So, what’s the difference? Why do some people prefer brown over white rice?
Is there a benefit? Which is healthier – if either?
These are just a few, reccommendseriously, of the questions I get when I’m talking about rice. Not to mention the purists who believe rice is ‘bad’, I’m here to explain why it’s not. I haven’t done a nutritional advice article in a while so this was sort of building up, wasn’t it?
Why’re we even talking about this? because it’s important! People are either cutting it out of their diet, making drastic changes and not sticking with their healthy eating plants, yes-you. I’m talking to you. Brown rice isn’t a wonder food and white rice isn’t only for salmon when you’re on a diet. It’s a great staple!
Why do people choose white as ‘diet’ rice?
This a biggie for me, way back when, when I first started ‘dieting’ *shivers* I hate that word, but that’s exactly what it was. I was picking the easiest diets and running with it. Rice was always the first choice, I was reading about white rice and salmon and hearing things about how it’s a healthy starch that fills you up.
It all made sense to me!
But white rice is so much more that just a starch, it’s an unrefined starch, it’s readily available and affordable and not a lot of people have allergies and issues with digestion of it. It’s a comfort food compared to some other ‘diet’ ingredients on the market and it’s a scape goat; People often ditch chips and replace them with rice. That’s you, isn’t it? I know you do that.
The thing is, yes it fills you up but it’s not as good as filling your tummy up on yummy veggies!
What’s in white rice?
That depends on which you’re talking about, Long and short grain rice both have different properties, short being a startchier and thus thicker. Long-grain rice, such as jasmine and basmati, contains less starch It’s around 90 percent carbohydrate, 8 percent protein.
White rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, iron, folic acid, thiamine and niacin. It is low in fiber and its fat content is primarily omega-6 fatty acids, which are considered pro-inflammatory.
The big swap. White rice to brown.
Why do people swap. White-Brown?
Essentially, people think that foods in their raw form are better for you. They’re not wrong, many foods contain higher proteins, vitamins and minerals when they’re fresh, raw and unfrozen. However, when it comes to grains, they’re another kettle of fish. (see, what’s in brown rice).
I’m not saying don’t make the swap from white to brown, brown has an earthy flavour andrecommendI really it for meals with a tonne of greens and full flavoured meals. People tend to make the swap believe it to be a wonderfood because of the nutrients inside it but..
What’s in brown rice?
Litterally, exactly the same as white rice. I don’t mean to sound so laid back, or perhaps even mis-enformed. I’m i’m not being blazieh about this, well..maybe a little. Brown rice is litterally the same as white, in the process of making white rice the factories remove the husk of the rice, the brown bit!
So essentially brown rice is white rice in a more natural form. Which is why some people believe it to be better for us. Not so much the case with brown rice though, as our bodies have changed our digestive systems have become less efficiant to breaking down startches and bulk. Which is why we suffer with so many digestive problems.
Saying that though, It’s packed full of nutrients, vitamins and fiber, a tonne of fiber but you have to cook it for a very long time in comparision to white rice, which removes a lot of the goodnes.
So, why do so many diets cut out rice completely?
I HAVE NO IDEA!!
Honestly, I really don’t think it should even be tarred with the same brush as other carbs, startches and even grains. From medalling in the diets for so long and testing foods that react, learning more intently about nutrition and rice is just so different to the other grains. I really want to shout about why rice is so good as a go to (obviously, I’d rather you eat more veggies) but if you can’t manage to squeeze those in or you’ve ran out of breaky choices you can always start your day off with some white rice, sliced fruit and powders, fruit or protein powders.
Rice is Gluten Free…
Which is the biggest thing at the moment because so many people have intollerances, whether mild or severe, because gluten is just hard to digest, simple as that. So this immediately puts it a head of some other foods *cough* pasta*. It’s hard though because there are so many gluten free options; gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, biscuits etc etc, on the market that are mixed with 5,000 ingredients and have a tonne of salt,sugar and fat pumped in to make it taste remotely nice. Rice is gluten free as it’s such a natural food. So again, still ahead in the game.
It’s an anti-nutrient food
Rice is seen as an antinutrient food, it might sound scary but it just means that the nutrients it puts into your body also get broken down with the food during digestion so you don’t really gain any vitamins or nutrients from them. Empty calories but a fully belly.
It’s a better starchy-carby-filler food than most other alternatives. Pulses and veggies excluded.
If your diet is lacking in a carbohydrate or startch and you’re looking for a better alternative to pasta, aka the delicious devil. Then mixing up your regular routine with a bit of rice,what ever your preference is nothing to worry about!
This advice of course only counts if you don’t suffer with any dietary issues and aren’t on any of the aforementioned diets. So, make sure you don’t have any hidden problems by doing an elimination diet before taking on any new eating habits.