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Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Which One is a Healthier Option?

Introduction 

Brown rice is better than white rice, right? We are often told this, but it’s not the complete truth. 

The domestic consumption volume of milled rice is 103.5 million metric tons in India. People from across the world eat rice because it is a versatile grain. It is a staple food for many people, especially in countries like China, Japan, India, Indonesia, and South Korea.

There are numerous colours, shapes, and sizes of rice, actually more than 7,000 different types exist. White rice and brown rice are the two most popular types in the world. The most popular kind of rice is white, but brown rice is equally gaining popularity over the years for its health benefits. 

The bran and germ are parts of the complete grain known as brown rice. These provide fibre along with a number of vitamins and minerals. White rice is a refined grain with these components eliminated, which makes it softer and faster to cook.

Let us know in detail about the benefits of white and brown rice and unwire the confusion about which is a healthier option. 

Nutrition and benefits of white rice

Nutritional value of white rice

The following nutritional information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (186g) of cooked short-grain white rice. 

Calories: 242Fat: 0.4gSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 53.4gFibre: 0.6gSugars: 0gProtein: 4.4gManganese:0.7mgIron: 2.7mgThiamin: 0.3mg

Benefits of white rice

Stabilizes your blood sugar levels

White rice can help avoid blood sugar spikes even though it is a source of carbohydrates and is quite high on the glycemic index, especially when eaten with other meals like vegetables. However, before including it in your diet if you have diabetes, speak with your doctor.

A vital source of energy

Rice is a high-carb meal, so it gives you a lot of energy rapidly. And because of this, even athletes who need an energy boost prefer white rice over brown rice.

Easy to digest

Rice is not only simple to prepare but also simple to digest. In contrast to brown rice, which contains the anti-nutrient phytic acid, white rice is devoid of this substance. Nutritionists advise eating dal-chawal on days when having dinner at a reasonable hour is not possible since rice is simple to digest and can even enhance sleep quality.

Keeps gut healthy

Even when you eat refined white rice, you still consume a significant amount of soluble fibre, or butyrate, a type of resistant starch. By lowering inflammation, butyrate can improve the health of your stomach. Because of this, people who are experiencing diarrhoea are frequently encouraged to eat boiled rice.

Nutrition and benefits of brown rice

Nutritional value of brown rice 

The nutrition facts of brown and white rice taken from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database for Long Grain Brown Rice (1 cup cooked). 

Calories: 248Total Fat: 1.96 gProtein: 5.54 gTotal Carbohydrates: 51.7 gFibre: 3.23 gSugars: 0.485 g

Benefits of brown rice  

Reduced risks of diabetes

According to studies, consuming brown rice may help lower the number of heart disease risk factors.

According to research, those who consume whole grains—including brown rice—have a 16–21% reduced risk of developing heart disease than those who consumed white rice.

Additionally, whole grains like brown rice may reduce LDL (‘bad’) and overall cholesterol levels. Not only that, consumption of brown rice has been associated with a rise in HDL (‘good’) cholesterol as well.

Helps in controlling weight 

Consuming brown rice instead of white can also help people lose weight, lower their BMI, and have a smaller waist and hip circumferences. 

In one study with 29,683 adults and 15,280 children, researchers discovered that people’s body weight decreased in direct proportion to how much whole grains they consumed. 

In addition, a randomised controlled experiment including 40 overweight and obese women discovered that brown rice, as opposed to white rice, lowered body weight and waist circumference.

Rich source of antioxidants

Brown rice bran is rich in potent antioxidants that can help fight off dangerous free radicals and lessen bodily inflammation.

Studies have shown eating whole grains like brown rice, which are high in antioxidants, can help prevent chronic illnesses including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Final thoughts 

White and brown rice both include a lot of carbs, but brown rice has more fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. To ensure your meal is balanced, add veggies and beans to your white rice.

The long history of white rice in the traditional cuisine of many nations is proof that any variety of rice may be a component of a healthy diet. Although brown rice may have a better nutritional profile, white rice may be a healthy element of a balanced diet. Consuming both types of rice as per your nutritional requirement is beneficial. 

We hope that we were able to break the myth that many people believe that brown rice is healthier than white rice. Rather both types of rice have significant health benefits. 

Furthermore, you should also undergo preventive health checkups. These health checkups give a complete report about your health, allowing you to take necessary precautionary measures to improve your well-being and keep a host of ailments at bay.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is white rice or brown better for weight loss?

Brown rice is the better option for weight loss since it is more nutrient-dense, has more fibre, and offers a good amount of disease-preventing antioxidants. White rice does not seem to have a significant impact on weight loss.

Why is white rice healthier than brown?

Compared to white rice, brown rice is more nutrient-dense. As a result, brown rice may lower blood sugar levels and support attempts to manage weight. White rice, however, is beneficial for people with certain digestive problems who have trouble digesting fibre-rich diets.

Which rice is best for weight loss?

Brown rice works best if the goal is to lose weight. 

Can I eat brown rice every day?

A few times a week, but not every day, enjoy brown rice as one of several nutritious grains in your meal plans. Change it out with low-arsenic grains including millet, quinoa, barley, and buckwheat.

Is brown rice good for belly fat?

Compared to processed grains like white rice, brown rice has higher fibre. Brown rice and other nutritious grains high in fibre may help you lose weight by reducing abdominal fat.

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