Being an Indian, rice has always been a stable in my diet.
White rice was very common in our household when I was young, but then eventually I shifted to the brown variety and now I eat it 9 out of 10 times.
So which is healthier for you—Brown or White Rice?
I will compare them based on the following categories:
Brown rice is more nutritous than white rice.
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods:
The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value.
The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys:
67% of the vitamin B3,
80% of the vitamin B1,
90% of the vitamin B6,
half of the manganese,
half of the phosphorus,
60% of the iron,
and all of the dietary fiber and
essential fatty acids.
You see when you remove the outer husk to produce brown rice, there isn’t much loss of nutrients. Essentially brown rice retains most of it.
But when you start to remove the bran and most of the germ layer to produce white rice, what you are really left with is simply starch with trace nutrients.
The process does not stop here, and undergoes polishing and removal of aleurone layerof the grain–a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats!
Brown rice has a glycemic index of 50 and white rice is at 89! If you are not sure what this means, here it is:
Higher the glycemic index of a food, faster it absorbs in your blood stream and therefore more insulin needs to be released to combat that.
White rice comes at the top here.
But let me say this, brown rice comes slightly behind. Once you realize the extra nutrition that you are getting from brown rice, compromising a little on taste is surely not a problem for many. My clients are usually relectuant at first, but once they get used to it, they really dont miss the white variety.
So which one is healthier?
Brown rice has more nutrients than white rice. Its has low Glycemic index.
So you should make the switch to Brown Rice.
However, its OK to eat white rice once in a while, especially when you are eating out and don’t have the option to go for the brown variety.
But do ensure, to have your carb sources (white or brown) with protein and fats. This will further slow down gastric emptying and reduce the glycemic load and therefore lower the insulin response.