Brown Rice Vs White Rice: Which One Is Healthier?

Is there really a difference between brown rice and white rice?

Rice has been a staple in many cultures for centuries. But in recent years, there has been much debate about brown and white rice in particular. Is one healthier than the other? Or is it all hype?

To answer that question, we need to look at what the differences are if any.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain. Whole grains are unrefined. So brown rice hasn’t had the bran and germ removed during the milling process. Is that important? Yes, because the bran and germ is where most of the nutrients are.

White Rice

White rice is a refined grain. That means the bran and germ have been stripped from it during the milling process. Refining helps in prolonging the shelf life of the rice. In return, it has to be fortified with the vitamins it was stripped of. Except for fiber. It is the one nutrient that can’t easily be replaced.

Nutritional Values

The chart below compares the nutritional information for one cup of brown and white medium-grain cooked rice:

Brown Rice VS White Rice Nutrition Comparison

Looking at the information above, you might not see a big difference in the two. What separates the two is their nutritional content.

Brown rice is a better source of selenium, magnesium, manganese, and fiber. When comparing recommended daily value numbers, brown rice has at least 10% more of those minerals and fiber than white rice.

Does One Digest Quicker Than The Other?

Yes. White rice digests quicker because it is refined. But that’s not a bad thing. White rice is easier on the body if you’re recovering from a digestive disorder such as an upset stomach.

White rice is one of the preferred after workout foods because it restores depleted glycogen levels. It also increases your insulin levels so that nutrients can be move into your muscle tissues quicker.

Brown rice takes longer to digest because it’s unrefined. Because it digests slower, your energy levels stay up for a longer period of time. It also helps when you’re trying to lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.


If you’re trying to eat healthy balanced meals, rice would be a good source of carb. Although brown rice is the healthier choice, you can still eat white rice without guilt. Balance and moderation are the key ingredients.