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Is brown rice or white rice better for health?

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Rice is an important part of the diet for many people around the world. With many varieties to choose from and a wide range of possible uses, rice can be a tasty, nutritious, and versatile ingredient.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture National, a cup of medium grain, cooked, enriched white rice weighing 186 gramsTrusted Source (g) provides:

  • 242 kilocalories (kcal)

  • 4.43 g of protein

  • 0.39 g of fat

  • 53.2 g of carbohydrate

  • 0.56 g of fiber

Rice also contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including folate. Enriched rice contains more nutrients than unenriched rice.

A cup of cooked, long grain brown rice weighing 202 gTrusted Source provides:

  • 248 kcal

  • 5.54 g of protein

  • 1.96 g of fat

  • 51.7 g of carbohydrate

  • 3.23 g of fiber

It also contains folate, iron, and other vitamins and minerals.

Overall, brown rice seems to be a more healthful choice than white rice, although white rice may be a better choice in some circumstances.

However, people will only reap the benefits of any kind of rice if they consume it as a part of an overall healthful diet. This includes favoring rice dishes that involve fresh vegetables rather than a meat sauce, for example.

Another consideration is that some types of rice suit a rice dish better than others. Rice desserts, paella, and sticky rice, for example, may only be successful with a white variety of rice.

Although brown rice contains more fiber than white rice, it has less fiber than many other whole grains.

This may make it a good option for people who want to add more whole grains to their diet but who wish to add fiber gradually. Adding high fiber foods to the diet too quickly can lead to bloating, constipation, and other forms of abdominal discomfort.

When buying white rice, it is best to choose enriched rice. This ensures that it has a higher nutritional value.


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