Rice comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes but the most commonly eaten forms are white and brown rice. White rice is by far the most commonly consumed variety around the world but brown rice is labeled to be the healthier option. So, what are the benefits of eating each and is one truly better than the other?
Brown rice is a whole grain, which means it contains all parts of the grain including the fibrous bran, nutritious germ, and carb-rich endosperm. Because brown rice is a whole grain, it contains extra protein and fiber, which can help:
- Lower cholesterol
- Control blood sugar levels
- Nourish gut bacteria
- Make you feel fuller faster
Although, brown rice can actually contain more antinutrients than white rice, which are plant compounds that can reduce your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients.
Phytic acid is an antinutrient in brown rice that can reduce your body’s ability to absorb iron and zinc. So, if you are eating brown rice every day, you could develop mineral deficiencies.
Brown rice is also higher in arsenic, a heavy metal that in small amounts is fine to consume but extremely toxic if ingested in higher doses. Long-term consumption of foods high in arsenic may increase your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
White rice, unlike brown, has had the bran and germ removed through a milling process. The stripping of the bran and germ makes white rice easier to cook and easier to digest than brown rice. Additionally, white rice is more shelf-stable than brown rice, as it does not contain the oil-rich germ. Most white rice is enriched and contains folate (folic acid), which is important for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. Folic acid also helps your body make DNA and other genetic material, which supports cell division. Lastly, white rice also typically contains more calcium and iron from fortification.
So, Which Is Healthier?
Both white and brown rice have their pros and cons but as brown rice is in it’s more whole form, it can be the healthier option compared to white rice. However, if you look around the world, some of the areas with the longest living humans have made white rice a staple in their diet for centuries. We use high-quality long-grain white rice in our Chef Soraya bowls to stay consistent with the cultural variations of beans and rice dishes around the world, to increase shelf-stabilization, and to ensure that you can prepare your bowl in just minutes! We promise that our white rice is nutritious, delicious, and a healthy carb source especially when paired with beans and lentils.