Rice

Historic facts

Rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the oldest cereal grains in the world, and people have grown it for at least 5,000 years.

Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population, and 90% of the world’s rice comes from Asia.

There are thousands of types of rice, but mainly they fit into two groups: white or brown (whole grain).

White rice is the most common type, though brown rice offers more health benefits.

Nutritional facts

Both white and brown rice contain mainly carbohydrate and some protein, with virtually no fat or sugar.

  • Carbohydrate

Rice is primarily composed of carbohydrate, which makes up almost 80%  of its total dry weight.

Most of the carbohydrate in rice is starch. Starch is made up of long chains of glucose called amylose and amylopectin.

Basmati rice is rich in amylose, meaning it does not stick together after cooking whereas, glutinous rice, is low in amylose and high in amylopectin, making it sticky after cooking.

  • Fiber

Brown rice contains a higher amount of dietary fiber than white rice. During the processing of white rice, the grain loses the bran, or seed coat, which contains most of the fiber.

Nutritional facts

Both white and brown rice contain mainly carbohydrate and some protein, with virtually no fat or sugar.

  • Carbohydrate

Rice is primarily composed of carbohydrate, which makes up almost 80%  of its total dry weight.

Most of the carbohydrate in rice is starch. Starch is made up of long chains of glucose called amylose and amylopectin.

Basmati rice is rich in amylose, meaning it does not stick together after cooking whereas, glutinous rice, is low in amylose and high in amylopectin, making it sticky after cooking.

  • Fiber

Brown rice contains a higher amount of dietary fiber than white rice. During the processing of white rice, the grain loses the bran, or seed coat, which contains most of the fiber.

White vs. brown rice

White rice is refined, polished, and stripped of its bran and germ. This increases its cooking quality, shelf life, and tastiness, but significantly reduces its nutritional value.

Brown rice is an intact whole grain, containing both the bran and the germ, which are the most nutritious parts of the grain. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

For this reason, brown rice may contain more fiber and nutrients than white rice.

Brown rice is better for people with diabetes. White rice can raise blood sugar, while brown rice has a lower glycemic index and can help with blood sugar control.