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Brown Rice vs. White Rice: The Ultimate Showdown

by Sammy Nickalls

You’ve likely heard about the rumor going around: brown rice is better for you than white rice.

Many health-conscious folks have replaced their white rice for brown rice, and you might feel tempted to also.

But wait! Have you done the research? This calls for an ultimate showdown.

brown rice vs white rice

Wait, hold on–what’s the difference between them, anyway?

Um, one’s brown.

Just kidding. I mean, it’s true. However, the real difference is in the processing. After being harvested, both types have the outermost hull removed, because it is inedible. For brown rice, this is where the process stops. However, white rice has the bran and germ also removed and is further polished, giving it its white color.

This seems like a relatively minor difference, but it means quite a lot. In what way, you ask? We’ll find out in the ultimate competition between brown rice and white rice! (I know this is exciting, ladies and gentlemen, but please do remember to breathe.)

Related: Healthy Living Tips – 9 Ways to Stay Healthy For Life

Brown Rice vs. White Rice

1. Diabetes prevention

Making the switch from white to brown might keep diabetes at bay. According to one study, substituting whole grains like brown rice for white rice may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, as most carbs should come from whole grains rather than refined grains. Brown rice wins a point!

2. Cancer prevention

Research and studies suggest that certain properties of brown rice may prevent the growth of breast and colon cancer cells, leading researchers to believe that eating brown instead of white rice may prevent cancer. Go, brown rice!

Related: Top 5 Cancer Causes Hiding in Your Home

3. Keeping you full

There are 3.5 grams of dietary fiber in one cup of cooked long-grain brown rice, while the same amount of long-grain white rice only has 0.6 grams. According to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, fiber slows the speed of digestion so that you stay fuller for longer—and thus, you resist the temptation to snack. A point for brown rice!

4. Digestion

Do you suffer from stomach pains and bloating issues? You might want to stick to white rice. Due to the  fiber content in brown rice, your body might find it more difficult to digest, which may lead to discomfort. White rice gets its first point!

5. Vitamins

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, the process that converts brown rice to white rice gets rid of 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, 50% of the manganese and phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Guess that bran and germ is pretty important after all. A point for brown rice!

Related: Healthy Eating 101 – The Benefits of Real Food

6. Heart health

If you’re looking to keep your heart healthy and your blood pressure low, brown rice is the way to go. According to researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Physiology at Temple University, brown rice may keep your blood pressure down and prevent atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Another point for brown rice!

7. Taste and convenience

Many opt for white rice because it’s easier to cook with, as it easily accommodates other flavors, while brown rice has its own nutty flavor that may be more difficult to include in recipes. White rice also takes less time to cook than brown rice. For taste and convenience, white rice gets a point!

Related: 7 Steps to Fat Loss

The Takeaway

The results are in. Brown rice is the clear winner, with five points over white rice’s measly two! Though white rice may be more convenient and digestible, brown rice is more nutritious, can keep you fuller for longer, and may prevent cancer, heart problems, and diabetes. Unless you have a hard time digesting (we at Inspiyr never encourage pain or discomfort!), make the switch from white rice to brown rice. After all—you deserve the best.


sammy nickallsSammy Nickalls is the Content Manager at She is an avid health nut and a lover of all things avocado. Follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.

Photo by cookbookman17

Originally posted 12/13 and updated 11/14.

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