Among the two varieties, brown rice is widely recognised as a healthier option. What exactly is the difference between the two?
Brown rice is a whole gain – meaning, it has all parts of the grain, such as the fibrous bran (thavidu), the nutritious germ and the carbohydrate-rich endosperm. White rice, on the other hand, is only the carb-rich endosperm with both bran and germ removed. This is why brown rice is considered to be healthier than white rice.
Rice bran and germ contain many minerals (zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron etc), B-Vitamins, a minor amount of protein and antioxidants. Hence, brown rice is comparatively more nutritious than white rice. Also, since the fiber content in brown rice is higher than that of the white rice, it does not evoke an immediate glycemic response from the body – in other words, the glucose levels do not rise immediately when you consume brown rice as body takes more time to release glucose to the blood because of the high fiber content in brown rice. This is why brown rice has become popular among the diabetic population!
Now comes the interesting part!
The body understands the food you have eaten as a whole.. it does not take aside rice, curry etc separately while digesting them inside your stomach! If you like white rice more, then there is no problem in eating it – especially if it is eaten along wtih fibrous vegetables and other protein sources. For example – if you eat white rice + spinach (cheera) thoran + chicken for lunch, the body considers the food as a whole and the glycemic index of this will be much lower – meaning, the blood sugar levels do not rise immediately..and perhaps much slower than a brown rice meal!
Hence, the over all-fiber content + protein content is what that matters and hence it is absolutely possible even for the diabetic population to have white rice, as long as they manage the fiber + protein intake. Brown rice can also be high in arsenic, which can be harmful for digestive organs in the long run. Besides, thanks to adulteration, the brown rice these days are often polished brown and comes with many coloring agents to make it brown and supposedly healthier
In a nut shell, brown rice or white rice, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is how common-sensical and smart you are with your food choices! Always question the over marketing spree and make conclusions scientifically and logically – and you are sorted