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Brown Rice vs. White Rice

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Is it just a matter of taste?  Is it a difference of nutritional value?  The answer to both questions is a resounding “YES”.  But, which you prefer, in my humble opinion, is a matter, umm, of taste!  White rice or brown rice?  People seem to be polarized in their preference. 

What is the difference between White Rice and Brown Rice?

Let’s start off by shooting down a myth.  The myth that they’re two different grains.  They’re not.  Any rice, including long-grain, short-grain, or glutinous rice, may be eaten as brown rice.

One of the main distinctions that brown rice advocates point to is the fact that white rice has a higher glycemic index which can lead to spikes in blood sugars.

Brown rice goes rancid more quickly because the bran and germ—which are removed to make white rice—contain fats that can spoil.  A picture can tell 1,000 words:


Brown rice, often referred to as whole rice or cargo rice, is the whole grain with only its inedible outer hull removed. Brown rice still retains its nutrient-rich bran and germ.

Brown rice has a mild, nutty flavor, and is chewier than white rice.

White rice is brown rice that has been milled to remove the bran and much of the germ, reducing fiber and nutrient content drastically. The grain is further polished to take away the remaining layer of germ (called the aleurone layer) which contains essential oils.

Why Is Brown Rice Healthier?

  • Brown rice has…
    • Twice the manganese and phosphorus as white
    • 2 ½ times the iron
    • 3 times vitamin B3
    • 4 times the vitamin B1
    • 10 times the vitamin B6
  • Brown Rice is Rich in Selenium – Extremely high in selenium, an important trace mineral known to drastically reduce our chances of developing certain forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, inflammatory conditions and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Brown Rice is Very High in Manganese – One cup of brown rice gives us over 80% of our daily manganese requirements. This mineral helps the human body create the important fatty acids that make healthy forms of cholesterol. It is also beneficial to the health of our nervous and reproductive systems.
  • Brown Rice Holds Naturally Occurring Oils – These heart-healthy oils are naturally found in brown rice and can help the body reduce LDL forms of cholesterol.
  • Brown Rice Promotes Weight Loss – Because of its fiber-richness and ability to keep healthy bowel function, brown rice “keeps things moving” in a way that promotes weight-loss and metabolic function. Brown rice makes you feel fuller on less food. A
  • Brown Rice Has Antioxidants – Most people associate antioxidants with blueberries and green tea, but many are unaware that brown rice is also a source of antioxidants.
  • Brown Rice is Very High in Fiber – Studies have correlated the high use of whole grains like brown rice with lowered levels of colon cancer. This may be related to its high fiber content. Studies show that fiber actually attaches to cancer-causing substances and toxins, helping to eliminate them from the body, and keeping them from attaching to the cells in our colon. Brown rice also contains the necessary components to stabilize digestion, prevent/relieve constipation and promote proper elimination/bowel function.
  • Brown Rice is a Slow-Release Sugar – Unlike stripped rice, brown rice can help keep blood sugar stabilized, as it releases sugars slowly and in a sustained fashion. This makes it a better option for diabetics, as compared to white rice. While studies in Asia have shown a link between the consumption of white rice and risk of type-2 diabetes, new research shows that individuals who eat at least two servings of brown rice weekly can reduce their chances of developing diabetes 2 by up to 11 percent.

All that being said…

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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  1. I grew up in California, have spent most of my adult life in Asia, have travelled throughout Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan, and this is what’s interesting: in my experience, Asians do not like brown rice! I can’t figure it out because I actually prefer the taste and the texture – it has nothing to do with the fact that I know it’s better for me. I would prefer it even if it weren’t! But Asians seem to think it’s low class. An American friend in Thailand tells me only the expats in Thailand eat it. The Thais think it’s just for livestock or prisoners! You would never see it served at a Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong (where I live). Strange isn’t it?

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