Is brown rice healthier for you? What is the difference between brown and white rice? To explain that, we must refresh on a little biology.
The first layer of all rice is an inedible hull layer, this is removed on both white and brown rice. Below the hull layer is the bran layer and the cereal germ. In brown rice, both of these components are intact. In white rice, these layers are removed.
The bran layer and the germ are rich in fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals- specifically:
Niacin: help convert food into energy and involved in hormone synthesis
Choline: vital to liver function
Magnesium: supports immune function, nerve function, muscle function, and so much more!
Selenium: aid in preventing cell damage
1 cup of brown rice has 216 calories, 1.8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein. Due to it's higher fat content, brown rice can go rancid quicker than white rice.
In the case of white rice, the hull, bran, and germ are removed and the grain is polished, which extends it's shelf life. In the United States, white rice is fortified with thiamine, niacin, and iron.
Thaimine is crucial for converting food into energy in our body and has additional roles in muscle contraction and conduction of nerve signals in our body.
1 cup of white rice is 206 calories, 0.4 grams of fat, 0.6 grams of fiber, and 4.3 grams of protein.
We should strive to make half of our grains, whole grains (which brown rice is) to reduce our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Fiber rich whole grains positively impact our cholesterol, blood sugar, and digestive tract.
One serving of white rice occasionally won't hurt you (especially if you are like me and love coconut rice!), but swapping out higher fiber alternatives a few times a week can make a big impact on your health.
Tell me in the comments below: what is your favorite whole grain swap?
Until next time,
Amanda Rosenberg RDN