When I’m given the choice between white and brown rice, I always feel obligated to choose brown. To me, white rice feels more like an indulgence, a guilty pleasure. I’ve had it drummed into me from childhood that when it comes to all carbs, brown is good and white is bad. But is white rice really as demonic as it’s made out to be?
“Brown and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates,” says Beverly Hills, CA, celebrity nutritionist Amy Piacentino. “The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content.” With brown rice, only the most outer layer, or husk, is removed. For white rice, the next layers, the bran and germ, are removed, leaving only the white starchy endosperm behind.
Because white rice is so stripped, brown rice is actually better for you in the end. Brown rice has seven times the fiber as white rice, more protein and is actually a great source of antioxidants. “Brown rice will keep you satiated longer for the same number of calories. It should be selected whenever there’s the option,” says New York dietician Lauren Slayton.
Since white rice doesn’t keep you as full as long as brown rice does, you’re likely to consume more calories to compensate. Additionally, white rice rapidly converts to sugar that causes blood sugar spikes that can also make you hungry. On top of that, there’s a recent study from Harvard School of Public Health found that people who eat large amounts of rice are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Basically, white rice just doesn’t have as much to offer as brown rice does. “Brown rice is a whole grain that contains B and E vitamins, fiber, minerals and phytochemicals,” says celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. “It’s also naturally low-fat and an easy-to-digest form of fuel.”
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you