Rice grain is one of the planet’s most dominant and significant foods. Many people depend on rice as a daily food of their diet. Different varieties of rice have been grown to feed the needs of consumers, but typically, the mealtime choices of people have narrowed it down to a pair of options; white or brown.
Of the two options, white rice is the most commonly consumed due to its longer pantry shelf life, neutral flavour profile that meshes well with other ingredients, and ease of cooking.
The significant difference between the two grains is that white rice is a refined grain while brown rice is a whole grain. A refined grain has been polished (ground into meal or flour) to remove its bran and germ, giving them a finer texture and boosting its shelf-life.
On the other hand, whole grain has all its three parts intact; the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. It is quite understandable why many people choose white rice over brown rice because the latter is chewy and takes longer to cook due to its tough bran exterior than the former.
Brown rice outpaces white rice in terms of vitamins B1 (thiamin) and B6 (pyridoxine), manganese, dietary fibre, niacin, phosphorus, and magnesium. This is not far-fetched because white rice doesn’t have bran and germ, which are meant to be enriched with essential nutrients.
Aside from that, regular consumption of refined grains like white rice is said to increase the risk of developing premature heart disease, while brown rice can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Brown rice also can reduce your cholesterol level – this is the power of the rice’s husk.
All this said you might think white rice is bad for you. The short answer is no, at least when eaten in moderation. But is it the best food for you? No, as well. And don’t even think it can hurt you when you eat it because it can’t.
Indeed, enriched white rice serves as a good source of folic acid, which is endorsed for pregnant people to help with the prenatal development of their child. It is also recommended for mothers who breastfeed. Still, white rice poses a risk of increased heart disease. Keep on reading as to why that is.
How white rice may increase premature heart disease risk
A study reveals that eating refined grains like white rice increases the risk of premature heart disease, while eating whole grains like brown rice lowers the risk. A typical example of premature heart disease is premature coronary artery disease (PCAD).
PCAD happens when coronary artery disease occurs in a man or woman below the age of 45 or 55. According to the study, ingesting refined grains was linked with an increased risk of premature coronary artery disease. On the contrary, the ingestion of whole grains was inversely related.
In other words, whole grains lower the risk of P.C.A.D. Thus, if you are conscious about your health, it will be best to choose whole grains and foods. Other whole-grain foods you can consider besides brown rice are oats, corn, barley, whole wheat, farro, quinoa, popcorn, and wild rice.
Even though brown rice has many benefits, it has its downside. The thing about brown rice is that it is composed of arsenic (a toxic element). Though it’s not enough to cause typical harm in a diet, pregnant people are advised to eat in moderation.
The finest thing to do is to be creative with your menu. Eat both if you cannot decide between white rice and brown rice. You can also take quinoa, ancient grains, and barley as rice substitutes if need be. Speak to a doctor if you are worried about the risk of having heart disease.