Brown Rice vs White Rice? Which One is Better for Your Health?

Brown Rice vs White Rice Which is more healthy?

The Debate

So, we all know the big debate about Brown rice vs White rice, right? RIGHT!

Let’s just get right into things. Well I’m just going to start off by telling you guys, and busting the “myth” right now that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with white rice! YES, you read correctly. A lot of people tend to try to drag white rice in with other “refined carbs” or crap like white flour and sugar (These are the devils you need to be worrying about but thats another post).

“Health Enthusiasts” love to say stop eating white rice, its bad for your, but I will explain to you the very simple differences between white rice and brown rice, and why these health freaks out there are just talking out the side of their… ya you get it… moving on!

What is the Difference Between White and Brown Rice?

What is Brown Rice

Brown Rice

What makes brown rice brown is the Bran and the Germ, basically the stuff that white rice is stripped of when the rice is processed.

The germ can go rancid pretty quickly, this is bad because of the high amounts of polyunsaturated fats it has. Because of this it is easily oxidized,  and can lead to negative reactions in the body. So without the germ on the rice the body can process the rice in easier fashion.

Bran is basically nothing but fiber… I KNOW what you are thinking, “HEY fiber is good right?”, yes… BUT I hate to burst you bubble. Brace yourselves. Many people have TOO much fiber in their diet which is not good because having too much fiber in one’s diet can lead to digestive disorders, and sometimes colon cancers. I know I don’t want that, and I’m sure you don’t want that either! If you don’t believe me read this great book for more information. I’m not saying brown rice causes these things, or is a HUGE issue, I’m just telling you to be careful about how much fiber you are consuming, and try not to force more fiber down in your system by eating brown rice.

So if you have a good source of fiber in your diet already, there is no need to add brown rice to the mix to add more fiber.

But Doesn’t Brown Rice Have More Nutrients?

Very good, your right! You must watch Dr. Oz or something; but what he didn’t tell you is that brown rice has anti-nutrients in the bran.

Anti-Nutrient Phytic acid:

This primary anti-nutrient is one that people try to avoid by soaking/sprouting or fermenting their grains, this may seem to “help” with the issue, but naturally rice bran has a very high levels of phytic acid. What Phytic acid does is bind to minerals in you body and absorbs them (you got it! they steal your precious nutrients and take it for themselves). This is why most of the time people feel tire or sluggish after eating brown rice. So eating brown rice for the nutrients somewhat counter intuitive.

So should you bother soaking your brown rice? Sure, go ahead it may help some, but according to Ramiel Nagel author of Cure Tooth Decay, soaking brown rice barely neutralizes the nutrients in the brown rice. Soaking rice overnight allows germination process to begin, this releases the phytase. Phytase is needed in order to break down the phytic acid within the rice. So soaking does make the rice more digestible. So if you are deciding to eat brown rice, try to soak it if you can. You can learn more about phytic acid and other anti-nutrients in grains here.

Even though rice is lower in phytic acid than other grains, soaking alone is not adequate to make neutralize the phytic acid. Fermentation, however, acidifies the soaking medium, this activates the little phytase present in the rice. More importantly, the fermentation process cultivates microorganisms that produce their own phytase to fight against the phytic acid. (source)

Information Recap

So what we have so far is:

-phytic acid lives in the rice’s bran which has anti-nutrients that absorb the nutrients in your body and cause you to feel sluggish and tired.

-bran is only good for fiber, but most people have enough fiber in their diet already, and can harm the body if too much fiber is consumed

– and the germ is filled with easily oxidized Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA) oils. AKA not good stuff

White Rice

White Rice

White rice, What is it? It is what we are left with when the bran and the germ, along with their friends PUFA oils and anti-nutrients are removed. The “endosperm”, which is basically a form of pure starch.

Now again, even though white rice isn’t as damaging to the body as brown rice in terms of anti-nutrients and PUFA oils, it is not a good idea to scarf a load of white rice down either, because it is a starch, and it can throw you an insulin spike curve ball like no other. Eating a lot of rice or any carb/starch heavily can impact your health and leanness . But beyond that, white rice is great for a quick energy boost, and a great source of quick, glucose that your body can digest quickly.

So What Type of Rice Should You Get?

Well to be quite honest with you, some types of rice are more nutritious than others, but generally its better to go for a long grain white rice. Long grain rices are supposed to by more nutritious than their short gain counter parts.


So to finish up, eating white rice isn’t the end of the world, and brown rice isn’t so great (unless you go through the process of fermenting it which makes it easier on the body to digest).

All in all, If you like brown rice… go ahead and eat it, no one is stopping you. Keep in mind though, that if you feel groggy tired, or slow after you eat it… thats the anti-nutrients talking to you. If you don’t want to feel sluggish tired, have your hard earned nutrients stolen from you… eat white rice, but if you want to feel tired and sluggish all day, go ahead grab a spoon and scoop a mouth full of brown rice. White rice is plain, and is stripped of all the anti-nutrients and PUFA oils, so all you need to worry about is how much of it you eat without having to deal with any of the other problems that come when you decide to eat brown rice.

On a personal note, I have found white rice to be great for me in my martial arts training and weight lifting. Its great for recovery, energy, and I never had a sluggish feeling afterward!

What About You?

Do you eat white rice, brown rice?

Why or why not?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments below! We would love to hear what you guys have to say.

Until next post!

Brandon Groce

Brandon Groce

Cofounder at RONIN
Creating design without limits. DC/Maryland Artist & graphic designer at RONIN A BJJ practitioner. Tech Entrepreneur.
Brandon Groce
Brandon Groce

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