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Brown Rice vs White Rice: Benefits & Cautions

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Brown Rice vs White Rice: Benefits & Cautions

Rice feeds the world!

“Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.” –Chinese Proverb

Three billion people on this planet depend on rice for over half of their daily total calorie intake. Most of these people eat white rice.

Could the hippies and macrobiotics be wrong?  What are the differences and benefits? Is this a smart carb?

Besides the obvious difference in color, there are further distinctions between long grain, short grain, and over 8,000 varieties.

Brown Rice is the whole grain with just the first outer layer (husk or hull) removed through milling. It still retains its fiber and the germ which contains many of the most vital nutrients.

White rice is brown rice that has first been milled to take away the bran and much of the germ. This reduces the fiber and many nutrients. It is further polished to take away the remaining layer of germ (called the aleurone layer) which contains its essential oils. It is these oils which oxidize and go rancid.

Sticky Rice or Not: Short grain rice has the highest starch content so makes stickier rice. Long grain is lighter and more fluffy.

Health Benefits of Brown Rice Over White Rice

Brown rice has:

  • twice the manganese and phosphorus of white.
  • 2.5 times the iron.
  • 3 times the vitamin B3.
  • 4 times the vitamin B1.
  • 10 times the vitamin B6.

It is a great source of manganese, essential for energy production, antioxidant activity, and sex hormone production.

High fiber and selenium content reduces colon cancer:
The fiber in brown rice reduces the time cancer-causing substances spend in the colon.  Selenium has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer. White rice has very little fiber.

Next: More benefits & cautions

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


+ add your own
1:22PM PDT on Oct 19, 2014

I keep my brown rice and wild rice fresh by storing them in air-tight containers in my freezer.

7:48AM PDT on Oct 19, 2014

The next step is to chose organic.
It's funny how everyone calls it brown rice, when it's actually whole grain rice. The only reason it has a brown appearance is because of the bran. Really, it should just be called rice and the white one should be identified as something polished or refined rice.
I'm hoping to find me some organic sprouted whole grain rice, in long grain and basmati. :)

11:19PM PDT on Jun 1, 2014

Now I've finished my juice program and after reading this I think I will incorporate brown rice once a week into my lunch.

4:12AM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

Only brown rice from now on.. Thank you so much.. I will keep brown rice fresh by keeping it in air tight box.. Thank you..

9:54PM PDT on Sep 1, 2013

Thank you for a very informative article. It's brown rice from now on for me.

11:50AM PDT on Sep 1, 2013

Interesting cautions...thanks

6:22AM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

I love rice and I use both

6:21AM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

So white rice has basically been leached of it's nutrients...OK good to know. I'll definitely try to stick to brown rice as much as possible, though I do hate the fact that it has to be processed:/

1:09AM PDT on May 18, 2013

Thank you :)

6:42PM PDT on May 17, 2013

have both white & brown rice, will make brown rice for dinner tonight

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


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