When it comes to unhealthy and refined food, the first color that comes to our mind is white. Often, this unhealthy food has a healthier variety as the white sugar has its brown counterpart, or the white flour has its whole flour counterpart. Even though the brown version is generally considered as healthier than the white, the rice is an exception to this.
Which One Is Healthier Between White Rice and Brown Rice?
Back to the previous premise, most of us have always thought that white is the less healthy version of food. So if we compare white rice to brown rice, of course most people will say that brown rice is a better option. But why do we think that way? Now, let’s see why people think that white rice is bad.
White Rice Increase Blood Sugar
Most of white carbohydrates foods such as white bread contains high glycemic index. Perhaps, that’s the reason most people think that white rice will also raise blood sugar level. But if we talk about rice, you need to know that color is not the one that determine the sugar level of the food.
The truth is, the one that determine the sugar level of a rice if the type of the rice. For example, we can see basmati rice. Despite the color, this type of rice contain low glycemic index compare to other types of rice.
The International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition published a study that reveals how white basmati rice increase lesser amount of blood sugar compare to the brown basmati rice.
The study involved 14 healthy participant where all the participant were feed with 11 different types of rice, including white and brown basmati rice. To determine which type of the rice that fit to the category of medium – high index or low glycemic index, every participant got their blood glucose level measured.
The result of the study revealed that brown basmati rice belonged to the medium – high glycemic index category while white basmati rice belonged to the low glycemic index category. This result also shown that actually, color of the rice has nothing to do with its sugar level.
Brown Rice and Phytates
Although brown rice isn’t bad for you, per se, there are a lot of reason for you to choose white rice over it (aside from the fact that it tastes better). For one, brown rice contains more phytates than white rice.
Phytates, otherwise known as phytic acid, is often referred to as an “anti-nutrient” due to the fact that it blocks the absorption of several health-beneficial minerals, many of which are found in rice. These include iron, zinc and calcium.
Although most of the time this blockage of minerals does not pose a serious threat to your health, it has been reported that eating high-phytate foods throughout the day can lead to a mineral deficiency and many of the unpleasant symptoms that accompany it.
Many people claim brown rice is healthier than white because it contains more vitamins and nutrients, however the fact that it also blocks your body from absorbing these nutrients pretty much makes that point obsolete.
In conclusion, don’t get caught up in all of the labels that people place on “good” or “bad” food. In most cases, there are benefits and disadvantages to both. However, in this case, I think white rice takes the cake in terms of taste, nutrition and overall health.
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This article is not intended to take the place of a competent nutritionist or doctor. It is solely intended to educate people on the vital and perhaps underestimated importance of this nutritional element.
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