Should you eat Brown Rice or White Rice if you are trying to cut calories or lose weight? NEW
Unless the taste and texture of brown rice make you eat less, there is no difference and here is why:
Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and protein. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. Brown rice is simply white rice that has not had the brown-colored bran covering removed. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. So brown rice is considered a whole grain. Since brown rice still has the bran intact, it has more fiber than white rice. One cup of brown rice has 3 1/2 grams of fiber while the same amount of white rice has less than one gram of fiber. You need from 25 to 38 grams of fiber in our diet every day. Brown rice also contains nutrients like magnesium, manganese, and zinc. White rice has reduced levels of these nutrients, but is often fortified with iron, and some B vitamins. One mineral not added back into white rice is magnesium. Cooked long grain brown rice contains 84 mg of magnesium while one cup of white rice contains 19 mg.
To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. Among other key sources of nutrition lost are small amounts of fatty acids and fiber that may help lower cholesterol and cause less constipation. A part of these missing nutrients, such as Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it “enriched”, as food suppliers in the US are required to do by the Food and Drug Administration.
As you can see, brown rice indeed has a superior nutritional content compared to white rice. However, if the reason you’re choosing brown rice over white rice is to lose weight and/or cut calories, I suggest you save your money and more importantly stick to your somewhat better tasting white rice. Like everything else, just eat rice (brown or rice) in moderation.