Brown Rice Vs White Rice – Nutrient Comparison
Brown Rice Vs White Rice: All white rice starts out as brown rice. A milling process removes the rice’s husk, bran, and germ. This process increases white rice’s shelf life but removes much of its nutrition, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
To counteract this, white rice is artificially fortified with nutrients. The refined grain is also polished to appear more palatable.
Both white and brown rice are high in carbohydrates. Brown rice is a whole grain. It contains more overall nutrition than its paler counterpart. Whole-grain foods may help reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The nutritional information below is based on a serving size of 1/3 cup of cooked rice. The nutritional breakdown for white rice is based on trusted Source average nutrition information for long-grain white rice found in the Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database. The breakdown for brown rice is based on trusted Source 1/3 cup cooked long-grain brown rice.
|Nutrient proximates||Brown rice||White rice|
|energy||82 calories||68 calories|
|protein||1.83 g||1.42 g|
|total lipid (fat)||0.65 g||0.15 g|
|carbohydrates||17.05 g||14.84 g|
|fiber, total dietary||1.1 g||0.2 g|
|sugars, total||0.16 g||0.03 g|
|calcium||2 milligrams (mg)||5 mg|
|iron||0.37 mg||0.63 mg|
|sodium||3 mg||1 mg|
|fatty acids, total saturated||0.17 g||0.04 g|
|fatty acids, total trans||0 g||0 g|
|cholesterol||0 mg||0 mg|
White Rice Vs Brown Rice Nutrition
Here are a few key differences between white and brown rice. The exact nutritional components will vary depending on the rice manufacturer, so be sure to read the food label on any rice that you buy.
Brown rice is generally higher in fiber than white rice. It typically provides 1 to 3 g more fiber than a comparable amount of white rice.
Although fiber is best known for constipation relief, it offers a number of other health benefits. It can help you:
- feel fuller faster, which can aid in weight management
- lower your cholesterol levels
- control your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of diabetes
- reduce your risk of heart disease
- nourish your gut bacteria
Generally, men under the age of 50 need 38 g of fiber per day, and men who are 51 years or older need 30 g.
Women under the age of 50 typically need 25 g per day, and women who are 51 years or older need 21 g.
Your daily recommended amount of fiber is based on several factors, including age and caloric intake, so talk with your doctor if you’re unsure of how much you need.
Manganese is a mineral that is essential for energy production and antioxidant function. Brown rice is an excellent source of this nutrient, while white rice is not.
Brown rice is a good source of selenium, which plays an integral role in thyroid hormone production, antioxidant protection, and immune function. Selenium also works with vitamin E to protect cells from cancer.
Unlike white rice, brown rice is typically a good source of magnesium. The average serving of cooked brown rice, about 1/2 cup, can provide around 11 percent of your daily recommended amount of magnesium.
Magnesium is necessary for many vital functions, including:
- blood coagulation
- muscle contraction
- cellular production
- bone development
The recommended daily intake of this important nutrient is determined by sex and age. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding typically require a higher daily intake. The average adult needs between 270 and 400 mg daily.
Enriched white rice is a good source of folate. An average 1 cup serving can contain 195 to 222 micrograms (mcg) of folate or about half of your daily recommended amount.
Folate helps your body make DNA and other genetic material. It also supports cell division. Although folate is an essential nutrient for everyone, it’s especially vital for women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.
The recommended daily value for most adults is around 400 mcg. Women who are pregnant should consume 600 mcg, and women who are breastfeeding should get 500 mcg.
Brown Rice Vs White Rice Carbs
In some cases, one type of rice may be preferable to another. The following sections discuss whether white rice or brown rice is better for certain people with certain conditions or goals.
Brown rice contains more phosphorus and potassium than white rice. People with kidney disease may need to limit these nutrients in their diet.
This is because kidney disease makes the kidneys less able to properly regulate the levels of these nutrients in the body. If potassium levels become too high, for example, it can lead to other health concerns such as heart attack.
In this case, white rice may be better than brown rice.
A low fiber diet
Sometimes, a doctor recommends a low fiber diet.
People may need to adopt this type of diet if they:
- have diverticulitis
- have diarrhea
- have inflammatory bowel disease
- have a blockage due to colorectal cancer
- have had surgery involving the gastrointestinal tract
White rice contains less fiber than brown rice, so it may be a better choice for these people.
What else can people eat on a low fiber diet? Find out here.
A high fiber diet
Brown rice contains more fiber than white rice, making it a better choice on a high fiber diet.
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggest choosing whole foods over refined foods, such as white rice, to reduce the risk of:
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
What other foods can a person eat as part of a high fiber diet? Find out here.