Rice is an excellent choice to eat as a carbohydrate. However, many think white rice is bleached and unhealthy because it is refined. But it is not true. All rice is brown and white underneath the color.
Both are very wholesome for you. But one is more nutritious and significantly different than the other.
Whole vs. Refined
Rice comprises a bran, germ, and endosperm layer like all other whole grains.
Brown rice is the most common type of whole grain because all the nutrient-rich layers are intact.
White rice is the final product of removing the bran, germ, and endosperm. When it is all removed, you are left with the color white. And because white rice has a shine to it, people think that it is bleached. Well, it is not. It is polished. So, you need not worry about thinking you are not consuming bleach.
What simply makes them different is just the removal of the layers. Just like an apple is red, it is whitish-yellowish when the skin is peeled.
White rice was created because it increases the shelf life of the rice and cooks faster. On the other hand, the bran and germ that is left on the brown rice spoils quickly, which is why brown rice has a shelf life of 6 months.
The nutritional value is the difference
When it comes down to choosing white or brown rice, they are both excellent, just
not equal. White rice is enriched with B vitamins, folic acid, thiamine, and niacin. This is done because these nutrients are depleted during the milling process. Therefore, the enrichment process adds them back in but usually not to the total amount that was lost.
It also destroys important minerals like calcium and magnesium, phytochemicals that are potent antioxidants, and fiber that don’t get replaced.
Nutrients for Rice
1 Cup Brown Rice
- 216 calories
- 45 grams Carbohydrates
- 1.8 grams Fat
- 3.5 grams Fiber
- 84 mg Magnesium
- 162 mg Phosphorous
1Cup White Rice
- 205 calories
- 45 grams Carbohydrates
- 0.4 grams Fat
- 0.6 grams Fiber
- 19 mg Magnesium
- 68 mg Phosphorus
More Brown Rice Facts
Brown rice is a lignan. Lignans are phytochemicals that are potent antioxidants and
anti-inflammatories. They are great for cardiovascular health and lowering cholesterol.
Brown rice is lower on the glycemic index than white rice. This signifies that it is digested at a slower rate, which is why brown rice is a better option for diabetics than white rice. White rice can trigger high blood sugar for type 2 diabetes which is why it is not good for people with this condition.
Brown rice is high in selenium. One cup is about 30% of the RDA. So, it is perfect for destroying free radicles; the reason it helps prevent cancer.
Brown Rice Good and Bad News
So, here is the good and the bad news. Arsenic develops in soil, which is how it gets
into your food. When it comes to brown rice, it contains more arsenic than white rice. Because with brown rice, the husk is not removed, so it absorbs it.
However, you can relax because your body can remove arsenic. Most inorganic and organic arsenic are cleared in a few to several days.
Arsenic exposure for a prolonged time may raise the risk of developing diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, if you eat rice in moderation as part of a balanced diet, there is no need for concern. A few servings every week ought to be sufficient. You can supplement with pasta alternating with rice.
One way to reduce arsenic is by washing your rice. Then, after you wash it, cook it. And after you cook it, rinse it off again. This will eliminate about 30-50% of the arsenic content.
The biggest thing to understand about the differences is the nutritional value. White
rice is healthy to eat. It will spike your blood sugar a little higher than brown rice because of its low fiber content. But for the healthy population, it is not a real issue.
However, eating brown rice will provide you with numerous nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.