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Nutrition check: Is brown rice actually healthier than white rice?

"All white rice starts out as brown rice before it is polished. All unpolished rice is nowadays sold under the term brown rice," nutritionist Bhuvan Rastogi said

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
December 16, 2021 11:30:29 am
brown-rice-pexelsHave you ever tried brown rice? (Source: Pexels)

There is often a debate around the numerous health benefits of brown rice as compared to the white grained variety. But is one type actually healthier than the other, or it is just a fad?

Answering these questions is nutritionist Bhuvan Rastogi, who recently took to Instagram to share the advantages of incorporating brown rice in your regular diet

He explained that all white rice starts out as brown rice before it is polished, and that all unpolished rice is nowadays sold under the term brown rice. “Brown rice is the whole grain food and white rice is processed. When the rice grain is polished, the parts called bran and germ are removed. Germ is the part of rice grain that is rich in minerals and bran has most of the fibre. Without them white rice loses most of its fibre, vitamins and minerals,” he said.


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A post shared by Bhuvan Rastogi (@bhuvan_rastogi)


The expert also shared that the glycemic index of cooked white rice is 70+ (high GI) and brown rice is about 50 (low to medium GI – very close to atta roti). “This means brown rice does not raise blood glucose levels as much as white rice, and is better for people with diabetes,” he pointed out.

But “reduction in fibre is a major issue”, said Bhuvan, adding especially is the staple diet is mostly rice. “It becomes difficult to meet approximately 25 to 30g fibre/day demand of the body. As a thumb rule, we should not make anything which are empty calories part of our regular diet (calories without nutrition),” he said.

He suggested switching to the unpolished variety of the rice you already use, if taste is a concern. “Keep it as close to whatever you are comfortable for sustainable long term change,” he continued.

Concluding, the expert also shared a historical fact. “Beri beri, an endemic in the early 1900s, was caused due to the push for white rice over brown, causing a deficiency in Vit B1, especially in people whose staple food was rice. So brown rice preference over white rice is not a health trend, it’s actually going back to the roots, to a less processed version of rice,” he said.

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