Is Brown Rice Healthier Than White Rice? Health Benefits Of Brown Rice

Rice (Oryza sativa) is the second most-consumed grain after wheat and is a staple food of many people in different parts of the world. Many people think that rice is a source of weight gain but it is not so. Eating the right amount can help reduce weight properly.

But, there is confusion that to which rice is best to eat; brown rice or white rice. Is brown rice healthier than white rice? After thorough research, it has been proved that brown (unpolished) rice is much better than white (polished) rice. In the polishing process, the outer bran layer is removed which is rich in fiber and other beneficial mineral content. Therefore, the health benefits of brown rice are generally considered greater than white rice.

This article will tell about the health benefits of brown rice without polish.

Nutritional facts of brown rice

One cup serving of brown rice can provide the following amount of essential nutrients

  • Calories: 215-220
  • Fat: 1.62g
  • Proteins: 4-5g
  • Carbohydrates: 45.8g
  • Sugar:0g
  • Sodium:1.95mg
  • Fibre:3.51 g

In addition to this, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and iron are also present in brown rice.

Basic contents of brown rice


Protein is the basic nutrient for life. For a healthy lifestyle, a person must take 20-35% of calories from proteins. One cup of cooked serving offers 4g of proteins.

There are two types of protein: complete and incomplete proteins. In brown rice, incomplete protein is present due to the absence of some amino acids. For protein requirements, add protein-rich foods to the diet together with brown rice.


MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) and PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) are the healthiest fats for life. Brown rice contains only a trace amount of these fats. It is recommended to take 25-40% of daily calories from unsaturated fats, so it is best to eat brown rice without added oils.


Brown rice contains complex carbohydrates that are healthier than simple carbohydrates. When compared to white rice, brown rice fiber content is 2-4g more than white rice. Fibrous food is highly recommended from the nutritional point of view as it reduces constipation and provides a feeling of fullness for a long time. It is also beneficial for gut bacterial growth.

Health benefits of brown rice

There are several health benefits of brown rice over white rice. You can get the idea here by reading the following points:

Brown rice fiber for heart patients

There is no doubt that brown rice is rich in fiber that is heart-friendly and can reduce many heart diseases.

Another compound ‘lignans’ is present in brown rice which is also healthy for the heart. This compound has a positive effect in lowering blood cholesterol levels and decreasing artery stiffness.

Why brown rice is good for you?

Brown rice contains various essential nutrients that are present in less amount in white rice.


Magnesium-a heart-friendly mineral is present in brown rice that lowers stroke, heart attack, and heart failure rate up to 30%.

When someone asks ‘why brown rice over white rice’ simply say that it is the fiber and magnesium content that makes brown rice more beneficial.

One serving of cooked brown rice provides nearly 11% magnesium RDA easily. Magnesium is necessary for blood coagulation, muscle contraction, cell development, and teeth and bone strength.


Manganese is needed for energy production in the body. This antioxidant is provided by brown rice, not by white rice.


Selenium is an important nutrient for thyroid hormone production, and immune functions. Brown rice provides it in sufficient amounts to help act as antioxidants.

Can brown rice makes you gain weight?

It is a common misconception that rice is involved in weight gain. This is not true in all cases. Brown rice without polish does not offer weight gain. It has a high amount of fiber which reduces hunger by providing a fullness effect for several hours. Even by taking recommended amount, brown rice is useful in weight loss programs along with the Keto diet and other whole foods.

Can diabetic patients eat brown rice?

For a diabetic patient, the first advice from the doctor is to minimize carbs intake lower blood sugar levels. For that purpose, white rice is the best option than brown rice.

If the glycaemic index of brown rice versus white rice is compared, brown rice has lower than white rice. This means that it is slowly digested by causing minimum raise in blood sugar level. So it is a fact that for lowering the chance of type 2 diabetes development, white rice must be replaced with brown rice.

Rice as a gluten-free diet

Many people mostly child show gluten intolerance in their young age or throughout the life. Gluten is a protein present naturally in whole grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Some people are allergic to gluten and cannot digest it in their stomachs. In return they undergo stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting.  These people need a gluten-free diet. Brown rice for babies is best in this regard as it is a naturally gluten-free grain with additional nutrients. Gluten-intolerant people can prepare various brown rice recipes and can enjoy them all the time.

Also Read: What Are Most Nutrient Dense Foods To Eat Every Day?

What are the disadvantages of brown rice?

Brown rice is sometimes harmful to a specific group of people due to their health issues. Also an environmental toxin ‘arsenic’ is present in nearly all foods mainly in brown rice. Inorganic arsenic is very dangerous for health and is often present in brown rice from irrigation water. This is not present to the level that stops the intake of brown rice. It is just present in low amounts but can possess the risk to develop toxicity in the latter ages. There are many ways to reduce arsenic levels from brown rice. These are:

  • Wash or cook thoroughly in filtered water before cooking
  • Eat brown rice in a moderate or recommended amount


When brown rice versus white rice is compared, it is obvious that the health benefits of brown rice are more than white rice. Brown rice carries more amount of fiber, magnesium, and selenium than white rice. It also reduces cholesterol levels and chances of diabetes type 2 development. However, its smell is varied according to variety but it must be preferred over white rice.

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