Why Is Brown Rice Better Than White Rice: Top 5 Reasons 

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Bowls of brown rice and white rice with a text "Why Is Brown Rice Better Than White Rice"

Last year I made a New Year’s resolution to start eating brown rice instead of white rice. After all, brown rice is way healthier than white rice and improves your health in the long run. 

If you are wondering why is brown rice better than white rice, the answer lies in the abundant nutrients present in brown rice’s outer layer!

Brown rice is better than white rice, as it has more fiber content. It helps with digestion, controlling blood sugar levels, and reducing cholesterol. Brown rice has antioxidants to protect your body cells and prevent aging. Another great thing is that it has fewer calories than white rice.

Five Reasons Why Brown Rice Is Better Than White Rice 

Two wooden spoons with painted backgrounds and grains of white and brown rice.

First, let’s understand the basic difference between white and brown rice. 

White rice undergoes processing and polishing and loses its outer layers and nutrients. However, brown rice is unprocessed and retains the outer layers, known as bran and germ. The extra outer layers of brown rice contain many nutrients, making it more nutritional and better than white rice. 

Given below are five reasons why it is an excellent idea to opt for brown rice over white rice.  

1. Increased Fiber Content

Since brown rice retains the outer bran and germ layers, it has 1.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams. On the other hand, white rice just has 0.4 grams of fiber. 

One of the major reasons why I slowly shifted toward brown rice is because fiber reduces cholesterol levels. As a result, it keeps your heart healthy and happy.

Fiber also improves gut health and controls blood sugar levels. All these benefits just by eating brown rice and not white rice sounds unbelievable!

2. Low Glycemic Index

This is one of the most important benefits of brown rice over white rice. 

The glycemic index measures how fast a particular food affects your blood sugar or glucose level. The higher the glycemic index, the greater the associated risks!

Brown rice has a glycemic index of 57.6 (low to medium category), whereas the same for white rice is 79.9 (high category). 

Diabetic people should eat brown rice instead of white rice to prevent any blood sugar spikes. 

3. Presence of Antioxidants

Let’s not get too much into the science of antioxidants. You just need to know that antioxidants are a type of compound that protects your body cells from damage. 

Brown rice contains two major antioxidants – phenols and flavonoids. These chemical compounds work by reducing cell injuries, inflammation, and even premature skin aging. Now we know the secret behind the clear skin of Asians!

4. Helps with Weight Loss 

Weight loss is something I have always struggled with. 

Yet, according to a 2021 report, whole grain rice, like brown rice, actively helps with reducing weight. It suppresses hunger and makes you feel full because of its fiber-rich nature

You should also shift to brown rice if you consume white rice regularly, as brown rice has fewer calories (122 calories per 100 grams) than white rice (129 calories per 100 grams). 

Each calorie counts when you are trying to shed some pounds!

5. Texture and Taste

Imagine my surprise when I first cooked brown rice. Its chewy texture, along with the hint of nuttiness, was a unique treat for my taste buds!

You should try cooking rice dishes, like pilaf or fried rice, with brown rice if you are tired of the same old white rice. Trust me, it elevates the dish with its non-sticky consistency and absorbs the surrounding flavors.

Limitations of Brown Rice 

Natural brown rice placed on the table.

Brown rice is certainly better than white rice in terms of nutrients. Yet, there are a few limitations to keep in mind before shifting to a brown rice-based diet. 

1. Abdominal Discomfort 

The fiber-rich nature of brown rice doesn’t suit everybody. One of my friends with a sensitive bowel had stomach cramps after consuming brown rice!

Dieticians advise against eating brown rice if you have health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and require a low-fiber diet. It may lead to gut-related issues, such as bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. 

2. Presence of Arsenic 

Arsenic, a naturally occurring element, is present within the soil. It gets absorbed and stored in the brown rice’s outer layers, bran and germ. 

Arsenic is extremely harmful to the body and can cause lifelong diseases if it accumulates in the body. It is also dangerous to pregnant women, which is why you should avoid eating brown rice during pregnancy. 

3. Adjusting to a New Taste 

The unique taste and texture are both a benefit and limitation of brown rice. Many people don’t like brown rice’s chewy texture and nutty flavor. Some even think that it tastes raw and uncooked!

However, there is a proper way to cook brown rice and methods to improve its flavor easily. 

4. Low Shelf Life

Brown rice has a relatively lower shelf life than white rice. The outer layer of brown rice contains oil, making it susceptible to bacterial contamination and mold!

Brown rice only lasts for six months at room temperature, whereas white rice can last for more than two years! It is possible to increase brown rice’s shelf life by refrigerating or freezing it. 

The poor shelf life of brown rice also increases its overall cost. Hence, it gets more expensive than white rice. 

Final Thoughts

The one issue you might face while eating brown rice instead of white rice is the change of taste. Brown rice is chewier, unlike white rice’s soft and fluffy grains. 

Once you adapt to the taste, you are in for a healthy lifestyle, as brown rice helps with gut health, weight loss, anti-aging, and many more!


Is brown rice healthier than white rice?

Brown rice is healthier than white rice, as it is fibrous, rich in antioxidants, and has a lower glycemic index.  

What is the healthiest type of rice?

Both brown and black rice are considered the healthiest type of rice, as they are whole grains and offer more fiber. They also help with weight loss by reducing hunger.

Why is brown rice more expensive?

Brown rice is generally costlier than white rice due to its short shelf life. Transportation, preservation, and storage of brown rice take more resources, leading to more cost. 

Is brown rice better than white rice for weight loss?

Brown rice contains slightly fewer calories than white rice. It also has more fiber, which helps with proper digestion and weight loss. 

What is the difference in glycemic index between brown rice and white rice?

White rice has a higher glycemic index of 79.9, while the same for brown rice is around 57.6. Therefore, brown rice is much better for diabetic or prediabetic people.

What is the calorie count per 100 grams of brown rice and white rice?

Brown rice contains 122 calories, whereas white rice contains 129 calories per 100 grams.

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