White Rice vs Brown Rice: What Makes Them Different?
- Ria Baidya
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
White, brown or no rice at all? We try to understand how to maintain a balanced approach.
Rice is a very crucial component of a quintessential Indian diet. It is widely enjoyed by everyone and finds a unique place in every regional cuisine of India. From our mouthwatering rajma-chawal, dal-chawal, maach bhaat to our South India idli, uttapam, dosas, the batter of which are also traditionally rice-based.
But lately, there has been a lot of debate surrounding white rice. Dieters have suddenly grown wary of this grain. But what you are missing out between these 'myths' is that rice is an important part of our diet as they help regulating the digestive system and provide us with ample energy. Beside this, it also works as a natural diuretic, which helps restore our water balance and expel excess sodium.
So, the real question is should we avoid rice altogether, or maybe switch to a healthier variant?
Difference Between Brown Rice And White Rice
In addition to the colour, both white rice and brown rice are quite different in terms of composition and there exists some amount of variance in nutrient profile too. Brown rice is a whole grain, which means, all parts of the grain, i.e bran, germ and endosperm are retained in this variant. In white rice, however, the bran and germ and removed and only the carb-rice endosperm remains.
Now, let's take into account some more factors.
1. Healthy Gut
When it comes to gut membrane, white rice has its own perks, it has a fair amount of zinc. Various studies shows that zinc is an essential element for the body as the deficiency of the same can damage the gut membrane barrier. Right amount of zinc supplementation may help to protect the gut lining.
2. Glycemic Index
Brown rice has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice. And people with diabetes should try to avoid the white rice because it may lead to an increase in insulin.
3. Good Carbohydrates
Many of us fear from the word ‘carb’ itself, but we need carbohydrates as well. It provides energy to our body, and athletes also gorge also need them in specific amounts. The reason they do so, because they need adequate energy during prolonged exercise. Research shows that carbohydrate-rich foods have sufficient glycaemic index, which provides a good source of carbohydrate for muscle glycogen synthesis. Thus, portion control comes handy here. You can also consume white rice and could use those carbohydrates during your hot yoga sessions or pilate classes. But since white rice is a whole grain, you have better chance of getting good fibres.
Brown rice is rich in antioxidants, minerals and various vitamins like vitamin B1, B2, B3, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron and zinc. These nutrients undoubtedly help our body in several ways.
Starch is present in both the rice and both of them are equally healthy in their own aspect. Brown rice is highly nutritious as it contains an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds in its starch. On the other hand, the presence of endosperm in white rice is essentially a rich reservoir of starch which can keep a person quite healthy and fit.
The difference between brown rice and white rice is minimal. And if the grains are included with dishes that involve fresh vegetables, then both the rice can balance out the nutrients. People often get confused about their calorie intakes and think that brown rice is good to keep them lean which is true to some extent, but that does not mean that white rice will wreck your weight loss journey completely. One of the examples of this is people in Okinawa in Japan who consume a lot of carbohydrates and still are quite lean and healthy. It is safe to say that both the rice can be consumed in a healthy way and moderation is key.