Brown Rice and White Rice: Which type of rice is better for your health?

Rice is a commonly used cereal with more than half of the world’s population. In particular, they are the staple food of Asian meals. Rice comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. But the most common are white rice and brown rice.

I. What is brown rice and white rice?

Brown rice is a whole grain, including high-carb endosperm, nutritious sprouts and fiber bran, leaving only the outer husk,

In contrast, white rice is refined, polished grain, remove bran and sprouts, losing most of the vitamins and minerals.

So which one is better and healthier? To find out, let’s compare a bit to reveal the pros and cons of each.

What is brown rice and white rice

Image: Internet

II. What is the difference between brown rice and white rice?

1. In terms of vitamin content

In terms of vitamins brown rice is the winner with particularly higher Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B2, slightly higher Vitamin E, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K. 

By contrast, white rice is higher in Folic acid (Vitamin B9).

2. In terms of mineral content

In terms of mineral content, brown rice is again more positive than white rice. Brown rice has much higher levels of magnesium and phosphorus than white rice. In addition, the content of potassium, copper and zinc also results higher than moon rice.

However, white rice has a higher content of iron and calcium, while the sodium content is lower than brown rice.

From these comparisons it can be concluded that brown rice has a higher nutritional content than white rice.

3. Brown rice contains anti-poisons and arsenic

3.1. Phytic acid or phytate

The main antinutrient of brown rice is phytic acid or phytate. Phytate binds metal ions, especially Zinc, Calcium and Iron, making insoluble salts, which reduces their absorption from gastrointestinal tract. That is why excessive consumption of brown rice may lead to mineral deficiency. Alternatively, the ability of phytate to bind minerals has some protective effects, such as decreasing iron-mediated colon cancer risk, minimizing calcification and kidney stone formation, lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels.

In the long term, eating phytic acid at most meals may contribute to a mineral deficiency. However, this is very unlikely for people who eat a varied diet.

3.2. Asen

According to the study published in February 2008 that utilized synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence to locate Arsenic in white and brown rice grains, brown rice had a higher proportion of inorganic Arsenic than white rice. High concentrations of Arsenic increase the risks of cancer and heart coronary disease.

In short: Brown rice contains toxic phytic acid, and also has higher arsenic content than white rice. This may be a concern for those who eat a lot of rice. However, moderate consumption will be okay.

the difference between brown rice and white rice


III. Impact on health?

Detailed consideration of the effects of these two types of rice on health with the following criteria:

1. Affects blood sugar and diabetes risk.

Brown rice is high in magnesium and fiber, both of which help control blood sugar. Research shows that regularly eating whole grains, like brown rice, helps lower blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In one study, women who regularly ate whole grains had a 31% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least cereal.

Simply replacing white rice with brown has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Conversely, high white rice consumption is linked to an increased risk of diabetes.

This may be due to its high glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar.

Brown rice has a GI of 50 and white rice has a GI of 89, meaning white increases blood sugar levels much faster than brown rice.

Eating high GI foods has been linked to a number of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

In short, Eating brown rice may help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In contrast, white rice may actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

2. Reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce cholesterol

Brown rice contains lignans, plant compounds that may help protect against heart disease.

Lignans have been shown to reduce blood fats, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation in arteries

Studies show that eating brown rice helps reduce some risk factors for heart disease. An analysis of 45 studies found that people who ate the most whole grains, including brown rice, had a 16% – 21% lower risk of heart disease than those who ate the least whole grains.

An analysis of 285,000 men and women found that eating an average of 2.5 servings of cereal foods a day could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by nearly 25%.

Whole grains like brown rice can also lower total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Brown rice is even linked to an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

3. Antioxidant status

Brown rice bran contains many powerful antioxidants.

Studies show that due to their antioxidant levels, whole grains like brown rice may help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Studies also show that brown rice may help increase blood antioxidant levels in obese women.

Additionally, a recent animal study found that eating white rice may reduce blood antioxidant levels in type 2 diabetics.

4. Weight control

Eating brown rice instead of white can also significantly reduce weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist and hip circumference.

One study collected data on 29,683 adults and 15,280 children. The researchers found that the more whole grains people ate, the lower their body weight.

In another study, researchers tracked more than 74,000 women for 12 years and found that women who consumed lots of whole grains always weighed less than women who consumed fewer grains. Whole grain cup.

Additionally, a randomized controlled trial in 40 overweight and obese women found that brown rice reduced body weight and waist size compared to white rice.

5. Other important effects

Brown rice has a higher content of choline and fiber. Choline is an essential nutrient, not a vitamin or mineral. It is important for liver function, lipid transport and metabolism, muscle movement, cell membrane signaling as part of acetylcholine neurotransmitter. Choline is important for fetal brain and memory development, it reduces the risk of developing neural tube defects (2). Fiber contributes to a proper function of the digestive tract, cardiovascular system, control of blood sugar and cholesterol.

For white rice, white rice is rich in Folic acid (Vitamin B9), which is important for the proper formation of parental germ cells in the future, fetal brain development, especially in the three months early of pregnancy. Does it reduce blood homocysteine? The level, prevented in this way from forming atherosclerotic plaques and damage of blood vessels.

IV. You should eat brown rice or white rice

Brown rice has a higher nutritional content than white rice. However, brown rice contains higher levels of arsenic and phytic acid than white rice. This arsenic content can be reduced by washing rice thoroughly before cooking, or choosing rice in arsenic-less affected areas .. and most importantly, diversifying the diet with a variety of foods. .

From the above-mentioned characteristics, it can be concluded as follows:

Brown rice is suitable for people with diabetes, high cholesterol and those intending to lose weight.

In contrast, white rice is especially important for the following subjects:

  • People with kidney disease: using white rice will be a better choice than brown rice.
  • Pregnant and lactating women: White rice provides a large amount of the mineral folate to help reduce the risk of birth defects, such as premature birth, disability, low birth weight, or stillbirth.
  • People with intestinal problems: White rice contains less fiber than brown rice, so it is an ideal food source for people with diarrhea, diverticulitis or post-surgery that requires a diet low in fiber.

Both types of rice are suitable for a healthy diet. Depending on the nutritional needs, you can consider which rice to use accordingly.

If the selection is difficult, another simple solution that you can apply, is to combine the two types of rice together in the daily diet to absorb the nutrients contained in both rice.

V. Reference: detailed comparison of nutritional content in 2 types of rice.

1. Nutritional content

Nutritional content




















Source: Summary

See more: High quality rice of Vietnamese origin