It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
White rice or brown rice? What’s the difference? It’s a question our nutritionist gets asked all of the time, especially from you sushi-loving people. 70% of the rice consumed in the U.S. is white rice – this is unfortunate because brown rice is the better choice.
A whole grain has the germ, bran and endosperm intact. A refined grain means the grain is stripped of the germ and the bran. White rice is refined.
When the outer bran is removed, it loses vitamins, minerals and fiber. Brown rice contains almost six times more fiber than white rice. Removing the germ removes more vitamins and minerals, healthy fat and protein.
In order for white rice to become sparkly white, it goes through another process called polishing. This process removes more nutrients, ultimately leaving the rice as nothing more than starch – empty calories that are neither providing health benefits nor helping to keep you full.
If this isn’t enough to change your mind, listen to this – one study showed that women who consumed the most dietary fiber from whole grains were 49% less likely to gain weight compared to those eating foods from refined grains.