What 14 Studies Say About Brown Rice vs. White Rice



In keeping with many well being and health gurus, the brown rice vs. white rice debate is cut-and-dried.

Brown rice is a “good” carb, they are saying, and white rice is a “dangerous” one.

Eat lots of the previous, they are saying, and also you’ll be wholesome, rich, and sensible; eat lots of the latter and also you’ll achieve weight, crash your metabolism, and doubtless get diabetes.

Effectively, this may make for catchy listicles and journal headlines, however what does science must say about it?

Does white rice deserve the notoriety? Does brown rice deserve the hosannas?

Effectively, that’s what we’re going to cowl on this article, and as you’ll quickly see, lots of what you’ve possible heard about rice is bunk.

The concept that brown rice trumps its lighter counterpart in each significant approach is kind of a delusion.

As you’ll quickly see, it actually doesn’t matter which one you select.

Let’s dive in and see what we will study…

What’s the Distinction Between Brown and White Rice?

Let’s begin with the fundamentals.

Rice is technically a seed, however everyone knows it as a grain that is available in white and brown and refined and complete grain varieties.

The distinction between these choices actually comes right down to the processing.

Because the Minnesota Division of Well being explains, complete grains, like brown rice, are made up of three separate components:

1. The Bran

That is the outer layer of the grain that incorporates fiber, antioxidants, B nutritional vitamins, phytochemicals, and the vast majority of the minerals.

2. The Endosperm

That is the center largest layer that incorporates protein, carbs, and small quantities of B nutritional vitamins and minerals.

Three. The Germ

That is an inside portion at one finish of the grain that incorporates fat, B nutritional vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants like vitamin E.

Right here’s a easy visible:

whiterice vs brown rice nutrition

White rice, however, is stripped of the whole lot besides the endosperm, which, we’re advised, is the crux of the issue.

Effectively, whereas it’s typically a good suggestion to eat a food regimen wealthy in comparatively unprocessed meals, that doesn’t imply you need to keep away from white rice.

Let’s discover out why…

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Which Is More healthy? Brown Rice or White Rice?

It’s simple to make the argument that brown rice is more healthy than white rice.

It’s extra nutritious (on paper, at the very least — extra on that in a minute) and research verify the well being advantages of consuming complete grains and the dangers related to consuming refined grains.

What that pitch doesn’t inform you, although, is that the dietary benefits of brown rice aren’t practically as thrilling as you may suppose and the well being dangers don’t apply to you except you’re sedentary and obese and eat poorly.

Let’s unpack this thriller…

Is Brown Rice Extra Nutritious Than White Rice?

You’ve most likely heard that brown rice is extra nutritious than white rice, and it’s true.

It incorporates 43% extra protein, 105% extra fiber, and a whopping 425% extra omega-Three fatty acids than white rice.

Spectacular, proper?

Effectively, whereas these statements are correct on paper, they’re truly negligible when seen in the suitable context.

To grasp why, let’s check out precise numbers, beginning with the energy and macros:

NutrientWhite RiceBrown Rice Serving sizeper 1 cup/ 174 gper 1 cup/ 195 gCalories169216Carbs (g)36.744.8Fiber (g)1.73.5Protein3.55.0Fat (g)zero.31.8Saturated (g)zero.10.4Mono (g)zero.10.6Poly (g)zero.10.6Omega Three (mg)5.227.3Omega 6 (mg)115603

And now the nutritional vitamins and minerals:

VitaminWhite RiceBrown RiceVitamin A (IU)zero.00.0Vitamins C (mg)zero.00.0Vitamin E (mg)zero.10.1Vitamin Ok (mcg)zero.01.2Thiamin (mg)zero.00.2Riboflavin (mg)zero.00.0Niacin (mg)zero.53.0Vitamin B6 (mg)zero.00.3Folate (mcg)1.77.8Vitamin B12 (mcg)zero.00.0Pantothenic Acid (mg)zero.40.6Choline (mg)Three.717.9MineralWhite RiceBrown RiceCalcium (mg)Three.519.5Iron (mg)zero.20.8Magnesium (mg)eight.783.9Phosphorous (mg)13.9162Potassium (mg)17.483.9Sodium (mg)eight.79.8Zinc (mg)zero.71.2Copper (mg)zero.10.2Manganese (mg)zero.51.8Selenium (mcg)9.719.1

One of many causes we’re typically advised to decide on brown rice over white rice is the fiber content material.

Effectively, as brown rice is a complete grain, it does have extra fiber than white rice…however not by a lot (1.eight grams per cup).

Furthermore, rice of any sort doesn’t make for practically pretty much as good of a supply of fiber as fruit and greens, which you need to be consuming loads of anyway.

For instance, one cup of boiled broccoli incorporates simply 55 energy and offers you about 5 grams of fiber and one measly apple include about 90 energy and over four grams of fiber.

Thus, if you happen to eat your quota of fruit and veggies each day, the fiber obtained from rice simply gained’t matter a lot.

As for the macronutrients, we see that brown rice has just a little extra of the whole lot, which once more technically makes it extra nutritious, however the precise quantities are insignificant.

And by way of micronutrients

Other than niacin, folate, choline and vitamin Ok, there’s not an enormous distinction in vitamin content material between the 2.So far as minerals go, we will clearly see that that is the realm that brown rice wins out (however once more, your ~cup of rice per day isn’t going to be your major supply of minerals — veggies are).

What you may’t see within the charts above, although, is that brown rice additionally incorporates important quantities of molecules that undermine its dietary benefit.

These substances are recognized as antinutrients, they usually block the absorption of nutritional vitamins and minerals.

One instance is phytic acid, also called phytate, which you’ll discover in brown rice at a charge of roughly zero.06 to 1.08 g per 100 g, and which may inhibit micronutrient absorption within the digestive tract, significantly zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium.

This helps clarify why, in a examine carried out by scientists at Osaka Metropolis College, brown rice decreased the digestibility of protein and fat whereas white rice didn’t.

One other examine confirms this phenomenon — phytates can cut back protein bioavailability and impair the perform of sure digestive enzymes.

Curiously, analysis exhibits that fermented meals sources akin to sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and so forth, counteract the inhibitory results of phytates and support in digestion. Consuming fermented grain merchandise like sourdough bread and soaking and germinating seed kernels does the identical.

So, the underside line is that this:

Brown rice could also be barely extra nutritious than white rice however, when seen in context of your food regimen as a complete, it doesn’t deserve its repute as the plain selection for “clear eaters.”

What About the Glycemic Index?

brownrice vs white rice health

The glycemic index (GI) is a numeric system that ranks how shortly the physique converts carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar).

Carbs are ranked on a scale of zero to 100 relying on how they have an effect on blood sugar ranges as soon as eaten.

A GI ranking of 55 and beneath is taken into account low on the index, whereas a ranking of 56 to 69 is medium, and a ranking of 70 or above is excessive.

Easy carbs are transformed into glucose shortly and thus have excessive GI scores. Examples of easy carbs and their corresponding GI scores are sucrose (desk sugar) (65), white bread (71), and white potato (82).

Advanced carbs are transformed into glucose extra slowly and thus have decrease GI scores. Examples of complicated carbs and their corresponding GI scores are apples (39), black beans (30), and whole-grain pasta (42).

Now, so far as rice goes, I’m unsure brown rice is generally called higher by way of GI as a result of it falls in roughly the identical space of the index as white rice (50 to 87 vs. 43 to 89).

And, paradoxically, basmati rice is the bottom on the GI of every kind, coming in at 43 to 57.

Extra importantly, although, is the truth that if you happen to’re comparatively lean and bodily energetic, none of this actually issues.

Whereas wise consuming naturally entails consuming loads of low-glycemic meals (comparatively unprocessed grains and fruit and greens), together with high-glycemic meals in your food regimen gained’t adversely have an effect on your physique composition or well being.

Take a look at this text to study why.

What About Arsenic?

Arsenic is a component present in nature and plenty of man-made merchandise (together with pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers), and it’s poisonous to us people.

It finds its approach into our food regimen and our bodies in varied methods, together with…

And, in fact, rice, which incorporates larger ranges of arsenic than different grains as a result of approach it’s grown.

This explains why analysis clearly exhibits that individuals that eat extra rice have extra arsenic of their our bodies, and this is applicable to each brown and white rice.

Satirically, in accordance with the FDA, brown rice typically incorporates a bit extra arsenic than white rice, and the white basmati rice has the bottom ranges of arsenic of every kind generally eaten.

The sixty-four greenback query, then, is how involved ought to we be about this?

Effectively, not sufficient to keep away from rice fully, however sufficient to take measures to scale back its arsenic content material earlier than we eat it and restrict our rice consumption general.

Right here’s a easy strategy to cut back your rice’s arsenic ranges by as much as 57%:

And by way of limiting your consumption, the FDA deliberate on issuing pointers on this again in 2014 however hasn’t but, so within the meantime, we will look to testing and evaluation carried out by Shopper Reviews.

What got here of their work is a factors system that appears like this:

brown rice vs basmati riceTheir advice is folks don’t exceed seven factors per week, which, as you may see, is pretty simple to do if you happen to’re a rice lover (or if you happen to eat lots of processed meals that include rice and rice derivatives).







































Two issues to remember, although:

They constructed the factors system utilizing the arsenic ranges seen on the highest finish of the vary of their testing.They didn’t assume that individuals can be taking particular measures to scale back the arsenic within the rice they eat.

This, to me, says that we will stretch their boundaries a bit with out placing our well being in danger.

That mentioned, it’s price noting that pregnant girls must be particularly cautious with their consumption of rice and rice derivatives (brown rice syrup, for instance) as a result of analysis suggests that in utero publicity to arsenic will increase their kids’s danger of most cancers and cardiovascular and respiratory illness later in life.

Additionally, in case you’re questioning if all this is applicable to natural rice, the reply is sure — there’s no proof that natural rice incorporates decrease quantities of arsenic than standard.

Is Brown Rice or White Rice Higher for Weight Loss?

brown rice vs white rice weight loss

I’ll hold this quick and candy:

Neither is best.

Whereas some meals are extra conducive to weight reduction than others, there’s no such factor as a “weight reduction meals.”

If you recognize what you’re doing together with your energy and macros, you may eat something and shed weight.

That’s why this man was in a position to lose 27 kilos on a comfort retailer food regimen of protein shakes, Twinkies, Doritos, and different confections. And why this man was in a position to lose 56 kilos consuming nothing however McDonald’s for six months straight.

That isn’t to say you need to comply with of their footsteps — vitamin does matter — however they’re merely testaments to the universality of power steadiness.

Physique weight is dictated by power in vs. power out. Finish of story.

So, bringing this again to rice, the purpose is evident:

As long as you recognize what you’re doing together with your meal planning, you may shed weight equally nicely with brown and white rice.

The Backside Line on Brown Rice vs. White Rice

The optics of the brown and white rice debate merely don’t match the fact.

Whereas it’s true that brown rice incorporates extra vitamins, the distinction is fairly negligible to start with and turns into much more so if you issue within the antinutrients.

Whereas it’s true that brown rice is decrease on the glycemic index, it’s not that a lot decrease, and the glycemic index is small beer anyway within the grand scheme of being match and wholesome.

So, within the final evaluation, I believe it’s clear that you need to eat the kind of rice that you simply like most, and if you wish to be as scrupulous as doable, go for basmati rice every time doable.


What’s your tackle brown rice vs. white rice? Have anything to share? Let me know within the feedback under!

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