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Last updated: February 9, 2020
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love rice dishes. I could literally eat rice each and everyday and not get sick of it.
As you may already know, Japanese food has been my favorite international cuisine, ever since my first visit to the land of the rising sun many years ago. Perhaps this is where my love for rice stems from.
There are various types of rice available these days, but most people differentiate between brown rice and white rice.
Read on and find out which type of rice is the healthier option, and which one you should choose if weight loss is important to you. Brown rice versus white rice, let’s see who wins!
Brown Rice and White Rice Explained
Before we dive into nutrients and health benefits, let’s first work out why rice can have different colors.
This process involves removing its husk (outer shell), bran (outer layer), and germ (reproductive part). This explains why brown rice not only tastes different, it also has a texture that is very different from white rice.
The main reason rice needs to go through this milling process is preservation. Removing the above mentioned bits and pieces increases the shelf life of white rice significantly, but the drawback is that much of its nutrition gets lost.
Have a look at below table with nutritional values for 100 grams worth of cooked brown rice and white rice.
Keep in mind that this is just a snapshot to showcase the differences between the two, it’s not a complete nutritional profile.
|White Rice||Brown Rice|
|Energy||130 calories||111 calories|
|Carbohydrates||28.2 g||23.0 g|
|Dietary fiber||0.4 g||1.8 g|
|Sugar||0.1 g||0.4 g|
|Thiamin||0% DV||6% DV|
|Niacin||2% DV||8% DV|
|Vitamin B6||5% DV||7% DV|
|Iron||1% DV||2% DV|
|Magnesium||3% DV||11% DV|
|Phosphorus||4% DV||8% DV|
|Zinc||3% DV||4% DV|
|Copper||3% DV||5% DV|
|Manganese||24% DV||45% DV|
|Selenium||11% DV||14% DV|
|Sources: White rice nutrtion, Brown rice nutrition|
As you can see, brown rice has a much better nutritional profile than white rice. Brown rice is particularly high in nutrients such as manganese, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus and magnesium, but also dietary fiber.
When it comes to weight loss, brown rice also appears to be the better choice, because it is lower in calories and higher in fiber than white rice.
The only way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories than you burn each day, to create a calorie deficit.
One cup of 100 g white rice contains roughly 130 calories. Choose brown rice instead, and you can eat the same amount of rice and consume only 111 calories.
Although this doesn’t seem to be a big difference, if you eat one cup of white rice every day instead of brown rice, then the calories certainly do add up.
Not only is brown rice lower in calories, it’s also significantly higher in dietary fiber than white rice is.
Each 1-cup serving of brown rice comes with 1.8 grams of fiber, or 7 percent of the daily value. Compared to only 0.4 grams of fiber in the same amount of white rice.
Fiber is essential for us in many different ways, but it also helps with weight loss by slowing the emptying of the stomach. This makes you feel full longer, which in turn makes you eat less.
It may also reduce the amount of calories you absorb from macro-nutrients, such as fat and carbohydrates.
I am going to be completely honest here with you and say that I absolutely prefer white rice over brown rice. It just tastes better! Especially in Japanese and Indian dishes, I cannot imagine eating brown rice.
That’s not to say that I never eat brown rice, because I do. I am very conscious of the fact that brown rice is the better choice when it comes to health benefits, so I do try to make dishes with brown rice also.
For example, I find that steamed brown rice works really well with fish, such as fried salmon or white fish. But otherwise, I stick to white rice!