Rice is a staple food for 2/3 of the world’s population. Although, not popular in America it is of high relevance to certain ethnic populations. For you at home, that want to explore cuisines that use rice it might behoove you to learn what the best type of rice to include in your dietary pattern would be. Like any whole grain, rice has three distinct components; the endosperm, bran, and germ. Many of the minerals, vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats and proteins in whole grains are from the bran and the germ. Below are your unwise, better, best choices of rice.
Unwise: White Rice
White rice is the most processed rice that sits on the shelves. Milled rice strips the grain of its bran and germ. Since the germ and brain contain healthy fats, extracting these two parts makes white rice more shelf stable. The rice is then polished to give it its glistening appearance. White rice is easily digested because it has lower amounts of fiber compared to the rice varieties listed below. This food provides the calories without the nutrients we need for proper health and growth.
Better: Brown Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain! It has more fiber, b-vitamins, and healthy fats than its white rice counterpart. One cup of brown rice provides 80% of your daily intake of manganese, which helps with digesting fats.
Best: Wild Rice
Wild rice is most beneficial because it has fewer calories per cup, a 40 calorie difference, and is more nutrient dense than white rice. Wild rice is another whole, intact grain. Increased amounts of protein and fiber keep people feeling fuller faster, and longer. Wild rice comes in many colors like black, red, and purple which makes it the “best” option! A study out of Manitoba defined wild rice as 30x greater antioxidant activity than white rice.
Studies show that eating whole grain brown rice cuts diabetes risk, lowers cholesterol, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Add in some wild rice every once in a while to add variety and color!