Sunday, August 28, 2011

Should I eat white rice or brown rice?

The Allergy Dude will write about which kind of rice is preferred to eat: white or brown.  First, I'll tell you what I do not think you should eat: any fried rice from restaurants.  Normally restaurants use animal lard for the cooking oil.  This overwhelms any nutritional benefit from eating rice.

Next what is brown rice?  Starting with a rice grain, once the husk is removed, you have brown rice.  Then after the bran and germ are removed, what remains is the white endosperm.  This is the white rice you buy in stores and eat.  The endosperm has nutritional value, however so do the bran and germ.  The nutrients in the latter include rice bran oil, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  Thus brown rice has more nutritional value than white rice.  If you compare labels, remember that white rice has nutrients added back into the package.
A large study of almost 200,000 people in the U.S. by Qi Sun concluded that "eating two or more servings of brown rice weekly seems to be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes". On the other hand, they reported, "eating five or more servings of white rice per week is associated with an increased risk."  White rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, which means that blood sugar levels rise faster after eating white rice than brown rice.  This is thought to be from the greater fiber content of brown rice.  A 2011 small study from China did not find any difference in rate of developing metabolic risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Here are some other aspects of brown rice.  Since brown rice contains more grain than white rice, brown rice takes longer to cook. Brown rice has to be stored more carefully, because the oil in the husk can age and produce a rancid taste.  Brown rice has more calories than white rice, but remember the calories come from higher fiber content.
Lastly, brown rice costs paradoxically about twice as much as white rice.  You might think that since brown rice is less processed than white rice, which also has nutrients artificially added, that brown rice should cost less than white rice.  The simple reason is economics and habits.  Just like with white bread and wheat bread, nearly the entire universe prefers to eat white rice, so the demand has shaped the system to produce white rice inexpensively.

The Allergy Dude therefore recommends his readers avoid eating fried rice from restaurants and when possible try to eat brown rice versus white rice.  And yes the Allergy Dude puts his money where his mouth is and also tries to eat brown rice whenever possible rather than white rice.  It is not easy, since the Allergy Dude was raised eating white rice, but free will and intelligence decide that active energy must be expended to have a better outcome.

1 comment:

Oliver said...

I've found that I'm allergic to brown rice but not white rice.

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