White vs Brown Rice: Why is Brown Rice Healthier?

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Brown Rice

The next time you reach for the white rice, you may want to reconsider. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently conducted a study that confirms brown rice as the hands-down healthier choice for your dinner grain.

The Health Differences

Brown rice is essentially what almost all forms of white rice looks like before it has been put through a refining process. To process rice into the sparkling white pieces we buy in stores, first the out-side hull and bran is removed. This makes rice lighter and faster to cook.

Rice that has been stripped of its natural wholeness has been stripped of its fiber, proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium and potassium. It is commonly known how important fiber is for digestive health and maintaining a healthy weight.

Have you noticed white rice is usually labeled as “enriched?” White rice is usually full of unnatural fortifications and additives. These fortifications are used because the stripping process removes most of the iron, vitamins, zinc and magnesium from the rice. In fact, white rice is so devoid of nutrients that it does not offer the minimum nutritional requirements of the FDA. For this reason, white rice must be chemically altered with vitamins and iron just so that it can be sold in supermarkets.

This is one of the main reasons why brown rice is much higher in minerals and vitamins. Nutritionally, there is no comparison between these two forms of rice.

1. Brown Rice is Rich in Selenium

Extremely high in selenium, an important trace mineral known to drastically reduce our chances of developing many illnesses.

2. Brown Rice is Very High in Manganese

One cup of brown rice provides 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.

3. 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.

4. 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. After one bowl of brown rice, you’ll feel more full despite eating a smaller amount of food.

5. Brown Rice is a Whole Grain

Unlike white rice, brown rice has not lost its wholeness. Studies show that six servings of whole grains weekly can lower the creation of arterial plaque build-up and reduce chances of developing heart disease and high cholesterol.

6. Brown Rice is an Antioxidant

Most people associate antioxidants with blueberries and green tea, but many are unaware that brown rice is also a source of antioxidants.

7. 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.

8. 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.

I personally recommend using organic wild brown rice as the best option. But, even if you don’t buy organic, just making the switch from white rice to brown rice is a great first step to a healthy diet.

References (15)
  1. Roberts, R.L. "COMPOSITION AND TASTE EVALUATION OF RICE MILLED TO DIFFERENT DEGREES." Journal of Food Science 44.1 (1979): 127-129. Web. 8 May 2017.
  2. Trinkley, Michael, and Sarah Fick. "Rice Cultivation, Processing, And Marketing In The Eighteenth Century." Web. 8 May 2017.
  3. Lamberts, Lieve, et al. "Effect Of Milling On Colour And Nutritional Properties Of Rice." Food Chemistry 100.4 (2007): 1496-1503. Web. 8 May 2017.
  4. Walter, Melissa, et al. "Antioxidant Properties Of Rice Grains With Light Brown, Red And Black Pericarp Colors And The Effect Of Processing." Food Research International 50.2 (2013): 698-703. Web. 8 May 2017.
  5. "Rice, Brown, Long-Grain, Cooked Nutrition Facts & Calories." Nutritiondata.self.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 May 2017.
  6. "Rice, White, Long-Grain, Regular, Cooked Nutrition Facts & Calories." Nutritiondata.self.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 May 2017.
  7. "Office Of Dietary Supplements - Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium." Ods.od.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 May 2017.
  8. "New Study Suggests That Eating Whole Grains Increases Metabolism And Calorie Loss." Tufts Now. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 May 2017.
  9. Mellen, Philip, et al. "Whole-grain intake and carotid artery atherosclerosis in a multiethnic cohort: the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study." Am J Clin Nutr June 2007 vol. 85 no. 6 1495-1502. Web.
  10. "Replacing White Rice With Brown Rice Or Other Whole Grains May Reduce Diabetes Risk." News. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 May 2017.
  11. Min, B., A.M. McClung, and M.H. Chen. "Phytochemicals And Antioxidant Capacities In Rice Brans Of Different Color." Journal of Food Science 76.1 (2017): 117-126. Web. 8 May 2017.
  12. Walter, Melissa, et al. "Antioxidant Properties Of Rice Grains With Light Brown, Red And Black Pericarp Colors And The Effect Of Processing." Food Research International 50.2 (2013): 698-703. Web. 8 May 2017.
  13. "White Rice Consumption Is A Risk Factor For Metabolic Syndrome In Tehrani Adults: A Prospective Approach In Tehran Lipid And Glucose Study." Archive of Iranian Medicine 17.6 (2017): 435-440. Web. 8 May 2017.
  14. Zhang, G., et al. "Substituting brown rice for white rice to lower diabetes risk: a focus-group study in Chinese adults." J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Aug;110(8):1216-21.
  15. "Replacing White Rice With Brown Rice Or Other Whole Grains May Reduce Diabetes Risk." News. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 May 2017.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • JOhn

    You forgot one.. Brown rice also tastes better! 🙂

  • Dr. Edward Group

    I completely agree that purple and black rice are a healthier choice. Unfortunately, they are not widely available at restaurants and grocery stores. White & Brown rice are the two choices that you’re normally given when dining out.

    Do you have any resources you could recommend for those that would like to learn more about purple / black rice? If so, feel free to leave them in the comment below.

    Have a great day!

    ~Dr. G

  • Chuck Bluestein

    White rice is just the endosperm of the rice grain. It is high in calories and low in nutrition. Most of the nutrition is in the bran and germ and that is taken off when they make the brown rice into white rice. The bran and germ is sold in the health food stores.

  • Fox

    Brown rice is very expensive. It is not true that brown rice taste better than white rice. white rice taste better and that’s the fact and cost cheaper. You need mineral eat delicious white rice and take vitamins. That save your money than eating expensive brown rice specifically in Asian Countries.

  • George

    White rice is garbage just like white bread and sugar.
    You are an idiot.

  • Winson

    I visited a town in China where white rice was the main dish. Yet I did not see anyone that was obese. I’m sure there are some, but unlike in the US where I can easily pick out someone who is obese wherever I go (even the gym), I honestly did not come across any overweight person in the town I visited.

  • rsram

    I have made brown rice my staple diet for over a year now. But i realised i am experiencing a lot of flatulence. Could this be because of brown rice? I do not consume considerable amounts of any other fibre rich foods. Please advise.

  • tien

    Actually I don’t think you’re right about this, if you go to an Asian market, brown rice is almost half the price of white rice. I am Asian, and I know that diabetes type 2 is very prominent in my race. Eating white rice is not gonna help. Brown rice is also a miracle “cure” for a lot of inflammation problems. Wish you a wonderful day!:)

  • Bran

    Ya, screw it ya know, just have a bowl full of multivitamins for dinner ya know….. Clown

  • LL

    Brown rice is also full of proteins if you let them sit on self long enough. After a while moth maggots would grow and hatch and full of protein when you cook them. Brown rice are more prone to infestations!!! Eww…

  • you are wrong if you say white rice is not bad. it’s a refined grain, just like white bread, pasta, noodle and it’s gonna spike your blood sugar.
    there are other factors that contribute to Asian’s fitness: genetic makeup, activities, diet. the reason why Asians aren’t fat even thought they eat white rice in a regular basis, is because like i said, their gene, Asians generally have smaller frames and don’t gain weight as easily as Caucasian or other races. and other than white rice, their diet consists of mostly healthy, unprocessed food (unlike American with McDonald pizza donuts and stuffs).
    and even though white rice is bad, i’d say unless you eat like 2lbs of it everyday, there shouldn’t be a real danger. at least, it’s wayyy better than stuffs that Americans eat.

  • my question is, are all brown rice the same? are all of them really “healthy”? i find a lot of brown rice brands in the market which might seem healthy but when you look at the nutrition facts and the ingredients, it’s almost like white rice: very low in fiber (1g per serving) and protein.
    i often find brown rice that actually taste good, are not so good on the nutrition part. the ones that are actually high in fiber and nutrition content are the one that taste like paper and look ugly 😛
    are all brown rice really the same? do the companies process the rice and put “brown rice” on the package only to fool us?

  • hehehe08

    Actually, that’s a very common occurrence with any type of rice that has sat on the shelves for too long. A tip: when you buy rice, freeze it. It helps keep its nutrients from degrading, and it gets completely rid of any infestation possibility (the extreme cold killing anything that could have possibly hatched). When you are ready to use it, just take it out of the freezer, and cook it as you would normally (making sure to rinse it well and soak it for a while before you actually cook it), given that the freezing process does not alter the grain’s state.

    And it’s no secret that yes, brown rice is by far a superior choice: whole grains are always the wiser alternative.

  • hehehe08


    actually, flatulence can be caused by a number of things – irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, food intolerance… For example, I was having a similar problem until I cut off gluten from my diet, and my gut has been extremely healthy ever since, thus suggesting that I might have been gluten intolerant for quite a while.

    In other words, you might want to research your own eating habits, maybe keep a log of what you eat and note when it is that your stomach acts up. There are so many products out there that can also help with your intestinal health (probiotics/yogurt pills taken before meals, for example).

    You could also ask a professional for advice.

    Hope this helps a little.

  • DrkRydr

    PEOPLE,PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!! Listen Up PEOPLE Just Eat Alkaline Anti-Oxidant Water & Foods To….

  • ram

    Eating Brown rice will never cause flatulence, Because of the fiber and good nutrients in Brown rice ,your belly and intestine are trying to work properly instead of not working at all…!! . Make sure you cook brown rice thoroughly by adding 1:3 parts of water and cook in low flame till all the water evaporates. if its not cooked properly and thoroughly the digestion getting impaired and causes gas. This will definitely help and Improve over all health. Also don’t forget to cook mixed vegetables + lentils, process: add 10 to 15 vegetables ( include Green leafy also) + add seperately pressure cooked 1 cup of yellow lentils + Soya(you can add tofu [or] soya wadi [or] frozen soya beans ) + few spices (Indian garam masala as desired quantity,may be half spoon) + 3 table spoons of oil (3 different types of oils, ex: sunflower, canola, coconut oil) +Turmeric + salt and cook in low flams for 25 minutes. With the above process will end all your sufferings.You can eat this cooked vegitables with Pita bread [or] Roti [or] Brown Rice or even stuff it in Sandwitch.Try the above antioxidant superb food let me know.

  • Du ma…I’ve bought 50 lbs of brown rice when it was on sale. Total cost was 35 bucks! Although this rice tastes like garbage but I hope its worth the sacrifice of white rice. It will take some time to get used to. I only use white rice to make rice soup. Brown rice, I don’t know how that will work. LOL

  • analbumcover

    Grains are all high in carbs. In their whole state, many of them have enough fiber to mitigate the blood sugar spike somewhat. But the bottom line is that grains are high-energy food, which is great if you burn a lot of calories, and not so much if you don’t. As far as I know, pretty much all brown rice is nutritionally the same. Brown rice contains only a tiny bit more fiber and natural vitamins than white rice; it’s almost the same thing.

  • EnglishRose

    Brown basmati rice with wild rice works best for me. No matter what some people say about white being better I can tell just from the taste and feel and how brown makes me feel that it is better. There is a trend to say white good (as fewer phylates or whatever it is) and brown rice worse and no rice at all even better but I don’t agree brown rice is bad. I class it with potatoes in their skins – a wholefood “brown” which makes me feel good and I need as part of a balanced diet. I feel ill on just meat/fish/eggs/veg.

  • sid

    what a piss off this video was!! Do they do this deliberately – like i can keep typing here for the reader to get pissed off and impatient of that i am offended about comes after 10 pages….I clicked on this link on this page “5 food to never eat” and the test of patience started the voice over keeps talking for a life time and it doesn’t say what its suppossed to …..good time to advertise…now i hate this page and who ever its associated with….

  • Niki

    Thanks for the great article……..My only concern is that brown rice takes a twice the time to boil than white rice….which is very time consuming

  • ghc_health

    Well, just start a little earlier. 😉

  • Jay De Jesus

    How about just refraining from eating any kind of rice instead of switching from white to brown? Would that be a healthy option?

  • urszula


  • urszula

    Eat slowly, chew well.

  • vrochan

    what if i will mix brown and white rice together, will that be healthy?

  • Ian S Hulett

    It will meet in between. It won’t be healthy, but it won’t be unhealthy either.

  • Timothy Ford

    I just brought 2 bags of white rice because they sold out of my usual brown rice which had 0 fat. The brown rice that they had available had fat in it. The white has 0 fat according to the label. So i went with the unhealthy white rice.

  • Pingback: Foods that boast your metabolism | All about foods that speed up metabolism()

  • Pingback: 5 Reasons Why Brown Rice Is Healthier Than White Rice - Kojo Enoch()

  • Pingback: Quinoa vs Brown Rice | The Journey Continues()

  • Pingback: 5 Reasons Why Brown Rice Wins - Take Control of My Health and Fitness | Take Control of My Health and Fitness()

  • Pingback: Conquering VG’s | Healthy Eating at Cal Poly()

  • Wow

    Wtf are you talking about

  • betty boop

    This entire article is ridiculous, the only person that has a comment that makes sense is JC’s. The rest of you don’t know what you are talking about.

  • Pingback: 10 Foods That Won’t Upset IBS | Taisen's News()

  • Edith D Thurman

    Ok first white rice is brown rice that has had the bran removed! That’s why they add “enrich” it because it’s useless it’s an empty carb! Brown is actually worse for you IF you do NOT soak it! Rice is a seed so it has an enzyme that protects it till its time to germinate! If you eat brown rice that has not been soak the enzyme blocks nutrient absorbtion! If you soak it, then all that’s gone, the enzyme goes away because it thinks it’s time for the rice to grow, so then it actually gets more nutritious for you! After soaking brown rice is easily digestible and is full of micronutrients from the fermentation beginning! Some people actually let the rice germinate and fermente then it’s really healthy! So if you like rice but don’t want empty carbs just eat soaked brown rice! If you don’t want to soak it then just don’t eat it! I always try to soak mine for 24 hours, but I’m sure 12 is plenty! It’s not rocket science just do your research!

  • Pingback: The Best Brown Rice EVER! - Sage Solis()

  • Pingback: 10 Foods That Won’t Upset or Irritate Your IBS, Sensitive Stomach or Bowels : The Hearty Soul()

  • Pingback: F is for Fiber | Choose To Cook()

  • Francesca

    Brown rice is very hard for many people to digest.White rice is better, just load it up with vegetables.

  • Pingback: White Rice vs. Brown Rice – thomasianadvocate()

  • Pingback: White Rice vs. Brown Rice – thomasianadvocate()

  • pixelhead777

    The problem is they taste different. And I like white rice better. So, uh. Sorry, pal.

  • Edith D Thurman

    Soak your brown rice overnight I do 24 hours with an acid I use lemon juice, this tells the rice (which is a seed) it’s time to germinate, so it releases the enzyme that is nothing your stomach! That enzyme is there to protect the seed till germination time. Just soak the rice then not only does it not bother your stomach, but it also has more nutritional value to it, not only but including micro nutritiants so use the water you soak it in to also cook it in! Problem solved!

  • Edith D Thurman

    Not true! Brown rice is a seed, so it has a protective enzyme that will not only block nutritiant absorbtion, but will bother your stomach if you do not soak it first! Got to love science!

  • Edith D Thurman

    White rice is empty f^*king calories! When you wash the starch off, all that white water you are also washing off all the “enriched” crap that was sprayed on the rice after they took the germ and all nutritional value out of it! They spray the minerals on it, so when you wash the crap, you also wash off the minerals! If you soak brown rice overnight with an acid say lemon juice it releases the enzyme that brown rice has that not only blocks the nutritional absorbtion in your intestines, but it stops it from upsetting your tummy! Can you comprehend that! NO I did not even read this silly article, why because I already know what it says!

  • Edith D Thurman

    Brown ric cost more because it’s a whole grain! Not left over crap after they took all the good parts out to feed to the farm animals! Do you see that! They don’t even feed the animals white rice! That should tell you how good it is for humans!

  • Edith D Thurman

    No because they’re all broke and that’s all they can afford after being used as slaves for our Western materialize world! I’ve seen people in clothing manufacturers chained to a steel frame with an IV in for fluids, because they passed out from heat and lack of drinking water! So they chain them, them being slaves and all, to metal so they can’t escape then IV some fluids then force them back to working! You think they can afford a whole grain food??? FI

  • Edith D Thurman


  • Edith D Thurman

    Basmati, brown jasmine, basmati is better,nod your homeworkers! The food industry and the government are not looking out for us! They’re the ones who got two generations hooked on sugar! Why because it’s cheap! They could care less about us, they just want every penny we make! Also soak your brown rice overnight in lemon juice or other acid, it kills the enzyme that blocks nutritiant absorbtion and makes the rice more nutritious! Plus it won’t bother your stomach! Don’t believe what you read on a label, plus most rice naked as brown looks white and pale, why because it’s still not the whole grain! They’re scamming you! If the nutrients are not there neither is the bran!

  • Edith D Thurman

    Brown rice contains a lot more than white if it’s real whole brown rice! Not the white washed version that you can’t even see the difference in color! On the high energy food you are right! Sit on your ares and eat huge amounts of rice you get a big arse! If that’s all you do is sit on your atse don’t eat rice!

  • Pingback: Diet Apple-Rice Pudding - Happy and Healthy Family()

  • Pingback: فوائد الأرز للأطفال()

  • RadicalRadish

    Is there a link to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study?

  • Christopher L Banacka

    seems a little biased, there are also perks of the white rice that were never mentioned :/

  • Pingback: Which is healthier: brown rice or white rice?()

Get to know Dr. Group

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

All testimonials and product reviews are authentic from actual customers. Documentation is available for legal inspection. Product reviews are within range of typicality.

Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician. This Web site contains links to Web sites operated by other parties. Such links are provided for your convenience and reference only. We are not responsible for the content or products of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. Global Healing Center does not adopt any medical claims which may have been made in 3rd party references. Where Global Healing Center has control over the posting or other communications of such claims to the public, Global Healing Center will make its best effort to remove such claims.

© Copyright 1998 - 2017 | All Rights Reserved www.globalhealingcenter.com

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy