Why You Should Ditch White Rice and Eat Brown Rice

Improving your health can be as simple as switching which type of rice you eat.

This video was originally published on NutritionFacts.org and republished with permission. NutritionFacts.org

Rice is a bit of a mixed bag when we examine the effect it has on human health. On the one hand, countries that eat plenty of white rice seem to suffer from fewer instances of obesity, diabetes and generally seem to live healthier lives. But when we look at how white rice affects the body in a scientific setting it’s clear that it isn’t that great for us. White rice has been shown to be associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, when we eat brown rice, the opposite is true. We actually lower the risk. Even after controlling for factors such as meat consumption, exercise and more, the statement remains true. If you eat brown rice, you are more likely to remain disease free than if you eat white rice.

Part of the reason for the confusion is that often the full scope of what substances are being eaten are not taken into consideration. For example, white rice is often consumed in Spain in the form of paella. Paella normally contains saffron and the Spanish also tend to eat a lot of beans, and both saffron and beans are known to have anti-diabetic properties. So studying rice consumption alone is not enough.

Thankfully, studies have been done to directly compare brown and white rice, and though white rice comes directly from a colored variety, the results are undeniable. When rices are milled and the pigmented outer covering is removed and polished, we lose a substantial amount of nutrition. Directly compared, when you eat brown rice you are helping to combat the effects of high blood pressure, lose weight easier, and have lower instances of inflammation, which is a major source of human disease.

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