Brown Rice Vs White Rice

Over three billion people worldwide depend on rice for over half of  their daily total calorie intake. All rice is not created equal. When deciding which type of rice to eat, you might want to take the following comparisons into consideration.

Processing & Vitamin Availability

Rice goes through a variety of processes before it’s ready for cooking. After harvesting, the seeds are run through a rice huller/husker for milling to remove the outer grain husks. After this process, you’re left with brown rice. Nice and simple.

To create white rice, there’s added steps. The germ and the inner husk (bran) is removed, the grain is then polished, usually using glucose or talc.

These added steps to turn brown rice to white remove nutrients that are sometimes then introduced back in via synthetic sources – this is called fortified white rice. White rice is also be buffed with glucose or talc powder (often called polished rice, though this term may also refer to white rice in general) The same type of thing happens in brown bread vs. white bread scenario.

The milling process is not the best thing for rice. Once the rice has been processed, much of the ‘good’ components of the white rice have been removed. Most of the dietary fiber, B3, B1, B6, and essential fatty acids are destroyed, including half of the manganese, iron, and phosphorus.


Unlike brown rice,white rice doesn’t  contains fiber. Dietary fiber is something that will be removed during processing. Brown rice can assist in the digestion of many other foods and will leave the diner healthier for the long haul, as long as the rice is eaten consistently over a long period of time. This is a health benefit that may be one of the major factors when making a decision about which rice to apply to a diet.

Glycemic Index

White and brown rice have nearly the same effect on glucose levels that are located in the blood. The glycemic index of white is 44 for converted rice, 56 for long-grain white rice and 72 for short-grain white rice. The glycemic index of brown rice is 55, putting it about equivalent to long-grain white rice. However, brown rice is a better food than white rice because of the additional fiber and nutrients it contains. This will result in white rice leaving the bodybuilder slightly hungrier in a lesser amount of time.

Note: Understanding the glycemic load is useful for diabetics and others needing to monitor the quality and quantity of food that they eat. Read more: Glycemic Index Is It a Myth

Taste Factor

Taste is something personal when deciding which rice you are going to buy. If you like white rice because of its taste and texture, You have to understand that white rice is enriched by adding nutrients, especially those lost during the milling process. While the cheapest method of enriching involves adding a powdered blend of nutrients that will easily wash off, more sophisticated methods apply nutrients directly to the grain, coating the grain with a water insoluble substance which is resistant to washing. Talc-coated rice remains the norm in some countries due to its attractive shiny appearance, but it has been banned in some due to its cancer promoting characteristics. Even where talc is not used, glucose, starch, or other coatings may be used to improve the appearance and taste of the grain.

Mixing the two rice is one of the best suggestions that can be offered. The chief difference between the two is that white rice has gone through the milling process, while the brown rice has not. Both white and brown rice are excellent ingredients if you are also looking to pack on lean muscle  mass.

Shelf Life
Uncooked brown rice has a considerably shorter shelf life (about six months) than uncooked white rice (eight to ten years) due to the oil in the germ layer of brown rice. Therefore, if you are buying rice as a survival food for long-term storage, white rice might be the better choice.  Thanks to Hema and  Suzanne  for pointing out that uncooked brown rice doesn’t keep for as long as white rice. Stored in an airtight container, brown rice will keep fresh for about six months.


Now days brown rice is processed is to increase its storage time. Such processed types of brown rice go rancid after  6-8 months while white rice lasts up to 10 years. This is important in parts of the world like India, where rice is the main source of calories,even though rice is not high in protein to begin with.

Other Alternatives:

Parboiled Rice – In India, where millions depend on rice, the process of parboiling rice was discovered. In the U.S its also available as  “converted rice.” This process  involves steaming the rice before the final stages of processing. This drives some of the nutrients especially Thiamine  into the inner layers  before the outer layers are removed. The result is ‘white rice,’ but with more nutrients.

Quinoa, a staple of the ancient Incas who revered it as sacred, is not a true grain, rather an herb. Unlike most grains quinoa is a complete protein and is high in iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, and fiber. In studies, quinoa is a complete protein and is high in iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, and fiber. In studies, quinoa is a proven aid for migraine sufferers and, like most whole grains, lessens the risk for heart disease.It also contains the building blocks for superoxide dismutase-an important antioxidant that helps protect the energy centers of your cells from free radical damage.

Wild Rice
Not a true grain, wild rice is actually a type of aquatic grass seed native to the United States and Canada. It tends to be a bit pricier than other grains, but its high content of protein and delicious nutty flavor make wild rice worth every penny. It’s an excellent choice for people with celiac disease or those who have gluten or wheat sensitivities. Wild rice also has a lower caloric content than many grains at 83 calories per half cup of cooked rice. And it is high in fiber. It’s important to note that wild rice is black. There are many blends of white and wild rice, which primarily consist of refined white rice. Be sure to use only real wild rice, not the blends.

Foxtail Millet
Foxtail millet is a gluten-free grain which is the oldest cultivated millet. Millet has been a food staple in parts of the eastern hemisphere for thousands of years, but only recently has been gaining in popularity in Europe and North America. It is high in the B vitamins as well as iron, manganese, phosphorus and tryptophan.

So, if you’re trying to decide between white rice and brown rice for health reasons, it’s clear that brown rice is the winner. If you’re looking to buy rice in bulk for long-term food storage, then white rice is clearly the more practical choice.