Healthy Mythbusters: Is Brown Rice Any Better Than White?

Are you an advocate for dairy free alternatives, agave, and brown rice? Do you cook with olive oil or add honey to hot items? My upcoming posts will focus on cleaning up some of the healthy talk floating around, determining if you are walking the healthy walk or just talking the talk.

People assume that foods in their more natural or raw form means they are automatically better for you. For a long time, I have heard that brown rice is better than white rice because it is closer to its original form and unrefined. But it leads me to wonder, if white rice was once brown, why is brown rice any better than white?

myth: white rice has less nutritional elements than brown rice.

Brown rice still possesses its husk and bran. Thus, it is said that brown rice is more wholesome, richer in vitamins, and has a lower glycemic rating than white. Brown rice is said to leave you feeling fuller longer because the outer sheath of the grain takes longer to digest. Additionally, energy levels will remain more stable accordingly as well.

COUNTERPOINT: Why Brown Rice Might Not be that Special

The outer husk of the brown rice, which is removed in white rice, is full of phytates and lectins. These are anti-nutrients which bind to vitamins and minerals, preventing them from being absorbed. So while you might think you are getting more bang for your scoop of brown rice, you might not be getting much at all. To avoid this potential hazard, it is crucial to soak the grain prior to eating. For some grains, soaking overnight jumpstarts the germination process, releasing phytase, or the enzyme that breaks down phytic acid. This process makes the grain more digestible. The thing is, in order to rid the brown rice grain of nearly 100% of its phytic acid, it needs to be soaked for at least 24-48 hours. Hopefully, you enjoy planning ahead.

Is Brown Rice Any Better Than White?

To properly prepare brown rice, the grain needs to be soaked for 24-48 hours .

myth: White rice will spike my blood sugar

A common myth is that eating white rice will spike your blood sugar. Therein, brown rice is said to be a more suitable choice for someone who wants stable blood sugar levels, like a diabetic. It is also believed consuming brown rice can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 60%, while those who eat white rice are only increases their chances for this health problem.

COUNTERPOINT: WHY WHITE RICE IS NOT THE PROBLEM

White rice is an absorbable form of glucose that is easy to digest. So, yes, eating too much will probably make you feel bloated, but this can happen with brown rice too. The spikes in your energy are nothing compared to the spikes you would get from eating white bread, typically laden with sugar and other additives. True story: white rice will result in faster conversion of energy. So if you are physically active, white rice is the better alternative. Even in Asia where diabetes is on the rise, studies are finding that rice is not the one to blame. Instead, we should be focusing on the general consumption of processed food and larger portion sizes.

Is Brown Rice Any Better Than White?

Many think brown rice is healthier than white rice, but how much healthier is it?

The final verdict: Is Brown rice any Better than White?

I thought brown rice would leave me feeling fuller, longer? Since the bran and germ are still intact on brown rice, it does make it much harder for the body to digest. However, this is heating for the body. Do not confuse this to mean you are burning calories during the digestion process. Alcohol and ice cream are also heating for the body and no one is claiming that those are better. Either way, a slower digestive process does not equal healthier results. The bran and germ (which are the plants natural defence against pests) on brown rice can irritate the digestive tract and may lead to leaky gut syndrome. This is something nasty which tears the lining of the gut, resulting in allergies, mental disorders, and autoimmune diseases.

As for the “fiber” argument: if you’re already eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, you should not be worrying about needing more fiber.

Is Brown Rice Any Better Than White?

White rice has been eaten three meals a day for hundreds of years in Asia.

Why I still eat white rice.

I do not believe brown rice is any better than white. Brown rice also takes too long to cook. I’m not against organic brown rice, but most of the time, what is available is not organic, nor has it been soaked prior to being served. While Thorbjörg does recommend using brown rice in 10 Years Younger in 10 Weeks, I am positive she would agree that it is necessary to soak the brown rice and choose organic whenever possible!

Which do you typically prefer: white or brown rice?


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Tiffany Lee
24 Oct 2014

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One thought on “Healthy Mythbusters: Is Brown Rice Any Better Than White?

  1. Miguel Perez says:

    For me.. it comes down to taste. It’s not worth the small nutritional advantage. and i am pretty good about my diet.