White Rice vs Brown Rice: Which is Healthier and Fattening?

brown rice versus white rice -

rice fattening

I know you can’t escape eating rice, at least for 3 days. Whether at a party or ceremony, it always makes the list of menu guest can request.

As you are trying to lose weight and eat healthier, you could be bothered if rice is healthier or fattening. There are many ways to investigate and conclude but let’s start with how rice is being produced.

How Rice is Being Manufactured

Rice is well cultivated on marshy or wetland. Upon growth to maturity stage, it is ready for harvest. At this stage, rice composes of different layers such as husk (hull), bran, the white layer (kernel), and germ.

rice grains How You Can Lose Weight Eating Rice

It will go through mechanical milling and processing to remove unwanted substances; this is where the husk is removed.

In the past, the husk serves no benefit than to protect the grain while growing. Presently, it has been discovered rice husk serves as a great source of dietary fiber, especially for diets that are deficient.

Fiber has many health benefits such as:

1. It reduces the risk of obesity and overweight. This makes it an indicator of weight loss.

2. Fiber reduces risk to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and colon cancer.

3. It helps in regulating gastrointestinal, which reduces constipation, thereby making your bowel movement easier and keeping your intestine clean.


Fiber that serves as enormous health benefits has been regarded as an unwanted substance to be removed.

By the time the husk is removed, you’ll be left with the bran layer. This is usually brown in color and popularly called brown rice. Apart from brown color, others can be black, red or golden in color. I’ve come across black rice before, they’re all wholesome rice grains to eat and lose weight.

In Nigeria, we call this type of rice Ofada rice, Abakaliki or native rice.

Some millers go further with the production processing by removing the bran layer. They attributed this to the problem of long-term storage.

And this is the stage you get polished white rice because it bran layer has been removed.

That’s how the rice you seem to eat get manufactured. They strip the beneficial nutrients, thereby converting it to low-quality white rice.

The bran layer removed contains a great amount of dietary fiber like the husk layer that has been discovered but still in research as a form of edible cereal food.

Apart from the dietary fiber, the bran layer contains abundant nutrients; they’re rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential to the effectiveness of weight loss and your overall health.

Nutritive Value of Rice Bran (Brown rice) and White rice

 Brown riceWhite rice
Calorie [Based on the recommended daily value (DV) in percentage]373 (19%)205 (10%)
Carbohydrate [% DV]58.6g (20%)44.5g (15%)
Dietary Fiber24.8g (99%)0.6g (3%)
Fats & Fatty Acids [% DV]24.6g (38%)0.4g (1%)
Saturated Fat4.9g (25%)0.1g (1%)
Monounsaturated Fat8.9g0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat8.8g0.1g
Total Omega-3 fatty acids373mg20.5mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids8428mg98.0mg
Protein & Amino Acids [% DV]15.8g (32%)4.2g (8%)
Vitamins [% DV]
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)5.8mg (29%)0.1mg (0%)
Vitamin K2.2mcg (3%)0.0mcg (0%)
Thiamin3.2mg (217%)0.3mg (17%)
Riboflavin0.3mg (20%)0.0mg (1%)
Niacin40.1mg (201%)2.3mg (12%)
Vitamin B64.8mg (240%)0.1mg (7%)
Folate74.3mcg (19%)91.6mcg (23%)
Vitamin B120.0mcg (0%)0.0mcg (0%)
Pantothenic Acid8.7mg (87%)0.6mg (6%)
Minerals [% DV]
Calcium67.3mg (7%)15.8mg (2%)
Iron21.9mg (122%)1.9mg (11%)
Magnesium1979mg (198%)19.0mg (5%)
Phosphorus1979mg (198%)68.0mg (7%)
Potassium1753mg (50%)55.3mg (2%)
Sodium5.9mg (0%1.6mg (0%)
Zinc7.1mg (48%)0.8mg (5%)
Copper0.9mg (43%)0.1mg (5%)
Manganese16.8mg (838%)0.7mg (37%)
Selenium18.4mcg (26%)11.9mcg (17%)

This table is based on 118 g and 158 g which makes 1 cup, both for brown and white rice respectively.

From the nutrition table, brown rice is richer in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals; healthy fat and protein.

In addition, based on recommended daily nutrition, brown rice will give you 99% dietary fiber. This is really huge compared to other food and snacks you will have for the day. That means you will never lack in basic nutrients for maintenance and wellness of your body.

Also, the recommended daily value for healthy fat, vitamin and minerals are in great amount as well.   

When you compare brown rice nutrition analysis table to white rice, you will observe its dietary fiber content is low. About 0.6 g which gives only 3% of what has been recommended to eat daily.

White rice is low in vitamins and minerals. These are essential micronutrients that help increase your metabolism and makes weight loss effective.

Likewise, its fat and protein content is low when compared to brown rice that’s rich in both and you need all these nutrients to lose weight effectively.

Even though both nutrition analyses are based on 1 cup, of course, you won’t be eating 1 cup per meal but, ½ or ¼ cup.

With your hindsight and calculation, you can gauge the degree of nutrients you will be getting per meal with low-calorie when you eat brown rice.

Which Rice is Healthier or Fattening?

Now, you should have the answer to the type of rice that is either healthier or fattening.

Brown and white rice contain almost an equal amount of carbohydrates and calories. In fact, brown rice has more calories.

But, when you eat brown rice, it breaks down slowly in your body, due to its rich fiber content and nutrients.

The digestive and absorption process makes it impossible to increase your blood sugar (glucose) suddenly, which can lead to storing the excess glucose as fat, especially, if you have the fat genes.

This is exactly what the polish white rice does because it lacks essential nutrients and dietary fiber.

Therefore, if you’re looking for the victim: the polish white rice is the victim that makes get fattening unnecessary and keep you unhealthy.

You’ve got to thought about quitting eating white rice.

In Summary

Whole-grain brown rice is not fattening but healthier. It’s the refined and over processed polished white rice that’s fattening.

You have understood their differences in nutrition value and the effects on your quest to lose weight. Now, the choice is yours.

Whenever you want to buy rice for home cooking, to eat at a restaurant, parties, and ceremonies; always demand brown rice.

Brown rice or nothing.

You will feel full, energized and alright for a longer time. This makes you eat less or moderately which limit your ability to add unnecessary calories you won’t be able to burn through physical activities for the day compared to white rice.

Though brown rice is relatively costly currently in Nigeria than white rice, the difference in price is not much.

Besides, its enormous health benefits should motivate you to spend that money. Like the saying goes, eat what is good for you.

What do you think about brown rice?



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  1. Ajoro Adesola
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