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Is White Rice As Healthy As We Think?

For a while now, there have been talks about the health benefits of brown rice in comparison to white rice.

Let’s check out what the experts have to say regarding the health benefits of white versus brown rice.


This is the most commonly used type of rice. White rice is produced by the removal of the rice bran and then polishing the grain. It is mainly made from about 90% of carbohydrates and has many health benefits. The rest of the compounds it is made of are 2% fats and 8% proteins.


This is the original and natural form of rice. Because it is not refined and processed it contains almost the entire bran which means it contains the most important part in terms of nutrients. The content of carbohydrates is lower and the amount of fats is higher than the white rice.


In terms of nutrients , brown rice is a lot better than the white rice. But, is it possible to simply conclude that brown rice is healthier than the white one? It would seem that the answer to this question is: not yet.


  • White rice has the bran and germ removed from it and is polished. Brown rice has the bran and germ in it. It is easy for the germ to go rancid quickly and so the larger amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids can oxidize easy, which can lead to many negative reactions in your body. This actually means that the bran, which is nutrient rich could lead to unwanted symptoms.
  • White rice has less fiber than the brown one. The largest amount of fiber is concentrated in the bran. This is good only for people who don’t consume enough fiber with their regular diet. But, for people who already consume a high amount of fiber, this could be bad. Too much fiber can lead bloating, abdominal pains and intestinal gas.
  • Brown rice contains substances that are known as anti-nutrients. These are the substances which inhibit the absorption process of nutrients and also prevent the nutrients to reach to the tissues and muscles. This means that along with the extra nutrients, with brown rice you also take extra anti-nutrients.
  • When using brown rice, by soaking the rice for about 20 minutes you can remove the main anti-nutrient, namely phytic acid. But, according to studies, this acid is still present in the bran after soaking the rice for about half an hour.

Usually, we put down white rice because of the high amounts of starch it has. Most health activists are eager to argue that starch is very unhealthy for your body. The most important thing here is actually excess. Starch is actually necessary for our bodies, and we all get some of the basic nutrition from starch. So, you should try and not eat only white rice to keep the starch amount from affecting your body in an unwanted way.

Starch is mostly associated with the breaking down of glucose, and it leads to increased insulin levels. This could turn easily into insulin resistance. But, glucose is necessary for proper bodily functions. The glucose that has derived from carbohydrates and starch doesn’t lead to resistance to insulin. Insulin resistance is the result of the cell’s inability to absorb the glucose.


Brown rice is rich in nutrients and also fiber. But, the significant presence of anti-nutrients, such as the phytic acid which prevents the absorption of minerals, makes it not so healthy an option compared to white rice. Actually, all this proves is that white rice is healthier than the brown one.

“Phytates are anti-nutrients found in grains and legumes. Phytates, or phytic acid, binds to minerals like zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, niacin and calcium, preventing them from being absorbed.”

Now, to the original question: is white rice as healthy as we think? The answer is: it is absolutely healthy, and of course in combination with other fiber-rich groceries you will get a delicious and healthy meal. This is why you shouldn’t worry and help yourself to that bowl of rice you’ve been trying to avoid. If you’ve been using brown rice, or know people who do, share this information with them as soon as possible. But, the right of choose is individually.

Thanks for reading!