6 Things to Consider When Choosing Between Brown Rice and White Rice

Rice is a highly nutritious cereal that is grown and eaten by many people around the world. It boasts of several nutrients such as protein, a variety of vitamins, and fiber.

To many, white rice is mostly found and is cheap. Brown rice may seem unpalatable to some. Yet scientists have shown that brown rice is extremely loaded with more nutrients than white rice. Brown rice gives rise to any other rice we know of. It is through the process of milling that we can have the kind of we prefer.

This article will try to single out the particular differences that exist between brown rice and white rice intending to focus on the best one for your health.

1. Key Differences between Brown Rice and White Rice

Any kind of rice that we eat had do share one thing in common- they all start as brown rice. At the factory, rice is milled. During this process, husks, bran, and germ are removed. This is simply to ensure that white rice has an extended life on the shelf. Unfortunately, this procedure strips off nutritive components such as vitamins, fiber, and minerals. To supplement the lost nutrients and to make it more palatable, white rice is fortified with other nutrients.

That said both of these rice varieties contain carbs, little amounts of proteins, and very little amount of fat. In the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) FoodData Central database, there are specific nutrition differences between brown and white rice. One cup of cooked, enriched white rice weighing 186 g provides a wide variety of vitamins, and minerals, folate, and 242 kilocalories (kcal), 4.43 g of protein, 0.39 g of fat, 53.2 g of carbs, and 0.56 g of fiber.

Conversely, one cup (202) g of long-grain brown rice provides folate, minerals, and various vitamins as well as 248 kilocalories (kcal), 5.54 g of protein, 1.56 g of fat, 51.7 g of carbs, and 2,23 g of fiber.

2. Brown Rice Is Contains High Amount of Fiber, Vitamins, and Minerals

According to the nutritional facts found in FoodData Central of the United States Department of Agriculture, brown rice has many advantages over white rice with its nutrient content. High amounts of fiber, antioxidants, important vitamins, and minerals are found in brown rice. In contrast to brown rice, white rice is only a good source of “empty calories” and a few carbs.

In a comparison, database in FoodData Central, the following differences between vitamin and mineral content in both varieties of rice is as follows, expressed in percentage of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of each.

Brown rice: thiamine 6%, niacin 8%, vitamin B6 7 %, magnesium 11%, manganese 45%, phosphorus 8%, iron 2%, and zinc 4%.

White rice: thiamin 1%, niacin 2%, vitamin B6 5%, manganese 24%, magnesium 3%, phosphorus 4%, iron 1%, and zinc 3%.

3. Brown Rice Has Lots of Antinutrients and Arsenic than White Rice

Antinutrient is usually used to refer to plant compounds that may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb specific types of digested nutrients. In brown rice, these antinutrients include phytic acid.


Arsenic is a toxic chemical that is also found in brown rice. It is one of the heavy metals that naturally exist in the environment and due to pollution is has increased in some specific areas. Rice and its products have been noticed to contain tangible amounts of arsenic.

Some studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that prolonged consumption of arsenic may highly predispose someone to heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

However, they cannot be a bother especially if you limit your rice intake to only a few servings per week.

Phytic Acid

Phytic acid is believed to be helpful in the body. However, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, phytic acid can also slow the rate of absorption of dietary iron and zinc. When taken for a long time in meals, phytic acid may make someone run into mineral deficiencies such as iron deficiency anemia.

4. Brown Rice and White Rice on Risk for Blood Sugars and Diabetes

One study carried out by the National Center for Biotechnology Information had its results published in PubMed. The results showed that magnesium and fiber are very high in brown rice, both are key nutrients that regulate levels of blood sugar. This research also found that people who eat whole grains such as brown rice may have their blood sugar levels reduced and the risk to develop type 2 diabetes also lowered.

Replacing white rice with brown rice has been found to have a significant reduction in blood sugar levels. One research showed that people who consume high amounts of white rice are more likely to develop diabetes. This is because white rice has a high glycemic index.

According to one study conducted at Harvard University, brown rice has a lower glycemic index of 50 while white rice ranks high in the glycemic index at 89. This means that white rice can increase blood sugar levels much faster than brown rice.

5. Brown Can Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease than White Rice

A few research has shown that brown contains a plant compound called lignans that may help improve heart conditions. Fat levels in the blood can be lowered by lignans according to a study review published in PubMed. Lignans can also reduce inflammation in arteries and decrease blood pressure.

It is thus wise to include brown rice in your diet to help prevent heart diseases. Certain whole grains like brown rice have the potential of reducing LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase the levels of HDL “good” cholesterol in the blood.

6. Brown Rice Contains High Antioxidants than White Rice

According to one study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, brown rice contains very powerful antioxidants which may help the body fight and reduce free radicals. This helps reduce damage to tissues. Therefore, eating brown rice may reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart conditions.


Rice is a very important component of the diet. They come in various types but the common ones include brown rice and white rice. Brown rice has more nutritive importance than white rice as it contains fiber and antioxidants. It also has health benefits like reducing the risk to cancer and diabetes.

Nataly Komova

Nutritionist. Bluffton University, MS In today's world, people's eating and exercise patterns have changed, and it is often lifestyle that is the cause of many diet-related illnesses. I believe that each of us is unique – what works for one does not help another. What is more, it can even be harmful. I am interested in food psychology, which studies a person's relationship with their body and food, explains our choices and desires for specific products, the difficulty of maintaining optimal body weight, as well as the influence of various internal and external factors on appetite. I'm also an avid vintage car collector, and currently, I'm working on my 1993 W124 Mercedes. You may have stumbled upon articles I have been featured in, for example, in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Grazia, Women's Health, The Guardian, and others.

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