Brown Rice or White Rice – Which one is Healthy & Better?

Rice is a staple food for many people across the globe. They do not feel satisfied unless they have at least a morsel of rice even if they have other foods to satisfy their hunger. But with the increasing awareness for consuming healthy food, white rice is now being avoided by many. People now prefer to eat brown rice. White rice is said to make you unhealthy while brown rice is said to keep you healthy and fit. Now let us see the difference between white rice and brown rice.

Brown Rice or White Rice

Brown Rice and White Rice:

Arsenic content:

Brown rice contains high levels of arsenic in it. The only way you can save yourself from toxic arsenic is to limit the amount of brown rice that you consume. Long term consumption of arsenic can lead to cancer, type ll diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases.

White rice, especially the jasmine and basmati variety, contains low levels of arsenic.

Diabetes:

Brown rice:

Brown rice is better for diabetic patients compared to white rice as it is low in glycemic index. But if you compare it to white basmati rice, they are on the same level.

White rice:

White rice contains high amounts of carbohydrates and is known to have higher glycemic index. So, you can say that it is not suited to diabetic patients. However, if you love to eat white rice only, then you can consume white basmati rice, which has low GI.

Digestibility factor:

Brown rice, being rich in nutrients and loaded with fibre, is not easily digestible. The main reason for this is the presence of the middle layer bran, which is rich in fibre and phytic acid.

White rice can be digested easily as it contains limited amounts of fibre. The nutrients are also present in limited amounts in this rice. All these make it easy to digest.

Nutrition density:

One bowl of brown rice contains double the amount of phosphorous and manganese. It is also rich in iron, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B1 and B6 compared to white rice. Selenium, magnesium and potassium are also present in good amounts in brown rice. However, brown rice contains more calories than white rice, about 216 calories per bowl. Moreover, the phytic acid in brown rice can inhibit the absorption of minerals like iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium.

White rice contains less amounts of iron, Vitamin B1, B6 and B3 compared to brown rice. Manganese is also half the amount found in brown rice.  The good thing about white rice is that it does not contain phytic acid.

Physical properties

Brown rice:

Brown rice is a whole grain, which means that only the outer hull is removed and the rest of the grain like the bran, germ and the endosperm remain intact in brown rice. This makes it high in vitamins, fibre and other nutrients. The outer layer of brown rice is rich in antioxidants, Vitamins and fibre, while the middle layer is rich in essential proteins and some B vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. The core of the grain is also rich in proteins, carbohydrates and some vitamins and minerals.

All these make brown rice good for your health. But it has its draw backs also. It is hard to digest because of its high fibre content. Most people do not like its taste. In addition there is the threat of phytic acid, which is commonly found in brown rice.

White rice:

In white rice, the bran and the germ are removed, and only the endosperm is intact. It is also heavily polished to get the white colour. So, most of the proteins, vitamins and minerals are removed in the process.

The advantage of consuming white rice is that when the bran layer is removed, the threat of phytic acid is also removed. White rice id also easy to digest as the fibre content in it is less.

Weight loss:

If you are on a diet to lose weight, then brown rice is the better option for you. The high amounts of fibre in it help in the proper movement of bowel thereby leading to loss of weight. The nutrients in it are very beneficial for your heart and keep you in good health. It is best for people who have hunger pangs beyond control. This is because brown rice keeps your stomach full for a longer time and reduces hunger pangs.

White rice is high in carbohydrates and low in fibre. So, they are not considered suitable for weight loss. But they are free from phytic acid, are easily digested and tasty too. Moreover, this rice contains fewer calories. So, you can say that white rice is also not a bad option for people who want to control weight.

Brown rice is also low in fat content and carbohydrates compared to white rice. But brown rice can cause allergies in some people. White rice is pleasant to taste and hardly cause any allergies.

Brown Rice Vs White Rice – The Final Verdict:

Looking at the comparison between brown rice and white rice, you can see that both types of rice have their benefits and drawbacks. What you have to take into consideration is the taste, your budget and your choice.

The nutrients that are absorbed from the food vary from one person to the other. There are some, who can eat whatever they like and still stay petite, while there are others who gain weight very easily even if they follow a strict diet. It all depends on your metabolism. So, what you have to keep in mind is:

  1. Eating rice is okay, but you have to keep a check on the quantity you eat.
  2. Whether you choose white rice or brown rice, it depends entirely upon you. Both have their own plus and minus points.
  3. If you are on a weight loss regime, remember that it is not the variety of rice that you choose, but the amount of rice that you consume that that matters.
  4. One thing you can do is to try and consume different varieties of rice instead of sticking to a single variety. This makes your meals more enjoyable.
  5. Remember that the calories, nutrients and GI don’t matter much, because you will be having only one cup of rice and that too with other dishes. Rice alone is not going to make you slim or fat.
  6. Diabetic patients can also have rice, but not on an empty stomach. So, if you love to have rice, have a small portion of it after you have already consumed some food. Try not to have it first in the morning.

Now that you have seen the pros and cons of brown rice and white rice, make the choice and stay healthy and fit.

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