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Brown Rice vs White Rice: Why Switching To Brown Rice Is A Good Move?

Brown Rice vs White Rice: Why Switching To Brown Rice Is A Good Move?

When it comes to diet foods, white rice isn’t the best option due to its high-calorie content. Its serving size too cannot provide you enough protein, fiber, or water to keep you full throughout the day. It is one of the most popular staple foods in the world and it finds several million takers every day but it is also not healthy or gluten-free food.

It causes severe digestive system disorders to millions of people every year worldwide. You may offset some of this difference if you eat a small amount of rice with healthy, high fiber, and high protein foods like lentils or green leafy vegetables- but there is an upper limit to it.

Does rice make you fat?

The calories in rice vary slightly between the types of rice you choose. Cooked white rice offers 205 calories per cup while cooked brown and wild rice offer 215 and 165 calories respectively. Brown rice comes with higher amounts of fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, and other vital vitamins and minerals.

This difference in calorie counts can be crucial to your body weight. Combined with food addiction, this difference results in excessive cravings for eating a certain type of food. This may include junk, sugary, salty, or carbohydrate-rich foods, and the person may feel helpless before eating them. The same goes for people who love eating rice every day.

Brown Rice vs White Rice

If you prefer to eat rice every day, you should try to go by a rule called Portion Control. Many rice dishes are also prepared with ingredients containing excessive calories, such as butter (102 calories per tablespoon), margarine (76 calories/tablespoon), or vegetable oil (around 120 calories per tablespoon). Fried rice may contain more than 250 calories per 1 cup serving and beef stir-fried rice contains 345 calories per cup serving.

When white rice is cooked with oil or ghee, you can expect the numbers to go above 300 calories per cup. If you are concerned about gaining any unwanted fat, you should consider having white rice boiled in water with a healthy side dish. Portion control can help you eat a fewer quantity of rice on smaller-sized plates and still make you think that you have had your fill.

This is where brown rice comes into the picture. As a powerhouse of minerals and fiber, it can help you get the goodness of a diet food without an excessive increase in calories. It would also help you with weight management without making any significant changes to your lifestyle, though including some routine fitness sessions would always help!

Why is fiber important in your diet?

Brown rice is a whole grain that has its natural fiber intact. When rice is polished and processed to produce white rice, its germ and bran are removed, thus reducing its identity as a rich fiber food. Although white rice can be enriched with vitamins and minerals, it still cannot regain its fiber content once it is lost.

Tip: Cooked brown and white rice have roughly 45 grams of total carbohydrates per cup. However, the former has 3.5 grams of fiber versus 0.6 grams of fiber in white rice- a difference of six times.

Consuming fiber is largely underrated, especially when it comes to weight loss. Fiber makes the bulk of whole foods and since it cannot be digested, it comes with zero calories. This factor ensures that your blood sugar levels are stable and that you are satiated enough to avoid snacking throughout the day.

Nutrition Levels of Brown Rice vs White Rice: A side-by-side comparison

Brown rice is an excellent source of dietary fiber and magnesium. The two nutrients boost the metabolism process and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also has a lower content of fats so you can eat it in moderation without worrying about any weight gain.

We have created a tabular representation to offer more insight into the same as follows:

Nutrients

Rice, brown, long-grain, raw

 

Rice, white, long-grain, raw, unenriched

 

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz.)

 

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz.)

Energy 1,548 kJ (370 kcal)     1,527 kJ (365 kcal)  
Carbohydrates 77.24 g     79.95 g  
Sugars 0.85 g     0.12 g  
Dietary fiber 3.52 g     1.3 g  
Fat 2.92 g     0.66 g  
Protein 7.85 g     7.13 g  

Vitamins

Quantity

%DV

 

Quantity

%DV

Thiamine (B1) 0.401 mg 35%   0.07 mg 6%
Riboflavin (B2) 0.093 mg 8%   0.049 mg 4%
Niacin (B3) 5.091 mg 34%   1.6 mg 11%
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.493 mg 30%   1.014 mg 20%
Vitamin B6 0.509 mg 39%   0.164 mg 13%
Folate (B9) 20 μg 5%   8 μg 2%

Minerals

Quantity

%DV

 

Quantity

%DV

Calcium 23 mg 2%   28 mg 3%
Iron 1.47 mg 11%   0.8 mg 6%
Magnesium 143 mg 40%   25 mg 7%
Manganese 3.743 mg 178%   1.088 mg 52%
Phosphorus 333 mg 48%   115 mg 16%
Potassium 223 mg 5%   115 mg 2%
Selenium 23.4 μg 33%   15.1 μg 22%
Sodium 7 mg 0%   7 mg  
Zinc 2.02 mg 21%   1.09 mg 11%

Other constituents

Quantity

   

Quantity

 
Water 10.37 g     11.62 g  

The above values are taken from Wikipedia (from here and here) and are verified by USDA.

Health benefits of brown rice

White rice is refined and polished with little to no nutritious value. White rice is more popular because it is cheap to cultivate and sell but it has zero concentration of nutrients like magnesium, iron, and zinc. Even the “enriched” and “fortified” variants of white rice do not contain enough vitamins and fiber. This is why it doesn’t reach the minimum requirements per serving as specified by the FDA.

Brown rice comprises bran and side hull. Brown rice does provide such nutrients and may be eaten every day as a part of the diet. It packs in a much better quantity of healthy nutrients and is a better alternative to its whiter counterpart. The only downside it has is its taste- it has a strong nutty flavor.

Here are some of the health-centric benefits of having brown rice in your daily diet:

1. Packed with fiber

Whole grains such as brown rice cut down the risk of colon cancer because of their high fiber content. Fiber fights cancerous and toxic wastes and excretes them out of the body. This rice variant also stabilizes digestion, prevents constipation and diarrhea, and helps in normal bowel movement.

2. Promotes weight loss

Since it is rich in fiber and helps improve bowel function, brown rice boosts weight loss by improving metabolic function. The fiber gives you a higher feeling of satiation and fullness compared to white rice and thus prevents overeating.

3. Rich in manganese and selenium

100 gm of brown rice comprises almost 180% of your manganese requirement for the day. Manganese helps in the production of important fatty acids that form good cholesterol and improve nervous and reproductive functioning. This nutty-flavored food is also rich in selenium, an important trace mineral that reduces your risk of several chronic illnesses including thyroid and asthma.

4. Reduces cholesterol

Brown rice is rich in good cholesterol (HDL) and can also help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood. Bad Cholesterol is generally created in our body due to an intake of inappropriate foods and their buildup often leads to a lot of toxins in our digestive system.

Tip: Here’s an article explaining how you can eliminate toxins from your body quickly.

5. Packed with antioxidants

Brown rice is a great source of antioxidants that help combat the damage caused by free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses and premature aging. They also help in treating heart diseases by slowing down the process of the oxidation of blood cells.

6. Contains slow-release sugar

White rice is highly processed. It is quickly digested and assimilated into the body and may cause severe spikes in blood sugar levels. Brown rice is digested slowly and keeps blood sugar levels normalized. It is also a great choice for people with diabetes because of its lower Glycemic Index (GI).

Consult a fitness and wellness expert to know how you can include brown rice in your daily diet

Did you know that Asia holds the largest population of patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes due to the consumption of white rice? Doctors believe that people who consume at least two servings of brown rice every week may reduce their blood sugar-based fluctuations by a significant margin.

But merely switching to brown rice alone won’t just cut it. You would also need to back it up with a fiber- and grain-rich diet that offers you a better combination of nutrients. By relying on such a healthy diet, you can expect yourself to complement the goodness of the high fiber count of this rice variant with B vitamins and other minerals.

This, and a fitness-centric lifestyle, would together help you cut down the risk of some chronic diseases by a huge margin. You can make a welcome change to your daily life by consulting a healthcare and wellness expert today. It can all be done through live sessions on your smartphone, and you can choose to get online as and when you’d like with an expert of your choice.