Is Brown Rice Really Better For You Than White Rice?

A doctor weighs in on the topic.
Raw whole rice background.
Helen Camacaro via Getty Images
Raw whole rice background.

In a recent TikTok video, Dr. Karan Rajan – who’s known for spreading his medical knowledge on the app – stitched a clip from another creator.

The video showed someone telling their podcast partner “brown rice is bad for you.”

“It’s like the complete opposite of what we learned!” the person receiving the news said.

But is it true?

Dr. Raj responded to the claim

“Is brown rice better than white rice?” he asked at the start of the video, quickly stating that “brown rice is a whole grain.”

“Each individual grain consists of bran, germ, and endosperm,” he added ― these are the three components of a whole grain.

Meanwhile, when creating white rice, the milling process gets rid of the bran and the germ (these give brown rice its darker hue and nuttier flavour, as well as its more robust bite).

“The bran contains fibre, so naturally, brown rice has more fibre,” the doctor shared. We know that fibre can be good for everything from your gut to your heart health.

And brown rice has the germ of the grain, too, which white rice is missing. “This is the nutrient-rich core which contains vitamins, minerals, some protein, and fat,” Dr. Raj says.

So... brown rice wins?

Well, “don’t worry” if you’re a fellow fluffy Basmati lover, as white rice is often enriched with some of the nutrients removed in processing, Dr. Raj says.

“The nutritional gap between both of these isn’t that huge,” the doctor said, though he added that “brown rice does have a nuttier flavour profile ― and it has a lower glycemic index.”

It “might be a better option to consider compared to white rice if you’re diabetic,” he added.

And because white rice’s low-fibre nature is easier on the gut, you might want to reach for that first if you have IBS or other digestive issues.

The doctor finished by saying that there’s not really a huge nutritional difference between the two ― “they’re pretty comparable,” he says.

So, let your tastebuds ― rather than podcast clips ― lead your dinner-making decisions.