Rice: White or Brown?

While scrolling though my Facebook comments yesterday, I saw a really good question on one of my recent posts about my go-to bowl at Chipotle. 

The question was this: "Just curious.... why white rice over brown? Doesn't white have little nutritional value?"

I loved this question so I wanted to blog about it in order to expand my answer a little bit further. So, yes, I do eat white rice over brown. But it's not like I'm crazy about it. I'll eat brown rice, but here's why I'll choose white if I have the option.

I don't know what you've heard about brown rice thus far, but I'm willing to bet that you've been told that it's full of protein, and the nutritional value if FAR better than white rice. Not to mention that unbelievable fiber content... Well, if anyone has ever told you that, they KINDA have it right.

Truthfully, though, the amount of protein in brown rice is laughable, if you're using it to fulfill your protein goal for the day. You're better off getting your protein from animal sources. The fiber content is something we can chuckle at too. If you're including nutrient-dense foods in your diet like fruits and veggies, you shouldn't give a crap about how much fiber is in your freaking rice. And the nutritional value? The differences are minimal. 



So, if the differences between white and brown rice are minimal, what's the benefit of eating white rice over brown?

Well, it's called phytic acid. What is it and what does it do? Phytic acid is basically an anti-nutrient in brown rice that causes micronutrient malabsorption. In english, it makes your body do a poor job of properly digesting micronutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamins, etc. which are all needed for good health. Brown rice, along with other whole grains can lead to GI distress as well as feeling bloated after consumption.

Does all of this mean brown rice is bad for me and I shouldn't eat it? 

No, absolutely not. But, if you're a heavy lifter or an athlete who is working their tail off day in and day out, it should mean carbs are a must-have in your diet. And when you're trying to lift big, you need to eat big. For example, I train balls to the wall 6 days/week and I'm trying to put on weight right now, so a lot of carbs are a must for me. Since i'm eating so many carbs, it makes sense for me to eat white rice over brown in order to avoid all of the bloating and potential GI distress. 

If you're trying to cut body fat while in a caloric deficit, it makes sense to have brown rice for the "nutritional value" because your carb goals for the day may only be 100-150 grams. 

As with most things, deciding between white and brown rice depends on where you're at in your fitness journey. But as I said before, the differences between the two are minor, so don't let this give you any sort of Oryzaphobia (phobia of rice). 

If you need any help with making such a decision, holler at me! I check every single email, so I'll get back to ya! adam@poehlmannfitness.com 

Say what's up on the socials too, if you have a sec ;)

Thanks for reading!