As various kinds of rice surfaced over the recent years, the health credibility of white rice has been continuously questioned. Is it really healthy or have we been eating it because it is the cheapest and most accessible one among the bunch?
This is actually yet another health debate that just might continue for many more years. And just like in all the other debates about how healthy a food is, this is no different. Basically, it boils down to white rice having its good and bad effects on one’s health. Don’t you remember the saying that anything that is too little or too much is probably bad for you and your body? The same principle applies here.
White rice and brown rice can both easily be cooked in rice cookers. These devices are so simple to use and you can focus on the rest of the meal. Read here everything about rice cookers!
Given the many controversies surrounding white rice and its brothers and sisters, let us go a little deeper on what triggered all these speculations and try to clear it up a bit with a straight head.
What is White Rice?
White rice has been a food staple in various homes from all corners of the world especially in Asia. It is normally eaten three times a day and is believed to provide the energy one needs to get through the daily tasks as it is rich in carbohydrates.
Truth be told, white rice is produced through a refining process where most of its nutritional value is stripped away. This is the reason why most health experts refer to this as an empty source of calories. However, there still are some who stood by their longtime beliefs that white rice still has many health benefits if consumed in moderation.
Here is a sample table stating the nutrients that are found in white rice and their corresponding value. Take note, however, that this table is based on white rice per 100 grams.
|Dietary Fiber||0.4 g|
|Total Fat||0.3 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||28 g|
If we are to base healthiness on the table above, white rice does not seem to be at all bad. However, it would be best to take it in moderation. Here are the other benefits of white rice:
Boosts muscle growth
White rice contains amino acids which are considered to be the cell’s building blocks. Hence, eating white rice in moderation helps muscle building making this a preferable choice for vegetarians who does not want to look at all skinny and food deprived.
Furnishes the body with much-needed energy
This is a very well-known benefit of white rice. It contains a considerable amount of carbohydrates and can therefore furnish the body with much-needed energy to do the daily tasks almost instantly.
However, a word of caution must be taken here as white rice is also considered to be high in sugar. Therefore, those with impaired glucose tolerance should be very careful with their white rice intake to prevent further progression into full diabetes.
Suitable for those with digestive problems
White rice has a low-fiber content which makes them suitable for those who already have current digestive problems. It has mild diuretic properties and therefore aids in digestion and helps calm inflammations within the digestive tract.
Improves one’s well-being
White rice actually contains manganese which gives our immune system a boost and thiamine which helps the mind’s cognitive process.
Brown Rice: Is It Truly the Healthier One
This is another ongoing debate between health experts and buffs. Brown rice is generally considered to be the healthier one if we are to base it on the saying that whole grain foods are better. Brown rice is actually white rice but with intact bran and technically has more nutrients than white rice.
However, what most people do not seem to understand today is that while brown rice has the bran and the long list of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that come with it, it is not exactly readily absorbable by the human gut. In short, your stomach cannot possibly digest it in such a way that the stomach absorbs all the nutrients from the white rice. Why?
Bran (which is present in the brown rice and absent in the white rice) contains phytic acid, which are also known as anti-nutrients because it makes nutrients hard to be absorbed by the human body. In addition, more fiber is present in the bran which could make digestion even more challenging.
So which are you going to choose? White rice which has less nutrients and fiber but all that remains are readily absorbable by the human body or the brown rice that has more nutrients and fiber but not readily absorbable by the human body and can therefore be even more problematic?
Rice, in general, is considered healthy for as long as consumed moderately. It is gluten free, easy to find, and easy to cook. But it would always depend on one’s current medical condition to see which type of rice is suitable for them. For some, the brown rice may be the more suitable option (especially if they have a very good digestion function) but for some, white rice still remains the first choice. To find the best electric rice cooker, check out our extensive buying guide or our quick comparison of rice cookers.