Brown Rice Vs. White Rice – Which Is Better For You?

Brown Rice Vs. White Rice – For Bodybuilders


Rice keeps at least half of the world’s population alive. Being easily accessible and affordable, most people depend on it for survival.

It comes from three main species of plants, and out of that come at least forty thousand varieties (some say ten thousand). But not all are grown in large areas, so they are costly and not abundantly available.

Among others, white rice and brown rice are most widely eaten. However, white rice is more popular because it’s easily transportable and lasts longer on the shelf.

But have you wondered which is better for you? Both serve as a staple and can be long, medium or short, and you can use both types in many dishes. But health-wise, which is more beneficial? Let us find out below.

Brown Rice Vs. White Rice

Brown Rice Vs. White Rice

In the beginning, both brown and white rice starts as the same. Their differences start once they get into the milling process.

Brown Rice: The processing technique in brown rice includes removing the husk but leaving behind the germ and bran and therefore, it’s a whole grain (1). As a result, much of its natural elements remain intact, including the nutrients.

White Rice: On the other hand, it’s a bit different with white rice as the process removes the husk, germ and bran. The procedure extends its shelf life but takes away all the good elements. The rice is then fortified with nutrients.

Once the procedure is complete, brown rice and white rice become very different from each other.

Physical Appearance

After the milling process, brown rice looks darker and rougher since only the husk is removed.

But white rice looks shiny and very white. It’s also polished to make it more flavorful.

Nutritional Aspects

Let us now see the nutritional aspects of both brown and white rice.


Earlier, you learned that brown rice loses only the husk but retains the other stuff, while white rice loses everything, and so the former has more fiber.

Studies show that for the same quantity of brown and white rice, the former contains at least one to three grams more fiber than the latter.

Fiber is essential for your body, and it can offer the following health benefits: It can:

  • Help ease constipation
  • Give you a feeling of fullness and help you manage weight
  • Help to maintain blood sugar levels
  • Support gut bacteria
  • Lower the risk of heart diseases


Both brown and white rice contain carbohydrates. The former has less quantity than the latter for the same amount. For example, a cup of short-grain brown cooked rice has 52 grams of carbs, while a cup of long-grain white cooked rice has 53 grams.


Rice also contains protein, and both brown and white rice has it, but the quantity is minimal as the former has 1.83gms and the latter has 1.42gms protein for 1/3 cooked rice.


Your body needs different minerals, and manganese is also one of them. It helps in the production of energy and antioxidant activity. When it’s about rice, the brown variety contains more manganese than white rice.


It’s yet another element that your body needs for various functions. Between brown and white rice, the former has more amount of selenium than the latter. Selenium is an element that can:

  • Boost immune system
  • Reduce the risk of cell damage
  • Improve thyroid hormone production
  • Prevent heart ailments
  • Lower asthma symptoms

Selenium also contains antioxidant properties and so it can protect your body from free radicals.


Your body can get sick if your body doesn’t have sufficient blood. Iron plays a vital role in blood production and functions.

You can also find some iron in both brown and white rice, with the latter containing a little more than the former.


Brown rice is also a good source of magnesium than white rice. This mineral is necessary for:

  • Bone development
  • Blood coagulation
  • Muscular contraction
  • Cellular production


It is one area where white rice wins over brown rice. White rice contains around 108mcg per cup, while brown rice contains only about 18.2mcg per one cup.

An average person needs about 400mcg (micrograms) of folate. A pregnant woman needs about 600mcg while a breastfeeding woman may need about 500 mcg.

Folate is necessary for the production of DNA and other genetic material. It also helps with cellular health and function.

Brown Rice Vs. White Rice – Which Is Better For You?

Other Nutritional Facts

Here are some differences between brown and white rice for the same quantity.


  • Brown rice: 82 calories
  • White rice: 68 calories


  • Brown rice: 0.16gms
  • White rice: 0.03gms


  • Brown rice: 2mg
  • White rice: 5mg

Total saturated fatty acids

  • Brown rice: 0.17gms
  • White rice: 0.04gms

Total Lipid (fat)

  • 0.65gms
  • 0.15gms


Once the processed rice leaves the factory, brown rice becomes more expensive than white rice because it’s considered healthier.

Side Effects

Rice may contain arsenic (toxic chemical) and Bacillus cereus (harmful bacteria) and these can cause side effects such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal issues

You must therefore wash and rinse the rice properly before cooking.

What we learn from the information

From the above details and info, you understand that brown rice has more nutrients than white rice except for a few elements. You also found out that brown rice is more expensive.

These two aspects make us understand that brown rice is better for you than white rice. Brown rice can offer several health benefits, which is impossible for white rice.

However, it’s not to say that white rice is awful, and it also has some goodness in it.

Bottom line – Brown Rice Vs. White Rice

As with all other food items, rice has good and bad aspects. If you consume too much, it can be harmful, while limited and managed intake can benefit health.

The best way to balance and maintain well-being is to add vegetables, meat, fish, other grains and eggs along with rice to your diet. Along with a good diet, staying physically active is also crucial.

However, as mentioned earlier, rice can affect people in different ways. If you have health problems and are doubtful, consult a doctor before starting a diet with rice.

Jason Shaw is an experienced bodybuilder, gym owner, nutritionist and content creator for many websites. He has competed at a high level and wants to bring that experience in muscle building, fitness and nutrition including supplements to our many readers, whether you're a skinny guy want to build muscle or a seasoned bodybuilder.

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