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Difference Between White Rice and Brown rice

White Rice vs Brown Rice

When it comes to food and health, the golden rule is brown is better, be it brown eggs, brown bread, or brown rice. Mahatma Gandhi said, “It is wonderful, if we chose the right diet, what an extraordinarily small quantity would suffice.” Rice is a versatile grain and a staple food for many people, particularly in countries like India, China, Japan, Indonesia, and so on. It is widely cultivated around the world. When it comes to rice, there are just so many varieties based on size, shape, and color. White rice and brown rice are the two most common varieties found in the United States and also the most misunderstood.

What is White Rice?

White rice is refined, milled rice with the hull and bran removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm, which mainly composed of starch and protein. The endosperm is the most commonly consumed part of the rice grain that provides energy for seed germination. Besides that, white rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population and has been for many centuries. Yet many people believe white rice is not good for your health. It is true that white rice contains fewer essential nutrients, but it helps stabilize blood sugar levels and is easy to cook and digest, which makes it a preferred choice of ingredient.

What is Brown Rice?

Unlike the white rice, brown rice is a whole grain rice because it contains all parts of the grain, including bran, germ, and endosperm. The brown rice is a highly nutritious, gluten-free whole grain that contains a good amount of healthy compounds, such as fiber and several vitamins and minerals. Like white rice, it goes into milling after harvesting, which reveals the brown rice beneath. The outer coating is called the bran and the nutrient-rich layer is called the germ. These two layers contain most of the vitamins and the minerals. This is the same reason why brown rice is considered more nutritious because the two layers are intact. The outer, inedible hull, however, is removed.

Difference between White Rice and Brown Rice

1. Grain Type

– Brown rice is simply the whole rice grain as it contains the outer layer called the bran, the nutrient-rich core called the germ, and the starchy layer called the endosperm. White rice, on the other hand, is a milled rice with the hull and bran removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This mean white rice is classified as a refined grain. The bare endosperm can soak up water easily, which makes it easy to cook.

2. Nutrition Facts

– White rice is considered an empty carb because majority of its nutrients are stripped away during the process. It is highly processed and missing its nutrient-rich core called the germ. Only the endosperm remains, which mainly composed of starch and protein. So, white rice relatively contains less fiber, protein, and other key nutrients. Brown rice is highly nutritious and gluten-free whole grain, and contains a good amount of healthy compounds, such as fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

3. Health Effects

– Many studies have suggested diets high in refined grains result in obesity and weight gain, but the research is inconsistent when it comes to white rice. But it is also true that white rice helps stabilize blood sugar levels. In fact, brown rice also helps control blood sugar levels. However, high intake of white rice may impact blood sugar levels in case of type 2 diabetics. Some believe white rice may lead to obesity, but that’s not always the case.

White Rice vs. Brown Rice: Comparison Chart


Well, it is true that brown rice is more nutritious than its white counterpart but that does not mean that white rice is not good for your health. White rice has fewer essential nutrients than brown rice, but it’s not unhealthy. White rice, in fact, has a longer shelf life than brown rice and is easy to cook and digest. White rice lacks the nutritional benefits of brown rice simply because majority of its nutrients have been stripped away. In many countries, white rice is usually fortified with lots of nutrients, including iron and some B vitamins like folic acid.

Is brown rice better for you than white rice?

Brown rice is whole grain rice that contains all parts of the grain, including the bran and the germ, which contain healthy compounds, such as fiber and several vitamins and minerals. But white rice has been staple food in many countries for centuries.

Which rice is the healthiest?

Brown rice is usually considered the healthier rice because it is highly nutritious and gluten-free. It has the outer bran layer and also the germ layer still attached. These two layers contain most of the vitamins and the minerals.

Is brown rice good for weight loss?

Brown rice contains more fibre that refined grain like white rice, which helps reduce belly fat and shed some pounds.

Is it OK to eat brown rice every day?

When part of a balanced diet, brown rice provides a number of essential nutrients and it also contains high levels of magnesium to help you make less prone to heart diseases. However, it is also advised to add other varieties of items in your food diet.

What are the side effects of brown rice?

Brown rice contains more fiber, so it may upset your stomach or cause diarrhea, if you’re sensitive to fiber. Also, brown rice contains more arsenic than white rice, almost 50 percent more,

Is basmati rice better than brown rice?

Basmati rice can be both brown and white, and also red. Basmati rice is a specific variety of rice, but it’s not associated with any specific color. Both are whole grain rice. The brown basmati rice seems to be rich in calories, carbs, and fiber. So, basmati rice is comparable to other types of rice in terms of nutrients.

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  1. This article frequently confuses the two types of rice…

    “When looking at the difference between white rice and brown rice, the former variety cooks faster than the white ones. If brown rice has to be cooked faster, it should have to be soaked in water for some hours.”

    “Well, another advantage with white rice is that it can be stored for longer periods than the white variety.”

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References :

[0]Rosati, Kitty Gurkin and Robert Rosati. The Rice Diet Solution: The World-Famous Low-Sodium, Good-Carb, Detox Diet for Quick and Lasting Weight Loss. New York, United States: Simon and Schuster, 2006. Print

[1]Bao, Jinsong. Rice: Chemistry and Technology. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 2018. Print

[2]Manickavasagan, Annamalai, et al. Brown Rice. Berlin, Germany: Springer, 2017. Print

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