White rice is healthier then brown rice. I understand why this can be a difficult concept to grasp. The media, Dr.'s, and health care professionals have been saying for years that brown rice is a much healthier option when compared to white rice.
But why? There obviously has to be something better about brown rice?
Hey, fiber is a good thing. We need fiber is our diet. After all it assists in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar levels, and providing some beneficial compounds like butyrate (forms during the fermentation of fiber in the gut).
The fiber present in brown rice also lowers the Glycemic Index of the grain when compared to white rice. And this is a good thing there is no arguing that. Eating carbohydrates that rank high on the Glycemic Index can cause metabolic syndrome, weight gain, insulin resistance, increase your risk of diabetes, and the list goes on.
However if you really want to get down and dirty when talking about high GI foods then you need to talk about eating in isolation vs. not!
What I mean by this is if you were to eat a plain bowl of white rice it is going to have a large insulin response associated with it. But, if you eat white rice with some vegetables, a steak, and some healthy fats, the overall GI of the entire meal will be lower and thus will have a lower insulin response. A better option no doubt.
Now I am not saying that all your carbs can come from high GI foods as long as you pair them with lower GI foods, I am still a fan of consuming lower GI carbs, but what I am saying is that it is not a simple as saying "this is high GI therefore it is obviously not as healthy".
Ok, the whole GI argument might not be a big deal but what about the fact that brown rice has more nutrients! That has to be a point for brown rice?
You see brown rice does have more nutrients then white rice but only by a short grain (pun intended but thats a bad joke no doubt). Here is some proof straight from the Lundberg (popular rice brand) site...
Overall I would say who gives a shit but that is not what you are led to believe!
So where do we stand right now?
Brown rice has slightly more fiber (a good thing), the whole GI argument can kinda be thrown out the window, and the nutritional content discussion should probably be run through milling machine!
So what's next?
Let's talk anti-nutrients...
You see, since brown rice contains the husk and germ (which is simply the brown outer "shell") it also contains anti-nutrients.
What are anti-nutrients? They are defence mechanisms that some plants and grains developed over time to ward of potential "predators". More specifically they are lectins and phytates that are present in specific foods that can cause digestive issues when consumed. This is a plants way of saying "don't eat me".
How do they interact in your digestive system?
Well, phytates bind to micronutrients and prevent them from being absorbed. So when you eat a nice healthy meal loaded with vitamins and minerals some of the micronutrients will not get absorbed due to the phytates present in the brown rice.
Lectins play a slightly different role. They can damage the intestinal lining of the digestive tract. This can lead to what's commonly referred to as a "leaky gut".
Tomorrow we will have a whole post on phytates and lectins so stay tuned! For now just know that for the most part they are not great.
Now since white rice has the husk removed from the grain, with it goes all the anti-nutrients and that is a good thing!
Here is another shocker...brown contains much more arsenic then white rice. Yep, that poisonous stuff that can kill ya. Now is it enough to cause any real harm? Probably not. But if you eat rice on a regular basis you might you to consider eating the stuff with less arsenic...just sayin'!
So lets sum it all up!
Lower (only matters if you eat plain rice)
Higher (only matters if you eat plain rice)
If you are trying to lose some serious weight, have diabetes or metabolic syndrome then perhaps you do not want to eat white rice. But if you have some of those conditions you might not want to eat rice in general?!
Live Your Best Life!