rice contains less than 1 gram. Fiber helps keep you fuller over a longer period of time, so always choose fiber-rich foods.

brown rice for weight loss

In fact, studies show that people who eat more whole grains like brown rice weigh less than those who consume fewer whole grains.

A study of over 74,000 women found that those who ate more whole grains weighed consistently less than those who index increase blood sugar, insulin.

Reducing ghrelin levels may help people with diabetes control their hunger, which can reduce overeating and help keep blood sugar in check. Plus, replacing white rice may reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

In a study including over 197,000 people, swapping just 50 grams of white rice for brown rice per week was associated with a 16% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Choosing brown rice over refined grains can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. Reduce the chances of developing diabetes at all.

Brown Rice vs White Rice: The Verdict


Still weighing your rice options? Generally, it’s always best to go whole. Whole real food wins again. Yes, you may get a little less B vitamins and iron but you’ll win in all other ways.

Want to take it up a notch? Go for germinated brown rice. Nutrients are more bioavailable when consuming sprouted brown rice. Put in a request at your local sushi joint.

Brown rice is a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain that contains an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds. It is a versatile carb that can be eaten at any time of day.

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