The Rice Battle
Posted On March 1, 2021
Brown vs. White
So which is better, you decide?
Rice is a powerhouse of a food and found in many homes around the world. White rice, a staple food consumed in all of Asia, Middle East and the African continent for centuries, is now considered a taboo.
We know that whole grains are the best to consume, but is white rice really that bad. Lets discuss the differences between white and brown rice.
Brown rice contains all the parts, bran, germ and the endosperm. based on nutrients alone brown rice is healthier. But is it?
Brown rice contains Phytic acid and higher levels of arsenic. The bran prevents the absorption of the nutrients. As bran is the protective layer it can sit in your gut longer and weaken the digestion of the rice, causing it to sit longer in your intestines’, which can grow harmful bacteria.
White rice has minimal Phytic acid and arsenic. White rice is also washed with further helps reduce the levels of arsenic. There are still good benefits in this rice, so lets compare them further.
1 cup of brown rice will provide 248 calories vs. 205 calories in brown rice. this is mainly due to the bran in brown rice which also contains fat and additional protein.
1 cup of brown rice provides 52 grams vs. 45 grams for white rice.
1 cup of Brown rice contains 3.2 grams due to the bran vs. 0.6 grams from white rice.
Rice is not a substantial source of protein but brown rice does contain 5.5 grams vs. 4.3 grams per 1 cup
1 cup brown rice has 2 grams vs. 0.4 grams in white rice. This mainly due to the bran in brown rice.
Due to the higher content of fiber in brown rice it is considered the better choice, however this is the necessarily they case. Glycemic index for brown rice is 50 vs. 72 for white rice, hardly a major difference. Actually grains (especially refined) that produce a greater impact on blood sugar.
There have been reports that eating white rice has a higher risk of type 2 diabetes (1). This meta analysis actually talks about the risk between rice consumption and diabetes not the actual incident of diabetes. This explained better here (2). As I mentioned earlier we Asians have been eating white rice way before the modern day processing of whole grains and the increase in consumption of same. Actually it is the refined grains that are higher in GI and causing diabetes.
The bottom line:
Brown rice contains more fiber, calories, protein, nutrients and fats due to its bran and germ content. But the absorption of these nutrients are hampered by the phytic acid content, and lack of absorption of the bran.
All opinions in this article and web site are my own and from my reading/research and my certification as a sports nutritionist. They are not peer reviewed journal or sponsored publication. Before you make any changes to your diet please consult your physician as I don’t accept any liability injury or any detriments to your health due to nutritional changes made based on this post.