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Brown Rice vs. White Rice – A Comparison

Last updated on November 6, 2010

brown rice vs. white riceAll rice is not created equal. When deciding which type of rice to eat, you might want to take the following comparisons into consideration.

Calories
A cup of cooked, medium grain white rice has 242 calories vs. 216 calories in a cup of long grain brown rice.

Fiber
White rice has only 0.6 grams of fiber per cup compared to 4 grams of fiber in brown rice.




Carbs
White rice has 53.2 grams of carbs per cup vs. about 45 grams in a cup of brown rice. In addition, the 4 grams of fiber in the brown rice brings the total net carbs down to 41 grams.

Type 2 Diabetes
Harvard researchers found that eating five or more servings of white rice per week raised a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while eating two or more servings of brown rice per week actually lowered a person’s risk of developing the disease.

Vitamins and Minerals
A cup of brown rice contains 84 mg of magnesium compared to 19 mg in white rice. This is because white rice is created by removing several of the outer layers of a grain of rice. Many vitamins and minerals are lost in this process. While some of them are put back into white rice (hence the term “enriched rice”), many, including magnesium, are not added back in.

Also, eating a food that contains its original vitamins and minerals in tact is much better for you than eating an “enriched” food that has been stripped of its nutrients and had chemically processed ones artificially added.

Shelf Life
Uncooked brown rice has a considerably shorter shelf life (about six months) than uncooked white rice (eight to ten years) due to the oil in the germ layer of brown rice. Therefore, if you are buying rice as a survival food for long-term storage, white rice might be the better choice.

Cooking Time
Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice because of the outer layers of bran that white rice lacks.

So, if you’re trying to decide between white rice and brown rice for health reasons, it’s clear that brown rice is the winner. If you’re looking to buy rice in bulk for long-term food storage, then white rice is clearly the more practical choice.

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