White Rice- Is It Really Unhealthy?
It is constantly being said in nutrition circles that brown rice is healthier than white rice. Some nutritionists ask people to avoid it as it is an empty source of calories. On the other hand, there are experts who consider white rice to be a safe starch, which can be consumed in moderation. Let us find out the truth!
Comparing wheat and rice
Modern wheat has been modified and hybridized and it poses a problem for a lot of people. Unlike modern wheat and most other grains rice is unique and is less harmful.
Comparing white rice and brown rice
Brown rice is considered to be healthier than white rice but the contrary is true. White rice is a healthier choice! Rice is from the grains family and it contains anti-nutrients like ‘phytates’. Phytates are called anti-nutrients because they make it difficult for us to absorb the minerals present in the grain. Brown rice has a high content of phytic acid. White rice is a safer option when consumed in moderation. Now you may be wondering how white rice can be safe. Well, to answer that, let me tell you that during the milling of rice, bran is removed. It is this process of bran removal that makes the rice white instead of brown. As the bran is removed in white rice, almost all of the phytic acid is removed. This makes the rice easy to digest and cuts down the fibre that can be harmful to the gut.
Technically, brown rice has more nutrients but they are not made available to the body. The bran is the most problematic part of rice due to its phytic acid content. Are you aware of the fact that white rice is lower in phytic acid than most seeds, nuts and other grains?
Rice has arsenic
A few years back it was found in a research that rice could have high levels of arsenic in it. However, it was observed that that the arsenic levels were higher in brown rice than in white rice as arsenic is found in the bran and the bran is removed in white rice.
Researchers said that brown rice should be consumed rarely or avoided due to their arsenic content. Several brown rice brands were tested and it was found that some had 50% more the limit that was considered to be safe.
Thus, brown rice is not a food that should be a staple in one’s diet. It should not be consumed on a regular basis. The lowest levels of arsenic was found in jasmine or basmati white rice that were imported from other countries. When the rice is rinsed, the arsenic levels are further reduced. However, things are still cloudy about the presence of arsenic in rice.
Rice is naturally gluten free
You must be well aware of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Let me tell you that rice is naturally gluten free. So, this means that the problem causing part is already absent from rice and rice is a safe choice for those who are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease. However, this doesn’t mean that it is healthy. But those who are on a look out for healthy carbs can consider consuming rice.
So, don’t you feel that consuming white rice is much better than brown rice. Let us have a quick recap:
- Brown rice has more of phytic acid than brown rice. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient.
- Brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than white rice.
- Rice is naturally gluten free.
In a country where rice is a staple, food can hardly be complete without it. 😛 Agree or not? So, I guess you should be having your regular white rice and avoid going in for brown rice. What will you choose after reading this post?
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