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Why Is Brown Rice Better For You Than White Rice?

Why Is White Rice So Much Unhealthier Than Brown Rice?

It's been about six years now that I haven't been able to eat gluten. Through trial and error, after finally cutting out bread, pastas, cakes, pizza, beer, and more, the tumultuous stomach tailspins stopped. Brown rice became my savior, since I was easily able to add it to many dishes and I was able to make the switch to brown rice pasta, brown rice bread, brown rice crackers, and more (and no, contrary to belief, it doesn't taste like cardboard!).

I like to have a glass half full outlook on life, so when I learned that my croissant-obsessed days were over, I got creative in the kitchen, real creative. And not only that, but what I learned is that staying away from white rice and its cohorts is actually much better for me healthwise! Compared to white rice, brown rice is light years ahead in terms of nutritional value. Did you know that if you eat just two servings of brown rice a week, you can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, while eating white rice on a regular basis increases the chances of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent? Here's a little tip for all you sushi lovers: If a restaurant doesn't offer brown rice sushi, ask them if they can make your sushi without the rice. Tell them you're not a stickler if it falls apart and they'll usually oblige.

White rice is what's inside brown rice after the brown rice is polished down, removing the bran and the beneficial nutrients.


Nutrients removed in the milling process include 67 percent of the vitamin B3, 80 percent of B1 vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin B6, half the maganese and phosphorus, 60 percent of the iron, and all of the fiber and essential fatty acids. That's why white rice comes "enriched" with B vitamins and iron.

Here's the nutritional breakdown of both white rice and brown rice, which clearly illustrates how brown rice is in a league of its own when it comes to being packed full of nutrients.

1 Cup Serving White Rice Brown Rice
Calories 169 216
Maganese 0.5 (mg) 1.76 (mg)
Selenium 9.7 (mcg) 19.11 (mcg)
Magnesium 8.7 (mg) 83.85 (mg)
Potassium 17.4 (mg) 83.85 (mg)

Wondering how to make the perfect pot of brown rice? This handy guide will help you.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
yatiyati yatiyati 5 years
You are talking about 2 times a day for brown rice vs regular daily for white rice . Not a fair comparsion. How about 2 times a week for brown and white rice? How about Asia, the country with the lowest numbers of diabetics also consumes the most amounts of white rice by far. Don't believe everything you read children, remember how milk was good for you one day then bad the next. Asians pratically eat white rice 7 days a week, they live the longest and have the lowest levels of diabetes. This has been the case for thousands of years. It's not a fad. Lastly, you go eat sushi for "sushi" or "sishimi". Asking for brown rice sushi is like asking for a hotdog to be put in bagel.
Heather-Dale Heather-Dale 6 years
Oh no! Yes, brown rice can be temperamental to make. I usually just throw mine in a rice cooker for about an hour and voila — it's ready!
amber512 amber512 6 years
I find white rice so tasteless now that I have been eating brown frice. I use instant brown rice because I totally ruined my rice pot the last time I tried to cook for the looooooooong amount of time. I am just not patient enough for that!
TiVo TiVo 6 years
I know brown rice is better for you, but does that apply to instant brown rice? That's what I usually eat because I don't have time to cook the other stuff during the week, but I have a feeling it's pretty processed too. @moose-juice: I totally hear ya! I've wondered that a lot myself. Like, "vegetarians have less risk of heart disease." Is that because they're also more likely to exercise, not smoke, possibly not binge drink, or whatever else constitutes a healthy lifestyle, or is it solely the lack of meat?
moose-juice moose-juice 6 years
Whenever I read things like: "Did you know that if you eat just two servings of brown rice a week, you can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, while eating white rice on a regular basis increases the chances of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent" I always wonder, is it the brown rice that's making you healthy and the white rice that is increasing your risk of diabetes, or is it just that people who tend to eat brown rice a lot as opposed to white rice are the sort of people who are likely to make a lot of the sort of decisions that would lead to better health. Most of these sort of nutritional studies are just reporting statistics rather that preforming tests and any good scientist can tell you that correlation does not equal causation. I guess what I'm saying is while I eat brown rice at home most of the time, I doubt it's necessary that I keep the white stuff out of my sushi.
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