Long-grain story short, brown rice reigns supreme over white rice.

Basmati… jasmine… wild… the list goes on and on 🍚. Rice has a “one grain to rule them all” vibe. It’s delicious, nutritious, and one of the most versatile foods ever. But the “good for you” factor totes depends on the type of rice.

And (sorry to the white rice stans out there) but brown rice is the one.

So is brown rice better for you than white rice?

Yes. Brown rice is healthier than white rice. The milling process removes most of white rice’s health benefits.

Brown rice is a whole grain and has more crucial vitamins. It’s also a fab source of fiber.

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We compared they key nutrients in a cup of cooked white and brown rice. This chart shows you how the stats stack up.

Brown riceWhite riceThe winner?
Thiamine0.345 milligrams (mg)0.256 mgbrown
Niacin4.97 mg2.32 mgbrown
Vitamin B60.238 mg0.145 mgbrown
Potassium168 mg55.3 mgbrown
Magnesium76 mg19 mgbrown
Phosphorus199 mg67.9 mgbrown
Iron1.09 mg1.88 mgwhite
Zinc1.38 mg0.774 mgbrown

Sure, white rice boasts some sweet benefits. But brown rice is def better for you. Here’s what makes brown rice the Grand Grain Poo-bah.

Which provides more nutrients?

Brown rice is a whole grain. This mean it consists of three major parts:

  • bran
  • germ
  • endosperm

Bran and germ contain most of the grain’s minerals, fiber, proteins, and antioxidants. The endosperm is basically just starch and a bit of protein.

White rice, however, is milled. This means that the producers get rid of most of the bran and germ. Meanwhile, brown rice grains remain whole. So just how Bran ends up King of Westeros, it also makes brown rice the g-reigning monarch.

Some white rice brands enrich their products with:

  • iron
  • niacin
  • thiamin
  • folic acid

But still, brown rice is prob better for you than fortified white rice.

Best for weight loss

Both brown and white rice can be part of a weight loss program. Here’s a rundown of the dietary deets:

Brown riceWhite rice
Calories238 kcal204 kcal
Carbs49.6 grams (g)44.2 g
Sugars0.24 g0.05 g
Fat1.87 g0.442 g
Fiber3.12 g0.632 g
Protein5.32 g4.22 g

(There’s no winner here, because weight loss isn’t as simple as picking a winner. Sorry not sorry.)

NGL, brown rice has slightly more calories, carbs, and fat than white rice. But brown rice may still be slightly better for weight loss (and your health) in the long term. It has more fiber, protein, and nutritional benefits than white rice.

Which provides fewer carbs?

Brown rice usually has more carbs than white rice. But keep in mind that it’s more about carb quality than quantity. White rice is a refined grain. It doesn’t have much to offer a low carb meal plan. Meanwhile, brown rice is a complex carb that offers beaucoup benefits.

PSA: You have to give up a lot of noms on low carb diets like keto. It’s okay to cave into your craving once in a while. Just try to make the carbs count.

(There’s a world of grains outside rice. So if you’re going low carb, check these bad boys out.)

Nutritional differences

Brown rice and enriched white rice can both contain vitamins and nutrients. But brown rice has higher levels of:

  • Fiber. Studies have shown that a diet full of high fiber foods may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. It can also bulk up your poop and keep your regularity on point. 💩💪
  • Folate. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps your body make genetic material like DNA. It also helps you produce healthy red blood cells which can reduce your risk of certain types of anemia.
  • Magnesium. This nutrient helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also assists in bone, protein, and DNA production.
  • Manganese. This trace element helps you form bones, connective tissue, and sex hormones.
  • Phosphorus. This super important mineral plays a part in DNA and RNA production. It also supports healthy teeth and bones. 🦴
  • Selenium. This nutrient plays a key role in thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and reproductive health. It can also protect you from free radical damage.

Killing your ketosis isn’t the only rice-related drawback. Here are some other possible issues.


Both brown and white rice can contain arsenic, a potentially dangerous heavy metal. But arsenic is more common in brown rice, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To play it safe, don’t go to town on rice if your eggo is preggo. The FDA also suggests that kiddos under the age of 6 years shouldn’t eat rice either.

Can you eat rice if you have diabetes?

Generally, you CAN eat rice if you have diabetes. But only in moderation, and only if your doc and dietician says it’s okay. Also, brown is the better choice.

Studies show eating whole grains like brown rice on the reg can help control blood sugar levels. This might be because brown rice has high levels of magnesium. Processed grains like white rice are another story.

White rice has a higher glycemic index (GI) than brown rice — white rice has a GI of 89 while brown rice has a GI of 50. GI shows how quickly a food is likely to push up your blood sugar.

So eating foods with a high GI isn’t typically a good idea if you have diabetes, where blood sugar control isn’t necessarily your forte. It can also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, there’s a chance that the whole grain goodness of brown rice could reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

A 2010 study found that folks who ate at least 5 servings of white rice a week had a 17 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes. But those who had 2 servings of brown rice a week had an 11 percent lower chance of developing diabetes than participants who rarely ate rice.

FYI: Diabetes isn’t a one-size-fits-all condition. Always talk with your doctor or dietician before making any major changes to your diet. Also, let them know if certain foods like rice are making your blood sugar freak out.

Brown and white rice can both be part of a balanced, healthy diet. But overall, brown rice is better for you. It has higher levels of essential nutrients like folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium. It’s also a better source of complex carbs and fiber.

Try to eat rice, especially white rice, in moderation if you have diabetes. Too many carbs can lead to blood sugar spikes. Additionally, some studies suggest rice can contain enough arsenic to cause health issues.

According to the FDA, pregnant peeps and children under 6 years shouldn’t eat rice.