Is Brown rice better than White rice?

Which is the better choice?
Although white rice has recently gained in popularity, people have long eaten both kinds of rice.
Due to growing health and dietary awareness in recent years, more people are choosing brown rice. A new debate has erupted over whether brown rice or white rice is healthier to consume.
But if faced to make a choice, which of the two should you choose? To make things easier, here's a review of the nutritional composition, health benefits, and other key facts about white rice and brown rice.
Nutritional value:


Brown rice 

White rice 

Calories: 218

Calories: 242

Fat: 1.62g

Fat: 0.4g

Sodium: 1.95mg

Sodium: 0mg

Carbohydrates: 45.8g

Carbohydrates: 53.4g

Fiber: 3.51g

Fiber: 0.6g

Sugars: 0g

Sugars: 0g

Protein: 4.52g

Protein: 4.4g

This information is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a 1-cup serving of cooked medium-grain brown rice and white rice.[3]
Brown rice is more nutrient-dense than white rice in terms of vitamins and minerals. It has twice as much manganese, twice as much phosphorus, 2.5 times as much iron, three times as much vitamin B3, four times as much vitamin B1, and ten times as much vitamin B6.
Health benefits of Brown rice:
  • Brown rice is whole grain whose outer skin has not been removed. Hence it provides overall more nourishment than white rice.
  • Numerous advantages of a brown rice diet include lowered cholesterol and a generally decreased risk of stroke, heart disease, obesity, constipation, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.[1][4]
  • Brown rice is a blessing for postmenopausal women because it boosts their cardiovascular health. Brown rice has more selenium and fiber than white rice, which lowers the risk of colon cancer.
All of the data suggests that brown rice is the preferable option. But does that hold true for everyone, and is nutrition the only factor? Let's examine several more aspects to find the answer.
Health benefits of White rice:
  • Arsenic is an extremely hazardous substance found in soil, water, and the air we breathe. Rice is grown in rice paddies where it absorbs arsenic from the soil. White rice is less dangerous than brown rice because the majority of the arsenic collects in the bran.[2]
  • White rice is advisable for elderly people or anybody else with a weakened digestive system. 
  • The kidneys are in charge of regulating the amounts of minerals such as phosphorus and potassium in the body. People with kidney illness should consume more white rice since it is easy on the kidneys.
  • Studies have shown that eating too much white rice might lead to weight gain. Due to this, anyone trying to gain weight or into bodybuilding should always choose white rice over brown rice.
So when it comes to the topic of whether brown or white rice is healthier, the short answer is: it actually depends upon you,  your health objectives, and other factors. A dietician or nutritionist is the best person to guide you on how much, when, and what sort of rice to consume. In this manner, you can enjoy all the advantages of both brown and white rice without having to take any risks.


  • Effect of Brown Rice, White Rice, and Brown Rice with Legumes on Blood Glucose and Insulin Responses in Overweight Asian Indians: A Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Viswanathan Mohan, MD, Ph.D., DSc, corresponding author1 Donna Spiegelman, ScD,2,,3 Vasudevan Sudha, MSc,1 Rajagopal Gayathri, MSc,1 Biling Hong, MS,3 Kallingal Praseena, MSc,1 Ranjit Mohan Anjana, MD,1 Nicole M. Wedick, ScD,4 Kokila Arumugam, BSc,1 Vasanti Malik, ScD,4 Sabitha Ramachandran, BSc,1 Mookambika Ramya Bai, MPhil,1 Jeya Kumar Henry, Ph.D.,5 Frank B. Hu, MD, Ph.D.,3,,4 Walter Willett, MD, DPh, Ph.D.,3,,4 and Kamala Krishnaswamy, MD1

  • Phytochemical Profile of Brown Rice and Its Nutrigenomic Implications
  • Keneswary Ravichanthiran,1,† Zheng Feei Ma,2,3,*† Hongxia Zhang,4,† Yang Cao,5 Chee Woon Wang,6 Shahzad Muhammad,7 Elom K. Aglago,8 Yihe Zhang,9 Yifan Jin,2 and Binyu Pan10

  • Brown Rice Versus White Rice: Nutritional Quality, Potential Health Benefits, Development of Food Products, and Preservation Technologies
  • Ahmed S. M. Saleh,Peng Wang,Na Wang,Liu Yang,Zhigang Xiao

  • .Whole grain and refined grain consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies. Eur J Epidemiol (2013) 28(11):845–58. doi:10.1007/s10654-013-9852-5
  •  Aune D, Norat T, Romundstad P, Vatten LJ.

    1. Zhang G, Malik VS, Pan A, Kumar S, Holmes MD, Spiegelman D, et al. Substituting brown rice for white rice to lower diabetes risk: a focus-group study in Chinese adults. J Am Diet Assoc (2010) 110(8):1216–21. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.05.004

    Leave a Comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published