White vs Brown Rice: Have you been lied to?


When it comes to types of grains to eat, rice has, for some civilizations, been a centuries old choice. These civilizations have used white rice as a staple in their diets. However more recently brown rice has been making a splash on the health food scene. Some people have gone as far to say that brown rice is good and white rice is not. The debate has gone on for years over which is healthier; brown or white rice.

So let’s take a closer look at both brown and white rice. White rice, by volume, has more iron, folic acid, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin. Brown rice has more magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamin b6. The more nutrient dense rice is brown, but only slightly. But, aside from this slight advantage, brown rice actually faces more problems when being digested.

The first digestions down fall is that brown rice has more phytates and lectins than white rice, Phytates and lectins bind to vitamins and minerals and prevent your body from absorbing them. So even though brown rice might be nutrient dense, you body cannot actually absorb them all and there for falls short of truly being “more nutritious” than white rice. White rice has the bran and germ removed, hence making it “white” rice. The majority of the phytic acid is found in the bran, so white rice has almost all of the phytic acid removed in the process of taking off the bran. This means that you can actually absorb the nutrients in white rice better.

The second digestion downfall is that brown rice still has the bran and germ, and the bran and germ make it harder to digest. Bran and germ can both be irritating to the digestive track. Being eaten regularly, or paired with other grains, can lead to digestive problems like leaky gut or inflammation. White rice, because it is void of both the bran and germ, is easier to digest and a good source of glucose for after working out or when ever you need it.

But what about the fact that white rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice? Even though white rice has a slightly higher glycemic index, you can lower it by eating it with the right foods. To prevent glycemic spikes when eating white rice, you can eat it with vinegar or fats. A good way to eat is with a drizzle of grass-fed butter or even olive oil on the rice itself. Pairing white rice with butter roasted vegetables, a few slices of avocado or chopped roasted nuts will also be a tasty way to eat it.

Overall, although brown rice is slightly more nutrient dense, white rice provides an easier way to get these same nutrients to your body while being easier to digest and easier on your gut in the long run.

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