brown rice and white rice differences

Should You Eat Brown Rice Or White Rice?

Deciding the type of rice to eat is shockingly easier than you think

What are the differences between brown rice or white rice? Is one better than the other?

True, both are excellent sources of energy, but which of the two can give you the most nutritional value?

This post will help you decide which of the two rice types will be more beneficial to you. 

Let’s dive in!

What are the differences between brown rice and white rice?

Rice is categorized as part of food grains, but it’s technically a seed. Here are the differences between the two types of rice:

1. The process it undergoes

Brown rice contains the bran, germ, and endosperm. Hence, these part of the grain is intact. 

The bran contains the fiber, the germ has the nutrients, and the endosperm is rich in carbohydrates. 


As for white rice, the grain’s bran and germ are removed. This makes white rice less nutritious since most of its essential nutrients are bran and germ.

In other words, brown rice is unpolished rice, while white rice is polished rice. 

2. The shelf-life capacity

The bran layer present in brown rice contains essential fatty acids, which are fat. When fat is oxidized, it becomes rancid. 

Hence, the maximum storage capacity of brown rice will last up to six months. 

Removing the bran and germ for white rice production extends its shelf life up to a few years. In this regard, white rice wins!

3. The nutritional properties  

Brown rice has the bran and germ intact, which carries most of the grain’s nutrients. 

The bran contains the fiber, the germ has the nutrients, and the endosperm is rich in carbohydrates. 

In white rice, the grain’s bran and germ are removed. 

This makes white rice less nutritious since most of its essential nutrients are found in the bran and germ. 

This explains why other manufacturers enrich their rice to restore the vitamins and minerals that were lost during the milling process.

Brown rice has more fiber, vitamins (niacin and thiamin), minerals (manganese, selenium, and magnesium) and antioxidants compared to white rice. 

4. Glycemic index response

Glycemic index (GI) refers to the reaction on how quick or slows your blood glucose level increases after consuming certain foods, especially carbohydrate food. 

This measurement is commonly used for patients with diabetes mellitus.

According to research, it is better to consume brown rice over white rice if you are diabetic or hyperglycemic. 

Brown rice is low in glycemic index, and it can lower your blood sugar level because brown rice is high in fiber and magnesium.

In glycemic index (GI) value, a cup of boiled brown rice has a GI of 55, while a cup of cooked white rice has a GI of 64.

study suggests that eating brown instead of white rice can lower your blood sugar levels and makes you less prone to acquiring type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. 

Another study revealed that brown rice can decrease 24-h glucose and fasting insulin responses of overweight individuals

5. Additional health benefits

Note that in every 100 grams, cooked brown rice gives 1.8 grams of fiber, while white rice only gives 0.4 grams. 

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate plant source that is indigestible in the body. 


It helps eases bowel movement and regulates sugar digestion and suppresses our hunger

The brown rice’s bran contains lignans and ferulic acid.

Lignans are antioxidants that lower your risk of having osteoporosis, breast cancer, heart disease, and menopausal symptoms. 

Ferulic acid is another antioxidant that helps prevent diabetes and cancer. 

6. The difference in taste      

Each type of rice tastes differently. 

Brown sometimes tastes almost chewy with a tint of nuttiness. White rice tastes milder and softer. In texture, brown rice is sticky, while white rice is starchy. 

Where does brown rice come from?

Brown rice is one of the ancient foods from 6000 years ago that was first cultivated in China. 

Recently, archaeologists discovered traces of primitive rice seeds and old farm tools that existed in the past 9000 years. 

Rice was a staple in Asia until Arab travelers acquired seeds and brought it to the Greek kingdom. Alexander the Great brought the seeds to India until it spreads around the world. 

Spain started its rice cultivation in the 8th century since the Moors came. France began producing rice because of crusaders. 

In the 17th century, the Spaniards came and colonized South America, where they also introduced rice plantations in the area. 

Most of the rice supply is produced in Asia. China, Thailand, and Vietnam are among the giant exporters of rice.

What are the health risk of eating brown rice?

One of the concerns people worry about eating brown rice is that it may contain the toxin called arsenic, lead, or cadmium. 

In particular, rice tends to absorb and accumulate more arsenic at higher levels than other crops, fruits, and vegetables. 

Long-term exposure to arsenic can lead to adverse health effects such as stomach, liver, kidneys, and coronary heart disease, and diabetes. 

study revealed that brown rice has a higher arsenic proportion compared to white rice.

This should not be a big deal as long as you eat rice in moderation.

Can brown rice help you lose weight?

For those who are weight conscious, this grain might help you!


Research claims that brown rice will help you reduce weight. A 6-week brown rice replacement diet was set to follow by non-menopausal overweight or obese female. 

Results showed that brown rice consumption shows a significant reduction in these women’s anthropometric measures in weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist, and Hip Circumference. 

In a 12-year cohort study, researchers followed 74,091 women to examine the effects of intakes of dietary fiber and whole- or refined-grain products on body weight. 

The study concluded that women who consistently consume whole grains weighed less than women who consumed little amounts of whole grains. 

The women who eat more dietary fiber have a lower risk of gaining weight.

What are the benefits of eating rice in general?

Rice is a grass plant that produces edible starchy cereal grains. It is widely consumed as a carbohydrate staple all over the world. 

Culinary preparations for rice comes in different methods. It can be either boiled or powdered into flour.

You can enjoy rice with a combination of different side dishes, soups, and main dishes of various international cuisines. 

Or some just prefer to eat rice alone. In Asian countries, rice is present in every meal, from breakfast, lunch, and dinner! 

Other products produced from rice are breakfast cereals, noodles, and rice alcohol. 

1. Is an excellent source of carbohydrates

Nutritionally, rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates that gives us the energy to work, with a little amount of protein and no fat. 

2. Is rich in minerals 

Rice is rich in iron, folic acid, thiamin and niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium. 

Other rice varieties contain bioactive compounds, including fiber, minerals, and vitamins, that may not present in different types. 


3. Can help improve cholesterol

Rice has little to no saturated and fats cholesterol, which makes it a healthy food for the heart, and it’s a good food source to help manage blood pressure. 

The fiber found in rice is helpful for digestion, which helps recover the normal state of intestinal mucosa after colitis or helps relieve diarrhea

It also contains resistant starch that eases bowel movements


Brown rice has a more nutritional and healthful advantage. 

This is because it contains more fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals despite its shorter shelf-life over white rice. 

Studies have highlighted that brown rice has a low glycemic index, which can help you manage your blood sugar level.

Also, brown rice is rich in fiber, which can be an excellent carbohydrate source for your weight loss diet

Whether you eat brown rice or white rice, it’s all up to you to decide. 

The important thing that you are mindful of what you eat and make sure your plate is colorful as this healthy eating principle: variety, balance, and moderation.