I eat white rice. That’s right. I am not ashamed! I have all of my athletes eating it too. Why white rice instead of brown rice? Because it's healthier. Gasp! I realize this goes against everything your government has told you about a heart healthy diet, but bear with me a moment.
What is the difference between white and brown rice? Many people don’t know that on the surface they are essentially the same thing. White rice is simply what you get when you take the bran and germ off. Other than that, the devil is in the details. Let's discuss the importance of these details and
You may have heard that brown rice is better because of its higher fiber content. Well, I’m telling you to stop worrying about fiber! Too much fiber can actually cause all of the issues fiber is meant to prevent. Things like irritable bowel syndrome, gas and bloating. In fact, a lot of these issues are a result of a poor metabolism. Or, possibly from a diet high in Fiber One bars and lacking in meat, fowl, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, roots, tubers, bulbs, herbs and spices as well as animal fats, olives & olive oil, avocados, and coconut (meat, oil, flour) and dairy? I’ve never heard of a high performing, quality fed athlete talk about potty problems.
The germ of brown rice contains high amounts of polyunsaturated fat. The problem with this lies in the susceptibility of the germ to become rancid, allowing the polyunsaturated fat to easily oxidize which can lead to the generation of free radicals. If you don't already know, high concentrations of free radicals can damage cells and has been linked to cancer. It's not only the free radicals in brown rice either. Brown rice also contains higher levels of arsenic, another cancer culprit. I'm not saying that brown rice causes cancer. I am simply saying that brown rice has properties that are linked to cancer and we avoid these components by eating white rice. Leave nothing to chance.
The bran in brown rice contains high quantities of an antinutrient called phytic acid. This little burglar robs your body of vital minerals. I’m not claiming that white rice is ultra nutrient dense because it’s not. Realistically, the only benefit to white rice is that it is pure starch. If you are active and earning your carbs then you need starch. You just don’t want to be eating starch laced with something that robs you of vital nutrients.
I think we have a clear winner in the debate between white and brown rice. It’s not necessarily that white rice is darn good, but that the bran and germ of brown rice contains items that make it pretty darn pointless and arguably dangerous. If you’re training hard, you need carbs. If you’re looking towards rice as a carb choice, choose the white rice over the brown. Your gut will be happy and your gains will be plentiful!