Interviews

Brown Rice Is Healthier Than White Rice: This Dietician Tells You Why

Aksshita Gupta, Dietician

Brown rice has been increasingly associated with health and weight loss. It could be often seen on the kitchen shelves of those conscious of their fitness. Despite its popularity, the rise of low-carbohydrate diets has resulted in many myths about it. In this special conversation with Sugandh BhatnagarKrishi Jagran’s English correspondent, dietician Aksshita Gupta talks about her journey and simplifies the science behind the benefits of brown rice.  

Krishi Jagran: How did you develop an interest in nutrition and dietetics? 

Aksshita Gupta: I love to cook and I am also, what you would call, a big-time foodie. I always try new cuisines. This motivates me to find out what is the importance of the ingredients that go into their making. I was also a little unfit as a teenager; in today’s world it is very common for people to be obese and criticized by others for not falling into a particular body type. I’ve faced this as well. This is why I really wanted to help people who have been made to suffer because of how they look.  

We instinctively associate brown rice with healthy living. Can you tell us in what ways it is actually better than white rice?  

AG: If we look at this scientifically, brown rice is less processed than white rice. The latter has its hull, bran, and germ removed, while brown rice only has the hull removed. These outer layers are very rich in nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Therefore, brown rice is, by degrees, more nutritious than white rice.  

Could you elaborate a little on the nutritional benefits of brown rice?  

AG: Brown rice retains many nutrients which white rice lacks. It contains proteins, fibres and a wide range of micro-nutrients. These include, but are not limited to, selenium, copper, and zinc.  Overall, it is not only filling but also surprisingly nourishing.  

What are the various ways in which we can incorporate brown rice into our diet? 

AG: I know this sounds a bit different but we can add brown rice in soups with vegetables. Generally too, we can replace white rice with brown rice. For instance, it can be used for making pudding or as an alternative to oatmeal porridge. Furthermore, we can add it with meals by coupling it with protein-rich food items like pulses.  

Some studies claim that brown rice contains inorganic substances like arsenic. Is there any support behind this claim? 

AG: Brown rice indeed contains trace amount of arsenic and this is a cause of worry. However, excess of anything is not good. One thing that could be done to get rid of the toxins in brown rice is to wash it well and boil it in plenty of water.  

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

AG: Definitely. It is a common belief these days that one should avoid the consumption of rice entirely while on a weight-loss program. This is not entirely true. Although the calorie and carbohydrate content of brown rice is the same as white rice, it is much more nutritious and also gives the same feeling of fullness. Therefore, it could be occasionally used on a weight-loss plan too.  

You are a practicing dietician. How do your clients reach you?  

AG: I am active on social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. My clients can connect with me there. I believe that dieting is not about consuming soups and salads all the time. It is about eating balanced; correct portions and right time. This is the philosophy I communicate to all my clients.  

Note: The interview has been edited for clarity purposes. 

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