Rice Vs Chapati: Physician Confirms Which Is The Smarter Option

The rice vs roti debate is a longstanding one, especially because both of these are staple carbohydrates in most Indian households and provide essential energy for the body. It’s widely believed that white rice is not as nutritious as whole wheat chapati. However, Bengaluru-based physician Achyuthan Eswar posted a video and argued that white rice may be the healthier option. White rice has some essential nutrients, such as manganese and iron but lacks the fibre, vitamins, and minerals found in the bran and germ of whole grains.

Whole wheat chapati, on the other hand, is made from whole wheat flour, which retains the bran and germ. This provides a more significant amount of dietary fibre, B vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals compared to white rice. But whole wheat chapati involves milling whole wheat grains to produce whole wheat flour, which is then used to make the chapati.

The process begins with milling whole wheat grains, which include the bran, germ, and endosperm. And it’s this processing which takes away from the nutrition of whole wheat chapatis.

“One study found, chapathis spikes your blood sugar higher than white rice. Why? Because it is made wheat flour. When you grind any grain, it becomes easier to digest and faster to absorb,” says Eswar. He also adds that since white rice takes time to digest the spike in blood sugar is lesser than roti as it involves less processing than whole wheat rotis.

So should you consider avoiding chapati as part of your daily diet? Not really. Eswar points out, “Just eat it as part of a balanced healthy meal, like chapati, dal, sabzi and a fruit. Throw in some greens, flaxseed powder, and cruciferous vegetables to make it even more amazing! And, should you eat white rice? It is better to choose brown rice, red rice, black rice, broken wheat, or millets because they are all whole grains,” he says.

Eswar also shares something that most experts have often suggested for those who are diabetic. It has been widely suggested by nutritionists that diabetics should replace flour-based dishes with grain-based dishes. “If you are diabetic and your blood sugar levels are not reducing despite following a diabetes reversal diet, try moving up the whole grain pyramid above. Replace flour-based dishes with intact grain-based dishes and monitor your sugar levels to see if it helps,” Eswar remarked.

The physician’s video racked up more than 46K likes in just two days. In the caption, Eswar also broke down the healthiest whole grains, which are intact grains, broken grains, flattened grains, grain flours, and puffed grains, in that order. 

If white rice is a smarter choice than whole wheat chapatis, why are so many diabetics recommending chapatis over white rice? Eswar pointed out the simple logic. “Because you can count chapati but you can't count rice easily. Plus it's made from whole grains and not refined. Broken wheat dalia is even better. Try adding more vegetables and legumes to your meal so that your grain intake is automatically controlled without conscious effort,” he said.