Is brown rice or white rice higher for you? Nutritionists clarify the distinction

the healthiest rice

About half of the world’s inhabitants depends upon rice as the primary supply of meals. Completely different cultures have their favourite rice preparations, akin to steamed rice in China, black beans and rice in Cuba, coconut rice in Colombia, paella in Spain, risotto in Italy, curry facet dish in Pakistan, jambalaya within the southern US, and bibimbap in Korea.

Though there are millions of rice, it’s normally categorized into easy classes: lengthy, brief and medium grain, and brown or white. As well as, there are specific rices akin to Basmati, which is available in each white and brown, and black rice, which is an entire grain like brown rice.

It is a comparatively cheap grain and makes the right base for therefore many meals, and rice may be very nutritious. Rice is a dietary staple world wide and offers a wealthy supply of carbohydrates, the physique’s major gasoline, says Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CDN, affiliate director of vitamin on the Good Housekeeping Institute.


In Karissa//Getty Photographs

Here is the vitality and nutrient breakdown in a single cup of long-grain, cooked brown rice, in response to america Division of Agriculture (USDA):

Carbohydrate: 52 grams (g)

Fats: 2 g

Protein: 5.5 g

Energy: 248

Fiber: 3.2 g

Folate: 18.2 micrograms (mcg)

Magnesium: 79 milligrams (mg)

Manganese: 2 mg

Selenium: 11.7 mcg

Vitamin B3 (niacin): 5.2 mg

Right here is the USDA dietary breakdown for a similar sort (lengthy grain) and quantity of white rice. Within the US and lots of different nations, white rice is often enriched, which suggests nutritional vitamins and minerals misplaced within the milling course of are added again, so our vitamin details take this enrichment into consideration:

Carbohydrate: 44.6 g

Fats: 0.4 g

Protein: 4.25 g

Energy: 205

Fiber: 0.6 g

Folate: 91.6 mcg

Magnesium: 19 mg

Manganese: 0.7 mg

Selenium: 11.8 mcg

Vitamin B3 (niacin): 2.3 mg


Brown rice is an entire grain, and white rice is a refined model of the identical grain. Every entire grain of rice consists of three components: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. To create white rice, the milling course of removes two of the three elements. “White rice differs from brown rice in that the bran and germ are eliminated,” says Sassos. Brown rice is just entire rice that has not been milled, so it retains its bran and germ.

As a result of the outermost layer of the kernel within the bran comprises fiber, brown rice naturally offers extra fiber than white rice, says Alisha Virani, MS, RD, CDCES, proprietor of Healthful Gas. “The center layer is the endosperm, or starch, which is the one layer in white rice,” he says. “The third layer is the germ, which comprises nutritional vitamins, minerals, a small quantity of protein and wholesome fat.”

Though brown rice is extra nutritious than white rice, white rice is often enriched with most, however not all, of the vitamins misplaced within the milling course of, so the dietary variations aren’t as nice as you would possibly suppose.

“I all the time say white rice is OK, however consider methods so as to add fiber, a protein which may be lacking from white rice,” says Virani. “You are able to do this by including greens like spinach or black beans to the rice.”

By way of taste and texture, brown rice tends to be nuttier and denser than white rice, which is commonly refined and fluffy.

Within the kitchen, brown rice can require extra labor. “As a result of the outer layer of brown rice is a fibrous bran layer, water has to penetrate this layer to create a softer texture like white rice,” says Virani. “This implies it takes longer to prepare dinner and could be more durable than white rice if not cooked lengthy sufficient.” Fortuitously, there are quicker cooking choices for all rice varieties if you happen to’re in a pinch, akin to utilizing a rice cooker or shopping for pre-cooked prompt rice.


chicken and fried rice with vegetables

Lauri Patterson//Getty Photographs

Whereas each brown and white rice are nice sources of carbohydrates (the first gasoline supply for the physique and mind), they every have their strengths. We’ll begin with some the primary advantages of brown rice:

  • Brown rice is a sort of advanced carbohydrate and an entire grain, and research present hyperlinks between entire grain consumption and the prevention of coronary heart illness, diabetes and a few cancers.
  • One cup of brown rice offers about 11% of the each day really helpful worth (DV) of fiber (in comparison with white rice, which offers 2.1% of the DV). Brown rice additionally has barely extra protein than white rice. Each fiber and protein assist you to really feel glad and full and can assist keep secure blood sugar.
  • Brown rice is filled with vital nutritional vitamins and minerals. Particularly, brown rice offers 19% of the DV for magnesium, 87% of the DV for manganese, 21.3% of the DV for selenium, and 32.5% of the DV for vitamin B3 (AKA niacin).
  • It has a decrease glycemic index than white rice, which implies that blood sugar (or glucose) rises extra slowly, making it a greater possibility for many who want blood sugar ranges.

Let’s have a look at now the advantages of white rice:

  • White rice is simple on the abdomen. Sure, it is true that brown rice has a bit extra fiber than white rice, however that is not all the time a very good factor. You probably have an upset abdomen and/or battle with gastrointestinal points, white rice might be a greater possibility for you.
  • It’s very best earlier than coaching. If you happen to plan to train inside a number of hours of consuming a meal, white rice is the only option because it offers easy, simply digestible carbohydrates that will provide you with vitality and assist you to transfer simply.
  • White rice is reasonable and has an extended shelf life (if dry). It’s typically cheaper than brown rice and lasts (uncooked in an hermetic container) for a minimum of two years. The shelf lifetime of brown rice is normally six months.
  • Fortified white rice comprises extra folate (virtually 1 / 4 of the DV) than brown rice, about the identical quantity of selenium (virtually 1 / 4 of the DV), and important quantities (however lower than brown rice) of magnesium, manganese, and vitamin B3.

Are there any disadvantages to rice?

Whereas rice in all its types is an excellent meals, one draw back is that it might probably comprise arsenic. In keeping with Sassos, it tends to soak up pure components from its rising surroundings. “Arsenic exists in two types, natural and inorganic, and is a naturally occurring aspect present in water and soil, in response to the Nationwide Institute of Environmental Well being,” says Sassos. “Arsenic is a identified carcinogen and could be dangerous when consumed in extreme quantities.”

Sassos clarifies that arsenic in rice might trigger well being dangers provided that you eat it each day in giant portions. “Rice is a crucial culinary part in lots of cultures, so if it is a staple in your house and also you’re involved about arsenic publicity, you may cut back the arsenic content material of the rice by washing it first after which cooking it in clear, low-arsenic water,” he says.

Add rice to your weight-reduction plan a number of occasions per week and use different good grain sources like pasta, tortillas, farro and quinoa.

As a result of white rice isn’t an entire grain, some might assume that it’s “unhealthy,” but it surely merely is not. Actually, it’s virtually as nutritious as brown rice. And in terms of what white rice is likely to be lacking, Virani says, “As a substitute of excited about the downsides, I all the time reframe this to consider how we are able to complement our meals with among the lacking vitamins. I actually consider that consuming meals ought to all the time have a stability of taste and vitamins inclusive choices.”

End result: In any case, selecting brown or white rice would not need to be black and white. Each are nutritionally wealthy and could be loved as a part of a balanced weight-reduction plan. Simply think about your preferences and desired advantages and your alternative of rice won’t ever be improper.

Main photo of Caroline L. Young, MS, RD, LD, RYT

Caroline L. Younger (she) is a nutritionist, yoga instructor and freelance well being journalist. He’s additionally the proprietor and founding father of Complete Self Vitamin (WSN), LLC. Caroline has labored within the well being and wellness business for over a decade and is captivated with sharing dietary science with relational data. She loves serving to individuals perceive the reality about vitamin to allow them to have the healthiest relationship with meals attainable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *