Friday, December 2, 2016

Day 2605 - Brown rice versus white rice

How to transition from white to brown and why it's important. 

We all know that the white carbs aren't necessarily the best choice for ageing positively, but what health benefits does brown rice have that white rice doesn't?

Rice is a great dinner option.  It's easy to prepare, it fills you up and kids tend to love it.  Rice is also gluten free which makes it a much better option for those with intolerances.

Apparently white rice is a bit "controversial" in the nutrition world because some experts believe it's empty calories while others think it's a safe starch which is good in moderation.

The difference between white rice and brown rice is in the bran. During the milling process the bran is removed to turn brown rice into white.

Rice is considered to be a great carbohydrate especially for women going through hormonal changes as they get older.  Many women apparently report the need or craving for carbs during menopause.

 When it comes to which rice we should choose, brown rice is said to have higher nutritional content.  Brown rice has more fibre, protein, selenium, manganese, naturally occurring oils and generally healthier nutrients overall.

The fact that the side hulls and bran is still present in brown rice means the grain is rich in protein, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fibre and potassium.  Brown rice is low GI (a slow release sugar) which makes it a better option for people trying to lose weight or for those with diabetes.

"Studies have shown that those who consume half a cup of brown rice daily reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 60%. On the other hand, those who consume white rice regularly increase their chances of developing diabetes one hundred-fold." 
(Veg Kitchen with Nava Atlas). 

I read that the refining process strips white rice of iron, vitamins, zinc etc so manufacturers then need to add these back in via a synthetic process.  Which means brown rice is your cleaner, greener and more wholesome choice.

When it comes to the taste, the two are quite different.  I actually like brown rice because it's quite "nutty" whereas white rice is bland.  But for those of us who have grown up on white rice, the transition isn't always easy.

If you're thinking of going down the brown rice route and you need to transition the family, the best way is by mixing the two until the quantity of brown rice increases and the white rice decreases.

If you're using a rice cooker the easiest way is to start with 2.5 cups of white rice with half a cup of brown. Then at the next meal go to 2:1.  Then 1.5:1.5 and leave it at that for a while.  Slowly but surely you can take the white rice away altogether.  As with anything, brown rice is simply an acquired taste and once the taste buds get used to it you might find (like me) it becomes the rice taste of choice.

What are your thoughts about rice?

Do prefer white rice or brown rice?

Any tips on how to make brown rice more appealing for the family?

Information sources:,, and


  1. I love white rice but I'm making the transition to brown at home and it's fine as long as you cook the shiz out of it so it's not chewy. Is there such thing as a brown arborio variety? I've not seen one and I refuse to give up my risottos.

  2. This was actually a really interesting read. I quite like the taste of brown rice and will try and eat it more often now after reading this.

  3. We are fans of brown rice and love that nutty taste and more al dente texture. White rice is great with dishes where there is lots of sauce to soak up. I guess that's why we haven't seen a brown arborio.

  4. I prefer brown and always have. I like the chewier texture and the nutty flavour. The kids, on the otherhand, moan for days if I do all brown rice. So I do 60/40 brown/white and that seems to be a winner. x

  5. Miss 20 and I prefer brown rice, but the boys like white. And as white is quicker to cook ... well you can guess which one we have more often!


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