Brown Rice vs White Rice –  which rice is best for you? While brown rice is often recognized as the healthier option, this article presents the benefits of eating white rice! 

Truth be told, I really dislike labels, especially when it comes to diet. I don’t like being pigeonholed into one specific category, and having to follow the guidelines of what is expected and outlined within that categorization. I’m a free spirit, I follow no rules!

Which is why it’s kind of frustrating to constantly be asked about my white rice consumption. I feel we need to talk brown rice vs white rice!

Brown Rice vs White Rice – Which rice is best for you?

Let’s start with some frequently asked questions that I get to hear a lot. Like a lot lot.

Isn’t white rice bad? Won’t it spike your blood sugar? Isn’t brown rice healthier than white rice?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO.

And we have to include my favorite question: Is rice paleo?!

I advocate eating what your ancestors ate, whether that’s 100,00 years ago or 100 years ago is up to you. There is huge power in ancestral knowledge.

These people knew (without needing doctors or studies to tell them) which foods were healthy, they knew that a pregnant woman or growing child needed nutrient-dense animal fats, they knew there was value in the whole animal, organs and all, not just the muscle meat, they knew to make broth from the bones, which is one of the most healing foods on earth.

And they knew to eat white rice.

Brown Rice and white rice grains on a table

Have you ever wondered why Asian countries have eaten white rice for thousands of years, not brown?

Because brown rice is full of phytates and lectins, which bind to vitamins and minerals and prevent them from being absorbed.

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming ebook (which you should totally join my mailing list to get updates about it. It’s going to be awesome):

Phytates are anti-nutrients found in grains and legumes. Phytates, or phytic acid, binds to minerals like zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, niacin and calcium, preventing them from being absorbed.

Phytic acid also inhibits pepsin, the enzyme needed to properly break down protein as well as amylase, the enzyme needed to break down sugar. So not only does phytic acid prevent nutrient absorption, it interferes with proper digestion.

But isn’t brown rice more nutrient dense than white?

No. And let me be clear: I don’t eat rice because of its nutrient profile. Rice, in general, a good source of vitamins or minerals. Rice is an easily absorbable form of glucose, which is why I usually eat it after a workout.

While brown rice is slightly higher on the vitamin and mineral front, you have to consider that it is loaded with phytates, meaning these vitamins and minerals are not being absorbed.

Here is the nutrient profile for brown rice vs white rice:

  White Rice (100 g) Brown Rice (100 g)
Calcium 3 10
Iron 1.49 0.53
Magnesium 13 44
Phosphorous 37 77
Potassium 29 79
Zinc 0.42 0.62
Thiamin 0.167 0.102
Riboflavin 0.016 0.012
Niacin 1.835 1.330
Vitamin B6 0.050 0.149
Folate 97 4
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin A 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin K 0 0

Not so nutrient dense, huh? Now, compare that to the nutrition in an egg:

  Egg (100 g)
Calcium 66
Iron 1.31
Magnesium 11
Phosphorous 165
Potassium 132
Zinc 1.04
Thiamin 0.040
Riboflavin 0.376
Niacin 36
Folate 0.134
Vitamin B6 0.143
Vitamin B12 0.76
Vitamin A 161
Vitamin D 72
Vitamin K 4

Another valid point in the whole brown rice vs white rice discussion: Both the bran and germ are still intact in brown rice. This makes brown rice much harder to digest. Because the bran and germ can be so irritating to the digestive tract, it can also lead to leaky gut syndrome, especially if eaten on a regular basis (and in combination with other grains).

Leaky gut is partially caused and definitely aggravated by grains like brown rice; the grain essentially tears the lining of the gut, allowing undigested food particles, toxins, bacteria, etc. to enter the bloodstream. This leads to allergies, mental disorders, autoimmune diseases and so much more.

Brown Rice vs White Rice – Conclusion, aka: So, is white rice healthy?

White rice is an easily absorbable form of glucose that is easy to digest, therefore making it a safe starch.

I don’t recommend grains of any kind for someone with leaky gut, blood sugar issues or an autoimmune disorder, but for most people white rice is fine.

Personally, I like to eat white rice after a workout to replace my glycogen levels. And make sure to eat it with fat and/or vinegar, this will cut the glycemic index in half, ensuring that your blood sugar doesn’t spike.

If you are sensitive to starches or find that you normally do not react well to them and would like to try white rice, start with a small amount and see how your body reacts. Everybody’s different.

*I recommend THIS brand of rice; they are all organic and only use sustainable and healthy methods to grow and produce their rice.

Brown rice vs white rice | Find out why white rice is healthier than brown rice and why this grain is a Paleo approved safe starch. #health, #grains, #rice, #nutrition, #diet

Sources for this Brown Rice vs White rice article:

EDITED 9/20/2017: this post is old and the links are now outdated. Here are updated figures for the nutritional content of white and brown rice; while the figures are not the same they are similar and still prove various points made in the article:


Brown Rice vs White Rice –  which rice is best for you? While brown rice is often recognized as the healthier option, this article presents the benefits of eating white rice! #health #cleaneating
White Rice - is it really bad for you? I compared white rice to so called healthy options like brown rice and this is what I found #health #diet


  1. There is another solution for brown rice besides completely reverting to white rice. The Weston A. Price foundation suggests soaking brown rice before eating it. This will remove much of the phytic acid from the rice. I definitely eat white rice, but I also eat brown rice.

    Remember that your sources for the nutritional information come from the USDA. The USDA is run by individuals who receive compensations from large companies to keep their agendas at the forefront. I honestly don’t trust a thing that comes out from the USDA. I mean look at the folate in your example from the USDA. How did more folate jump into the white rice as opposed to the brown rice (which is white rice with the hull in tact)?

    Finally, if you look into the history of Asia, the people of the Philippines stopped eating brown rice and replaced it with white rice and they became susceptible to beriberi. You can read more about this here:

    What do you think? 🙂

    • dani stout Reply

      I’m actually a member of the Weston A. Price foundation. I do believe in soaking grains, but this does not remove all of the phytic acid and the bran and germ are still intact, so it is still difficult to digest.

      As for the article in Yes Magazine, the person who wrote it clearly doesn’t know very much about nutrition. Also, the author says Asians didn’t eat white rice until Westerners came along and refined it – this is not true. Asians have eaten white rice for thousands of years.

      • hmmm…I grew up in the Philippines. been there for 3 decades until I moved to the US. Everyone I knew ate white rice and I don’t know anybody who got beriberi. My husband doesn’t like brown rice. But we are currently trying to get used to this black rice. Very rich in anthocyanin. esp in fiber. Thoughts?

        • dani stout Reply

          Rice in general is not very nutrient dense. If you feel that it works for you and your family, by all means do what you feel is best. I personally stick to more nutrient dense foods on a daily basis like pastured eggs, butter, wild seafood, grass-fed meats, etc with a lot of veggies. Fiber can also be irritating to the gut, so just be mindful if you experience any issues with gas, bloating or constipation. But there are definitely a lot worse foods you could eat than black rice!

          • As a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I’m a proponent of avoiding all grains (they’re not nutrient-dense and completely non-ancestral, after all), and sticking to “seeds” as a healthier alternative. Examples of seeds as grain alternatives would be wild rice, quinoa, and amaranth – all preferably soaked as per the Weston A. Price Foundation’s recommendations.

            This is the first I have ever heard of fiber causing leaky gut syndrome. Gluten, for sure. Fiber? Doubtful at best. Fiber has always been a part of our ancestral diet, whereas grain has not (and hence, the problems with the carb load and the gluten).

          • dani stout

            Wild rice, quinoa and amaranth have a much higher phytic acid content than white rice which is only slightly diminished by soaking.

            I never said fiber causes leaky gut, it can irritate leaky gut. There are several factors that cause leaky gut, from unbalanced flora to sugar consumption. And it’s generally a combination of several factors. The cause will vary for everyone.

          • Dani, “nutrient dense” is often conflated with “calorie dense”. Nutrient density is a function of nutrients PER CALORIE, which establishes the basis for comparing the nutrient density of various foods. Butter, then, would not be a nutrient dense food as you mention here. It may have some micronutrients, yes, but if you used micronutrients per calorie as your measure, you could judge if benefits may be better obtained through other foods containing those same nutrients, like carotenoids, for example in phytonutrient rich berries, veggies, and leafy greens.

          • dani stout

            I don’t think nutrient density is often conflated with calorie density, you’d have to be dense to think that (see what I did there? 🙂 ). Butter is an extremely nutrient dense food (per calorie), it’s even a super food. Check out this chart I made comparing the nutrient density of butter versus olive oil:

            Generally speaking, butter is more nutrient than several fruits and vegetables, it’s rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, K and omega-3s; whereas plant foods are not. You’d have to eat a massive amount of plant foods to obtain as much nutritional value as butter, and even then, you have to combine them with fat to get full absorption.

          • Norma Cenva

            What was said was “Because the bran and germ can be so irritating to the digestive tract, it can also lead to leaky gut syndrome.”

            That said, many people do consider bran, being fiber rich, to be a terminological equivalent to fiber. I would read the above as “fiber leads to leaky gut”.

            But that also said, leaky gut is an immunological response triggered at the molecular level. Roughage and physical irritation of the lining in whatever the form…can cause problems with irritable bowel syndrome and crohns disease, but has nothing to do with leaky gut.

            In fact, fiber and related roughage are the most helpful things for leaky gut (and SOME types of Crohns and IBD, though that varies from person to person and can do more harm than good), as they absorb toxins and help built up waste move through.

          • I was wondering, do you think it’s possible to have a sustainable paleo diet if you’re a pescetarian? Too much insoluble and soluble fibre from vegetables, brown rice, pasta, oats, nuts, beans, sproted grain bread and fruit have been extremely constipating this last year. Never happened before though (10 hear diet, I’m 26 now). The Doctor said eat more fibre of course. He then gave me laxatives, which I quit right away. They made it worse (and sorry for the details…) I experienced worse bloating, and gas with random explosive “D”. I started the white rice and feel so much better already. I also boil my carrots and brocoli now.

            Another issue is that tofu also contains phytic acid too. All that stirfy made me feel full to the point of queaziness, and certainly was causeing problems. Not anymore thanks to your wonderful article! Thanks.

            With my meat limited to fish, do you have any thoughts/suggestions about what I should replace all my beloved grains with (temporarily?) I just need something easy to digest, but still wanna be super healthy. Thanks so much for gour time! 🙂

        • white rice stores longer.. thats one reason i thought they refined it.

      • Sharon Devi Reply

        I read that you’ll need to soak AND FERMENT brown rice to reduce the phytic acid in brown rice. (link at the bottom of my comment)

        Quote: “Dr. Robert J. Hamer’s group found that soaking alone didn’t have much of an effect on phytic acid in brown rice. However, fermentation was highly effective at degrading it.”

        The author also included steps on how to prepare brown rice properly (soaking & fermenting).

        I much prefer white rice, but, if you prefer brown rice, the key is to properly prepare it, as per the steps suggested in the article.

        Here is the link to the article mentioned, it’s short, but worth reading:

        • Mark Talmont Reply

          This site was at the top of the Google results when I asked “why do Asians eat white rice instead of brown”. A few thoughts:

          I am surprised nobody mentioned the use of “koji” to ferment brown rice (this is how they make sake) and break down much of the starch (makes it sweet) and I assume probably cuts down on the phytates as well. I used to use the end product amasake as the base for my smoothies after I dropped soy milk but now I use the conveniently available almond milk. Kathy Hoshijo wrote one of the best health cookbooks ever and it has a simple home recipe for this, though obtaining koji at retail is a challenge as it must be refrigerated.

          I doubt the phytates issue would be relevant to anybody except maybe extreme cases of people who are consuming a great deal of carbs, like triathletes/marathoners (or more likely overeaters who mistakenly think they can eat with abandon if it’s just “whole grains”.) The now-hot gluten issue is confabulated with people who are eating just plain too many calories and too much grain. If you watch US teens and kids these days many appear to be addicted to the various “chip” snacks like Cheetos/Takis, read the bag on this stuff and it should have a skull and crossbones on it. But then was designed to be addictive (the book “Salt, Sugar, Fat” has the evidence) at the highest profit margins possible; amazing (and kind of suspicious) that the authorities seem to be endlessly yammering about soda pop while ignoring the caloric load the youths are consuming from this junk. We’re going to wind up with endemic diabetes.

          BTW on the GMO issue these bagged snack things are made from GMO corn milled into the finest paste imaginable, congealed with the worst fake fats in existence. Credible MDs like Joel Fuhrman and Mark Hyman point the finger at this corn as causing leaky gut as that this mechanism by which they kill the bugs, they blow up their GI tract. But of course the federal agencies like FDA and USDA assure us this is no problem!

          Human biochemical individuality is complex. Nothing is going to work for everybody. Go to a Chinatown or anywhere there are a lot of Chinese and it won’t be long before you see an unfortunate individual who is most likely slender but afflicted with terrible skin inflammation because they are trapped in a cultural norm of eating a lot of white rice and their digestion can’t accommodate it. (analogous to going to a burrito joint in the Latino areas and you’ll see people who can’t handle the lard that others in their community consume regularly).

      • “Phytates are anti-nutrients” this info is total nonsense based on old studies on dogs we now know based on human data its just the opposite phytates are very good for us so please stop spreading this myth

    • A reply for the folate content thing in white rice:
      I also realized that. But then I thought of it. The white rice has the endosperm, the brown has it too plus the germ and bran. Now let’s suppose endosperm has 80% folate, germ has 10% folate and bran 10% folate within rice. That means that since white rice has only endosperm it’ll have more folate than brown rice IN 100 GRAMS because when you weigh brown rice you’re also weighing the germ and bran from it, which has lower content of folate.

      That’s just something that can be possible. Not the truth.

    • I am from a coastal region along the Western Ghats in India.
      Rice was our staple diet. We still grow White Rice contained in a pink kernel. However the process of whitening the Rice also called “Polishing Rice” was introduced like few decades ago. I am not sure if that causes any nutrition loss but people started polishing rice only coz they didn’t like the pinkish tinge on the rice grain.
      Would love to hear if this process causes any nutrition loss.

    • I grew up eating white basmati rice for 40 years every day . The way we cook rice soak it a night b4 or at least 3 hr before then book it (like pasta) then drain it and re cook it .love basmati rice . And we don’t have beriberi . No rice no life for me ?

    • HATE IDIOTS Reply

      To the blog author: um white rice is BLEACHED, YOU IDIOT! I didn’t even bother to read this stupid bitch’s article.

      • dani Reply

        Do you literally think people bleach rice to make it white? And you’re calling me an idiot?

        White rice is rice that has had its husk, bran and germ removed, which gives it its white appearance.

        I’ll send lots of positive energy your way, you clearly need it.

      • Actually, white rice isn’t bleached. Flour may be bleached. Rice is milled exposing the white inner portion. Love the irony of your statement though. People such as yourself will never be useless since as to an extent you’re entertaining.

    • dani stout Reply

      It doesn’t compare, that’s a whole different ballpark. That being said I don’t advocate the consumption of wheat at all.

          • You said “whether that’s 100,00 years ago or 100 years ago is up to you”. So personally I’m okay with white flour, as long as it’s unbleached and unenriched.

          • dani stout

            Oh! I didn’t realize it was in response to something else.

          • Alan McGregor


            I didn’t understand the 100 years/100,000 years thing either. Everything seems to say eat closer to what we did 100,000 years ago.

            It is interesting to hear about Asians eating white rice for thousands of years. I read somewhere that Asians only started getting bowel cancer after they ‘switched’ to the more recent white rice! [I think this was about the ‘roughage’ in brown compared to the simple carbohydrates in white.]

            Perhaps things are not so ‘black and white’ – many people tend to think in binary terms. Combining different elements may bring different results for different individuals too.

            It’s beginning to sound quite complex now!

            Even saying to eat things in moderation may not be good advice for one person who may not be able to consume certain elements at all.

            I’m certainly not going to use much/any soy milk anymore, and I can’t use almond milk – [I can get shingles in the brain with both a very low immune system and several auto-immune conditions.]

            I’m a fan of olive oil. The only milk I like is Oat milk – but that’s a grain to be avoided isn’t it? Rice milk is too sweet – and I get Candidiasis with sugars and simple carbohydrates.

            Gundry now says that tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants and corn aren’t good – because of their lectins.

            I enjoy cooked beans – but food is all becoming quite narrow as to what to do about my digestive problems.

    • dani stout Reply

      You have to sign up, you can do this below my articles or on the top right, I have sign up boxes.

  2. Dear Dani,

    Responding to your questions…

    “Which is why it’s kind of frustrating to constantly be asked about my white rice consumption. Isn’t white rice bad? Won’t it spike your blood sugar? But isn’t brown rice healthier than white rice?”

    White rice is nutritionally depleted compared to brown rice; and it will raise blood sugars faster than brown rice; it may also feed candida/yeast and contribute to diabetes and obesity. Also, white rice has been polished and bleached, at times with chlorine containing chemicals. As you know, industrial processes leave residues behind…son when eating white rice, we are eating part of the bleaching chemicals…some people claim it could be really toxic for the pancreas.

    It makes very little sense to claim brown rice is as bad as white rice. As well as you, I do not eat rice. Also, I follow Weston Price ideas and wisdom. So, I do agree 100% to look at past traditions. I am an ignorant on ancient Asians traditions and know nothing about them polishing their rice in order to make it easier to digest; which it could be quite possible; however, if they did it; for sure did not bleach it with chemicals like we do nowadays.

    Just to give my two cents…

    • dani stout Reply

      Hi Alex,

      Did you read the rest of the article? I addressed the issue with nutrient depletion, nutrient absorption and the glycemic index.

    • I have never seen/heard of white rice being bleached. I have seen how white rice is milled.

  3. Just learned from that the best white rice is Jasmine. Why ? It is absolutely zero on the fermentation index. While other rices take longer to digest, they contribute to digestive problems. Yes, Jasmine is high in the glucose index, but the energy it delivers is instant because it has almost no fiber.

  4. OK, I am kinda overwhelmed by a lot of the nutrition info out there today because it seems that all sides each argument can find data to backup their own argument.
    As far as eating what our ancestors ate… centuries ago, our ancestors walked through fields of wheat and simply rubbed the grains between their palms until the chaff fell off and then they ate the grains, raw and whole… unsoaked.
    Nothing was polished, bleached, or changed… the women would grind the grain in between to stones and make flat breads with the freshly ground grains….
    Ancient skeletons have been found and their teeth had been ground down from eating grains.
    I am not sure why we have decided that all grains are bad.
    I am more concerned with all that has been done to grains today.
    The wheat we get in the US today is not the same that was grown centuries ago and then it is processed and over processed….
    Can you explain what you mean when you say you believe in eating like our ancestors did?

    • dani stout Reply

      I believe in eating like our ancestors prior to agriculture (for the most part). Scientists have found that skeletons that shifted from a paleolithic diet to agricultural foods had smaller, weaker skeletons. The only grain I recommend eating is white rice. Eating like our ancestors isn’t a strict set of rules but is about eating unrefined, organic, healthy foods that fuel our individual needs.

      • If skeleton size is the indication of health, skeletons today are 4 inches taller than just 150 years ago (Scientific American 6/98) from which one could infer that all this refined, processed food is good! That’s observational science for you.

        The arguments for and against grains, beans, and dairy are equally persuasive, but chemically processed foods and sugar are the poisons modern culture is using to unleash an epidemic of heart disease and diabetes.

        • Michael Petrovich Reply

          Thank you, Cookie, for that first statement. Observational science is rampant.

    • Grains are bad because our stomachs can’t handle the grains, whether because of destruction of our microbiome, antibiotics, intestinal inflammation from high carb foods or something else, I don’t know. All grains are bad for me. I first found that out when I went on the SCD diet. Later on, I went with the “rice is okay to eat” on a paleo diet because the chinese ate it, but then my body said ..nope, you can’t eat that, so I had to give it up.

      • dani stout Reply

        Not all people tolerate white rice very well, of course. It depends on the person, some digest it very well.

  5. Wow! Very interesting topic! Thank you for sharing! I don’t have much knowledge on phytic acid, but firmly believe in eating unprocessed foods, whether that be rice or anything else. You do have my curiosity about the asian cultures history on rice and I am intrigued to research! Personally, I have trouble with anything “white” because it raises my glucose to quickly (thanks pcos!), even when I pair it with a protein or fat. I limit my grains, but do not omit 100%.

    • dani stout Reply

      Yeah, grains in any form are just not okay for some people, especially those suffering from autoimmune diseases.

  6. In researching this, I discovered contradictory info which addresses the phytic acid issue in greater detail. According to the article at GreenMedInfo, cooking, as well as fermentation processes break down phytic into soluable components. The article also provides additional references and resource links. They conclude brown rice to be more nutritional than white. Here’s the link. The specifics are on page #2 of the article:


    • dani stout Reply

      Cooking does not remove phytic acid. Soaking, sprouting and fermenting only removes a small amount.

      • Thanks for the quick response. I’m defaulting to brown rice as the article at GreenMed was written by a Naturopathic Dr with a Phd in Natural Health Sciences. He also goes into detail on the phytic acid point, and provides references. Your references are all USDA, who isn’t necessarily in a golden position of nutritional wisdom these days harrassing raw milk producers, etc… Although I don’t know you or Dr Adams personally, you can appreciate my default if you were in my shoes. Also, I don’t see Asian cultures centuries ago, effectively hulling and bleaching rice to what we now consider to be white rice. So I’m stickin’ with brown for now. Pass the kim chi! 😉

        You did read page #2 of the article??

      • Very correct Dani!
        Great article and very well explained. Orientals have known for years the benefits of consuming white rice vs. brown. Westerners have no clue about nutrition compared to the wisdom and knowledge of the Asian people. Brown rice is also hard on the spleen and liver making it more ‘yin’ and the most important fact is that it depletes the body of essential nutrients. When the liver and spleen lack the nutrients to function properly and work hard for digesting the foods we ‘feed’ them they become overloaded and start to store carbohydrates as fat! Therefore, anything which aids digestion keeps our internal organs working better and we stay leaner.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong but we shouldn’t be avoiding phytic acid as a whole. While phytic acid does reduce the bioavailability of some minerals, it also inhibits tumor growth, and is good for cardiovascular and pancreatic health. Phytic acids are present in nuts, seeds and legumes as well as grains. I think the goal is not overloading on phytic acid vs viewing it as the devil.

      • Thank you for clairifying that for me sir! I can attest to these negative effects personally. I eat a pescetarian diet high in foods like: (Dinner/occasional lunch) stirfly (brown rice, broccolli, carrots, peppers, tofu, spices, coconut oil, sometimes beans), Burritos (bown rice, beans, fried vegetables, greek yogurt, hot sauce, spices), Sprouted grain bread, natural peanut butter, almonds, whole grain pasta (either veggie ground, tomato sauce, veggies or tuna casserole), spinach, whole grain tortila wraps with brocolli, peppers, onions, leafy greens and either tuna or egg), (Breakfast) oatmeal or “healthy” whole grain cereals. (Snacks) Avocados, apples, bananas, oysters, hummus, carrots and brocolli. That is literally all my diet includes.

        My doctor was WRONG about fibre. Too much soluble and insoluble fibre has given me constipation for months with severe bloating, gas, impacted stools, insomia and frequent urination. I just swiched to white rice and noticed great improvements! There is also phytic acid in tofu, so my 2-3 piles of stirfry for dinner every week wasn’t good for me.

        This part is a bit off topic, but I’m an ASL interpreting student and wanted to make a point.

        Now, the problem with many doctors is that they learn and implement outdated information. Others, however, may actually keep up with current research in their own time.
        An example of outdated practices is how if a parent has a Deaf child, the first thing the doctor always suggests is a Chochlear Implant, even in early infancy. As well, they encourage speech therapy. Basically everything is focused on how to “cure” deafness. There’s never any mention of the enormous community, culture and language all shared by Deaf people. 9/10 deaf people learn ASL at some point in their lives, so WHY do you think that is never mentioned? I’m guessing money. One Choclear Implant costs around $100,000 and if one doesn’t work good enough they’ll often put another one in. Even then, for some they may have very minimal hearing and struggle with learning, language acquisition, etc. If they’re not learning at home (2/3 of their lives), then where do they learn? At school of course where a large portion of class is focused on speech. Research proves that on average, deaf children who use ASL achieve higher grades.

        One man faced a tragety because he was forced never to learn it. This js a very true story. He read lips his entire life and never used sign. On his mother’s deathbed he couldn’t understand her speech and she passed on. If they learned some ASL she could’ve used her hands to communicate. He learned sign language after and realized how fulfiling it was to connect and communicate with people on an equal basis.

        My opinion – do not cling on to everything any doctor says. Trust information that has been studied by scientists either in labs, or in case studies from human participants.

    • dani stout Reply

      I did. I’m wary of epidemiological studies – the results don’t take into account the fact that so many factors affect the outcome. That being said, I’m not surprised by the results of this group of people eating the same amount of white rice and brown rice daily.

      What I think a lot of people misunderstand about this article is that I am recommending people eat white rice on a regular basis – I’m not. I don’t support eating grains everyday, but once in a while, particularly after a work out, is a great and easily absorbable and digestible form of glucose. White rice IS higher on the GI (and is likely why that study had the outcome it did), which is why I recommend eating fat/vinegar with it.

      Regarding the phytates, as I stated before, cooking/soaking/fermenting does not remove all of it and phytic acid is still lower in white rice than in soaked brown rice.

      And I did provide the nutritional content of white versus brown rice, and as I also stated in the article, rice is not a nutrient dense food in general. I do source the info the the USDA’s Nutrition Database but other sources provide similar figures.

    • I think the best solution is to eat sprouted brown rice (or GABA rice). Since this rice has undergone the sprouting process, anti-nutrients have been turned off in order to release nutrients to the sprouting plant. There are several brands that sell already sprouted brown rice on Amazon and organic supermarkets including Lundberg. Sprouted rice cooks almost as quickly as white rice and is absolutely delicious. I eat it almost exclusively at home, but when I eat at my work cafeteria or at a restaurant, I will usually opt for white rice.

  7. Hello! This is very interesting. I am an Asian and a Filipino as well. We have rice farms back home in the Philippines. We don’t bleach the rice to make it white. Rice grains have different classifications, there’s purple, black, brown and red. We don’t eat the other colors because they are crunchier in texture and is considered low -class. The white ones sold in the market are of the highest degree. I know for sure that when our farmers cut the rice stalks, load it on the thresher to take the stalks off, it gets sacked and sent off to the mills to take the husks off. It doesn’t get bleached or fermented or whatever process people think it undergoes to make it white. When you ferment or bleach something, you need to get it wet and rice when it’s wet, doesn’t last long enough to be on the shelves at the supermarket because it’ll grow molds and will go to waste. Rice when it stays dry, can last for years in a container. The only reason why you have to wash it before cooking is to take off all the dust and dirt it accumulates thru the process. Yes, white rice can spike up your blood sugar but since it is a simple glucose, you burn it off really easily. Of course, everything in moderation to prevent diabetes and obesity. Just my 2 cents for everybody’s knowledge

    • Thank you, Regina, for explaining the different classifications, very good to know! Also, thank you Dani for bringing it up in the first place. I only eat white rice as well, but it’s always nice to hear I’ve made the right choice.

      • Thanks for the info Regina. Now I understand why some rice bags say “extra fancy” now

    • “We don’t eat the other colors because they are crunchier in texture and is considered low -class.” This is how white rice and white bread got so popular. The ruling classes and the kings and queens ate white foods, partly because they thought white people were better and because white foods were easier to chew, etc., and the lazy lords couldn’t be bothered to do too much chewing. Then the idea of “white” became popular because the commoners wanted to emulate the kings–and “white is right!” But it turned out that the rulers were all fat and sick and the peasants who stuck to their original “poor” diets were healthy.

    • dani stout Reply

      An anti-nutrient is just something that blocks a nutrient form being absorbed. For example, phytic acid is an anti-nutrient because it blocks the absorption of magnesium, iron, etc.

  8. I don’t eat much cooked food because I like my raw animal fats and raw animal proteins but when I do eat cooked I’ll go for white rice!

    • dani stout Reply

      I love raw proteins and fats! I really would like to get into eating more of them. I especially crave raw salmon, which I take as a sign that my body needs it, but it’s so pricey!

      Anyway, I really like your site and thanks for the comment!

  9. I’m glad I came across this article, as it definitely warrants more research on my part before I “deep six” my 12 pound bag of Organic Brown rice.
    As mentioned by others, I’m not confident of an agency (USDA) that supports GMO, pesticides, and is heavily influenced by corporate ties.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean that the claim of phytates from brown rice messing with my minerals is not valid, however, it’s inspired me to look for peer-reviewed studies to further investigate any other variables to this interesting subject.

    • dani stout Reply

      Yes! I encourage everyone to do their own research and not just take my word for it, although I’m pretty trustworthy. 🙂

  10. I think all rice is unhealthy. I would think ‘brown rice is unhealthier than white rice’ would be a more correct title. The nutrient content is sparse in both white and brown rice, all of which can be obtained through eating meats, eggs, fats and sea salt. Rice is converted to glucose in the body which is only needed in small amounts which we should be getting from vegetables that are properly prepared. The body can be completely healthy with no carbs at all since it can convert protein and fat into glucose as well.

    • dani stout Reply

      Actually that last part is a very broad comment that is not true for everyone. No carb is dangerous for some people. People like me we well with carbs, especially post-workout. Rice is a safe starch that I like to eat to restore glycogen stores.

      • So that’s why I was craving Banh Bo -Vietnamese Steamed Cakes- after my last run! (Duh, just kidding) I LOVE rice after a good workout. Especially Japanese sticky rice. I don’t know if that’s the healthiest or not, all I know though is that steamed rice is awesome. To moi lol.

      • I am also one of those people who can’t do zero carb especially when I am active. I feel awful and weak so I have carbs in my diet but in balance and limit grains in general but eat starchy veggies, fruit and rice. I also prefer white over brown.

      • Why not eat banana or other fruits after a workout. No need to cook those. This rice debate is getting ridiculous. I’m diabetic type 2 no meds and I eat lots of rice and noodles and the have no impact on my blood sugar so long as I eat a good amount of butter or animal fats along with greens at the same time and get off my butt and go for a 15 minute walk.

  11. I find my body clearly/absolutely/definitely does best with whole grains, rather than ‘white’ process grains,.. as a part of my diet, not, on occasion. Mainly mixed porridge with ‘smashed’ grains(kamut/wheat, oasts, rye, barley,…), and occasionally some brown rice, corn tortillas. Variable.
    White-process starches, and even potatoes, tend be more ‘plugging’, more ‘limpifying'(e.d. effects), more diabetic symptom causing, more so the older one gets. In your teens, 20’s, 30’s, ones body has more ‘overdrive’ capacity in buffering and overcoming dietary imbalances, to some degree,… and as one ages that ability lessens.
    Whole grains for the win, as part of a balanced diet.
    But, there’s also a lot of poor quality ‘whole grain’ products.
    Keep it traditional-simple.
    And, potentially, sometimes, white-process starches are best for our health.

  12. May I ask if you recommend to soak and ferment any whole grain rice like black japonica rice to make it easier to digest. I ask as my daughter enjoys this rice cooked in coconut milk as a sweet treat.
    Many thanks for your advise in advance.

    • dani stout Reply

      I do recommend soaking grains if you’re going to eat them.

  13. Douglas Gray Reply

    While in Brazil, I ate mostly beans, white rice and fruit, and it seems to be pretty good for 3-4 weeks. There are good reasons for mixing white rice with beans, as it takes care of the deficiencies and balances it out.

    If brown rice were that healthy it would be in Aurveda.

  14. What are your views on basmati rice? It’s what I prefer on the rare occasions I have rice. Always with butter of course!

  15. Lets talk FACTS.

    Almost all Dis-ease of the Hu-man Body is caused by eating Meat & Dairy.

    The Starch Solution – John McDougall, MD
    The China Study – T. Colin Campbell, PhD
    Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease – Caldwell B Esselstyn, Jr, MD

    see YouTube:

    Lets all do the Standard American Diet (SAD) Cheer.? Come on everybody use those years of Programming and sing it out? loud.

    Give me an ‘F’

    Give me an ‘A’

    Give me an ‘T’

    What does that? Spell? CARBS

    • dani stout Reply

      Let’s talk actual facts.

      There has never been a vegetarian culture, ever.
      People have been eating meat for millions of years.
      Every single traditional, ancestral culture on earth eats meat.
      These cultures were never plagued with obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
      Meat, especially grass-fed and wild is rich in vitamins A, E, D, K and omega-3s.
      There are no plant based sources of vitamins A (retinol) or B12. Both necessary for health, both do not exist is plant form.

      Now, let’s talk some facts about the doctors you have a little to much trust in.

      The China Study is literally a complete joke in the nutrition world. Not only was his work not peer reviewed, he skewed the data to support his original hypothesis. When his work was peer reviewed, it actually showed the opposite was true. He excluded people eating high animal protein diets that were often healthier than their plant eating counterparts. You can read more about that here:

      As for Esselstyn – he is a quack. A quack is the truest sense of the word. He encourages people to eat GMOs, but recommends eating 0% fat. You know – the very thing that keeps people healthy. In lieu of fat, he recommends hydrogenated oils, margarine and trans fats. In lieu of actual protein, he recommend tofu – 90% of which is genetically modified, not the mention the fact that it’s a highly processed protein that’s been treated with hexane, a neurotoxin.

      Get your facts straight.

      • blondegirlsoImyopinionisofmore valuethanthegeneralpopulation Reply

        Fermented soybeans and soy-based products, such as soybean milk, are the primary source of vitamin B12 coming from plant sources. Soy dishes include tempeh, tamari, tofu, miso and shoyu. Shiitake mushrooms also provide vitamin B12. The amount of vitamin B12 in these foods depends on factors that include bacterium present during fermentation, the region where the plants grow and the richness of microorganisms in the soil, according to reports published in “Plants: Diet and Health,” produced by the British Nutrition Foundation.

        Get your facts straight, as in, don’t dish out articles solely for the purpose of satisfying your own subjectivity.

        • dani stout Reply

          I love how people say things that are factually incorrect and tell me to get my facts straight.

          Soy and other plant based foods do not contain B12, they contain B12 analogs called cobamides that block the absorption of and increase the need for actual B12. This is a fact.

          Also, don’t hate on my because I’m blonde (and know my facts).

      • Calling China study is a joke is not wise, you probably never read it and just followed what a 20s year old claimed. Calling Dr. Essylstyn a quack is totally disrepectful and showed your immaturity as a health coach. You definitely have no idea what does he is do. Both Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn are healthy 80s y.o., vibrant, intelligent, KIND, healthy human beings. They are not into making money but wanting people to get healthy in a natural way. My only recommendation to you is when some of your clients or friend told you that they are impotent, please send them to Dr. Esselstyn. He may save their lives.

      • What exactly do you mean by “traditional, ancestral culture” (and that there hasn’t been a vegetarian culture)?

        I guess what I’m asking is, how are you defining a culture?

        • dani stout Reply

          Our ancestors – tribes, nomads, villages, etc. Ie: not groups of people 100 years ago or people who decided to not eat meat for religious reasons.

      • In response to “there has never been a vegetarian culture”- Isn’t India known for its vegetarian cuisine?

  16. I will stick with my brown rice. I take a good multi vitamin every day with my breakfast. I workout 5 X a week and I get the carbs I need from brown rice. All valid points and arguments but you haven’t convinced me to switch to white. It’s all about personal preference and experience.

  17. White/bleached rice is one of the foods that people with hypoglycemia are encouraged not to eat. Like bleached sugar and bleached flour, it is horrible for blood sugar and metabolism. It is not food that humans evolved to handle well. A lot of people who have been seriously affected by white rice consider it to be poison.

    • dani stout Reply

      Hence why I said:

      “White rice is an easily absorbable form of glucose that is easy to digest, therefore making it a safe starch. I don’t recommend grains of any kind for someone with leaky gut, blood sugar issues or an autoimmune disorder.”

      Also anyone who calls it poison may want to reevaluate their definition of poison.

    • so — is white rice “bleached”?
      there is unbleached white flour and i am thinking most white rice is also unbleached.

      friction can get those hulls off, too.

      • dani stout Reply

        No, majority of white rice is not bleached. I’ve actually never seen bleached rice.

  18. Hi Dani,

    Love your website and I found it looking for an answer regarding white rice, so maybe you know.

    Three months ago I started eating paleo (after 28 years of being vegetarian). I’m in great health and eating paleo stopped my migraines, so I will continue eating like this. But about a month ago, my acupuncturist noticed that one of my hands was colder than the other. I noticed that same hand would fall asleep a lot during the night (poor circulation) and break my sleep pattern. According to the acupuncturist, my blood is fresh, not stale (he did that suction cup thing) so he was confused as to why this was happening.

    After some research, I read that other paleo eaters were having this problem and they started eating white rice and it improved. Well, guess what? Me too! Both hands are warm now and I can sleep better because the one hand doesn’t get pins and needles.

    Can you tell me exactly why the white rice helped my circulation and other carbs like sweet potatoes didn’t? And believe me, the improvement was significant. Are there other benefits to white rice?


    • dani stout Reply

      Going too low carb can cause this and can interfere with metabolic function. Maybe it was that? And your body just responded better to white rice. It’s definitely starchier than taters so maybe your body just seriously needed the starch.

  19. Thanks, I enjoyed this. As a sidebar, I believe white rice will store longer than brown rice. That could be important for people who buy in bulk.

  20. Hey Dani,

    You know your stuff girl! I enjoyed reading your comments as you shut people down. 🙂
    For a generally healthy person is okay to have some rice everyday (2 cups at the most). I really love white rice and the Perfect Health Diet gave me the justification to eat it.
    My days have been so simple lately: 1 cup of rice with butter, steamed veggies and a fatty meat for lunch, repeat for dinner.
    Is this okay?


    • dani stout Reply

      Thanks Joey!

      It depends on the person. If you’re getting a good amount of exercise and you digest rice well, then I’d say yes. Although two cups per person is a bit much. I’d aim for a lower amount.

  21. You say that our ancestors knew which foods were healthy and they ate them. Really, this is just so much bunk. Why? Because our ancestors did not have the foods available to them that we now have. If Coke, Diet Pepsi, potato chips, Cheetos, and Mike and Ike candies had been available to our ancestors, do you think they would have automatically eschewed them and similar products to eat healthier foods? Our ancestors ate what was available to them, healthy or no, just as we do. And after all, nutritional deficiencies weren’t discovered in the last half of the 20th century nor the 21st century, you know.

    • dani stout Reply

      Actually our ancestors did know which foods were healthy, just as they knew which foods were dangerous/poisonous and to avoid. Your logic is incredibly flawed.

      • dani stout Reply

        1) Who in the world are you quoting?

        2) You may want to brush up on ancestral health. Ancestral cultures, like those Dr. Price studied, were free of modern day diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. This is because they ate well, were in tune with nature and their diets had amazing nutritional value. This is true of majority of ancestral cultures (particularly prior to the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago – so your grain based assertions aren’t entirely valid in this argument).

        I highly recommend reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

  22. Debra Lang Reply

    Which type of white rice is best? I have heard of jasmine and basmati rices. Are these white rice or are they bad too? We want to get the best form of rice, so that we don’t have the problems that you mentioned in your article.

    • dani stout Reply

      I’d recommend any form of white rice from Lundberg.

      • good call. living in the US – get it from here – Lundberg tests for arsenic and other things as well, seems to be a pretty good operation.

  23. Excellent article and I really love your well thought out responses to the comments. I’ve tried many diets. I was a proponent of Weston/ Price, I was a big meat eater and paleo. I was very healthy and strong. A new friend was vegetarian his whole life, he had some minor issues, we tweaked his diet, added good fats, cut out gluten and sugars, still kept him on the vegetarian diet. He’s doing very well now and is very strong. I decided to give vegetarian a go…(I do such experiments on myself so that I can once and for all scratch it or embrace it). So far seems good, it’s been a year… Ok, a year with perhaps 7 occasions I’ve had meat.
    I find in winter I crave more meat.
    I really don’t know what is right, since the is a good and bad for each side…depending on the source.
    I was having protein absorption problems. My Chinese doctor recommended I eat rice, or actually congee, which is rice porridge. He told me that I have the congee along with my meal and it’ll assist in absorbing protein and other nutrients. So I’m doing that…(a cup of rice a day). I think to myself since the Chinese have been eating rice since forever, then it must be ok; and they seem to consume a hell of a lot of it and seem to appear healthy.
    My fear is, that going vegetarian and eating rice, my glycemic levels spike and start wreaking havoc on my body, regardless of what vegetarian foods I invorportate.
    A typical meal for me would be
    Tempeh cooked in coconut oil
    Broccoli blanched in butter
    Lentils cooked in a tomato base with turmeric
    A salad ( lettuce, tomatoes & onion, olive oil, salt)

  24. I love this, because of how ridiculously biased it is. Picking and pulling bits and pieces over several articles does not affirm your opinion on things. And then spreading them through the net as if they are facts, is absurd.

    You seem to ignore the fact that white rice has extremely low nutritional value until it is “enriched”, and considering your skepticism with USDA and many, many professional reviews, I can’t believe that you even go along with it being enriched.

    And even when it is enriched, it is still a wide known fact that, even with the phytic acid, brown rice is still more nutritious.

    You don’t state facts. You just nit pick what you want to believe, and then try to spread it to others.

    I’m not saying white rice is bad. It’s totally good. Brown rice is even better. But your view on this is whack.

    • dani stout Reply

      How is providing the factual nutrition content of white and brown rice considered “ignoring the facts?” If you have an issue with the nutrition content the USDA researchers provided, you should probably take that up with them. You can look it up yourself. I never said white rice is nutritious, but the fact is that rice in general – including brown rice – is not a nutritious food. It’s good for glucose, not much else.

      Enriched white rice is actually much worse because it is enriched with synthetic vitamins like folic acid that cause a myriad of issues.

      I did state facts, of course I carefully selected those facts. Wouldn’t anyone writing a piece like this do that?

      Maybe do some research of your own and get back to me.

  25. Albinopirate Reply

    Very informative article, I feel like I gained a lot from reading this 😀 thanks!
    In respects to white rice, there are so many different kinds (long, short, sushi, etc) do you consider them all the same as long as it’s white rice and not brown?

    • dani stout Reply

      It’s more important to use Lundberg rice because they have amazing growing practices.

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  27. So your whole theory on brown rice being worse then white rice is based on the findings of the United States Department of Agriculture.

    I trust them as far as I can throw a corn fed spongiform encephalopathy infested bovine.

    • dani stout Reply

      You do realize that was only one small part of this article, right?

  28. Thanks so much for this article – there is so little info available on the topic of rice and leaky gut.

    I have diverticular disease (as well as leaky gut). I’m currently not in active infection so have been reintroducing raw veggies, raw fruit etc. back into my diet (also had blood allergy testing which has led to the elimination of eggs, fish, gluten, wheat, cow dairy and garlic). I have noticed that brown rice rips me up inside (just as you suggested) and have also found similar nasty issues with risotto rice. I’m wondering about your thoughts on risotto rice – is part of the issue to do with the overall level of starch? I have also noticed similar issues with corn chips, tortillas, etc. I wouldn’t touch corn on the cob just because it’s too hard to digest. Keep up the great work!

    • dani stout Reply

      Risotto is usually made with arborio rice, butter and cheese. So you could be reacting to dairy, or you may just digest that particular rice poorly. Corn is another grain that’s hard on the digestive tract, I’m not surprised that you have issues with it.

      Thank you!

  29. I am so delighted to read your post. I love white rice and get exhausted by the punishment it receives. I have had gut issues and teeth issues most of my life so its a go to staple for me. Use the brat diet many many times. When my teeth are really hurting I make congee and boost the herbs and spices in an effort to get more nutrition. You made my day and that doesn’t happen often. btw perks for me I am a decedent of Winston Price. : ) Sure wish some days I could sit down and just listen and breath in his knowledge. Cheers!

  30. You rock. Loved the article and even more so, the back-n-forth with some of these people who insist they know a bit more than you.
    Thanks for all your research and devotion to health and nutrition.

  31. Nobody said fiber will cause leaky gut. Fiber is good when found in good sources like leafy green vegetables. The lectins and phytates found in grains, bran and germ in particular are harmful. Some confuse bran with fiber. Yes bran is a source of fiber, however when you ingest it, it leaches these aforementioned nutrients from your body. So why risk it? All grains are no good. I don’t believe white rice can be considered “Paleo Approved.” how are we sure these lectins and phytates are gone? It’s still a grain. If you do eat it, I recommend not making it a staple. Stick to what would have been able to be hunted and gathered. Keep your veggies organic, your seafood or pond food wild caught, your beef 100% grass fed AND finished, your chicken organic and as free range as possible. Eat a TON of veggies, a healthy portion size protein (fat and all), yes, free range beef fat is GOOD for you, It’s very high in omega 3, and finally, little fruit, nuts and seeds. Roll like that, avoid too much alcohol consumption and other products like tobacco and other processed foods and you’ll be in line with how your body should be. Give it a strict, solid month at least. Anyone can do anything for a month. You will be amazed at the results, I promise.

  32. A high carb low fat vegan “diet” is the BEST for weight loss an HEALTH! I say “diet” because it is not a diet. You eat until you are satisfied and eating at the very LEAST 2000 calories a day. Just eat as much as you want, but not stuffing yourself. Lots of rice, potatoes, fruits, vegetables. But no meat, dairy, eggs, or fish because these things are toxic for your body and should not be consumed. Look up some stuff on this diet (hclf vegan) and find out more about it because I could just go on forever.

    • dani stout Reply

      This is actually one of the worst diets I’ve ever heard of and can’t believe anyone promotes it not just as a way of eating – but safe. It isn’t. And it is definitely is a “diet.” This way of eating spikes the blood sugar and over time will likely lead to insulin resistance if not full blown diabetes. There is little to no protein and it completely, entirely lacks vitamins A (retinol, the active form only found in animal foods), B12 and iron.

      The idea that animal products are “toxic” is completely outdated and not based in fact, science or history. Our ancestors evolved and thrived on animal products. If they were toxic, we as a species would not be here.

      • “There is little to no protein and it completely, entirely lacks vitamins A (retinol, the active form only found in animal foods), B12 and iron.”

        Let’s go over those, starting with protein. If you go to and search for say, black beans, you will see that black beans alone contain all nine essential amino acids (so does brown rice, incidentally). Look up the daily recommended value for those amino acids, then look at the amounts contained in black beans.

        You say vitamin A from animal sources is essential, but it’s well documented that the body can create retinol from plant based precursors. You may bring up the fact that that depends on variables such as ease of digestion, amount eaten, etc. True, which is why daily vitamin A requirements are expressed in micrograms (mcg) of Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE). If you look up RAE for specific vegetables such as spinach or carrots, you will see that they contain sufficient RAE levels to meet the recommended dietary allowance (900 mcg RAE for men, 700 mcg RAE for women).

        Your points on B12 and iron make more sense, but it is by no means difficult to find those nutrients while on a vegetarian or even vegan diet.

        • dani Reply

          Black beans and rice contain very small, almost miniscule amounts of certain amino acids. So much so that black beans and rice are not considered complete proteins.

          Also, the exact opposite is documented. Humans are very inefficient at converting plant based vitamin A to retinol. Actual studies:

          So while plants may be listed as containing retinol, they actually don’t and people definitely aren’t converting it.

          Also there are no plant based sources of B12 and the only plant based sources of iron are non-heme, which is very poorly absorbed.

    • Adam Atkinson Reply

      Actually you could not just go on forever because eventually you will end up with pancreatic cancer eating like that. Vegan diets have some tasty dishes, but as a mode of consistent eating they really only contribute to weight loss because they are so emaciating. There is no other diet I can think of which produces so many skinny-fat people. The sad truth of the matter is you just can’t get the nutritional density in macros on a Vegan diet that you can with diet which features meats — and by meats I mean non-commercial, grass-fed and free range, not toxic laden feedlot meats. Except in rare cases, I generally worry that Vegans will break a femur or tear their bicep if they try to carry anything heavier than their copy of “The Teachings of Don Juan” or a tattered copy of “The Celestine Prophecy.”

      In addition, I will point out to other naysayers of ancesteral eating centric to meats, that there is no way a pre-agricultural (Agriculture offering infrastructure and cheap peasant labor, and largely serving as a means of socio-economic control over the populace) man and woman went to the trouble to obtain grains on a regular basis, if at all in various sectors of the world, for consumption. I am a small homesteader and I can tell you from experience that grain harvest, even on a small scale is a massive pain in the a–. Let alone all the trouble it takes to make it palatable. Hunting is way easier, quicker and produces a better nutritional product than foraging grass seeds ever did, even if its simply hunting a nesting box for free range eggs.

  33. Why do you not recommend grains for people with leaky gut? What foods do you recommend?

  34. Since most aspects of our lives have evolved for the better which allows us the ability to live longer and healthier than our ancestors shouldn’t our diet evolve for our betterment as well? Eat like a caveman if you want to live like a caveman, eat like a homeless person if that’s what you’re going for, eat a bunch of white rice if you want to live in to your 100s and be Asian.

    For us to be here our ancestors only had to live long enough for sexual maturity. I’d like to aim a little higher than that.

    Technically there is no evolutionary need for life to continue beyond the years of reproduction (sorry women) so perhaps just taking one aspect that our ancestors did and saying that’s the one we should keep doing isn’t extremely logical. Everything needs to evolve and become better for everything to be better. Our ancestors weren’t as sanitary as we are today, should we not use soap or indoor plumbing or fire or just new sources of food?
    Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor diet:
    Food item Percent
    Fruit 59,4
    Leaves 21,3
    Seeds 5,1
    Blossoms 4,1
    Insects 4,2
    Meat 1,4
    Other 4,5

    Just as you wouldn’t go up to an animal and try to take a bite as the animal will probably hurt you and a mouth of filthy fur or skin would be hurtful as well. You also wouldn’t eat a walnut, hull and all, or brown rice, husk and all. Some work is required to get to the good parts inside as they are protected.
    Fruits and vegetables have the least defense and are the easiest to prepare.

    Preparing Grains, Nuts, Seeds and Beans for Maximum Nutrition

  35. I am trying to eliminate sugars from my diet. I was advised to use ‘brown rice syrup’ as an alternative. What is your take on that?

  36. I enjoyed it as well! I’ve been looking for an article to explain these digestive issues I’ve been having lately. I have to be gluten free for two and a half years not by choice. I live off rice potatoes meat and veggies. Hard time absorbing nutrients too. I’ve always eaten Brown rice this definitely helped me to consider my choices!

  37. I am a white rice eater as well. But, one thing I didn’t see mentioned in the comments or article is the problem of Arsenic in rice, and found at a higher level in brown rice in particular. Arsenic is being linked to cancer, and for me is the main reason to not eat rice everyday. Arsenic is even finding its way into baby formulas, even organic ones, that use rice in the ingredients.

  38. I apologize if this was already addressed, but I didn’t see it in the (very long!) comment thread. Wouldn’t sprouting or germinating brown rice also reduce phytic acid and make the nutrients more bioavailable? Upon further research, it seems less effective than fermenting at removing phytic acid, but can still remove up to 60% phytates and increases the bioavailability of some nutrients (though not all, such as zinc). Interested to see your thoughts on this.

    I originally started looking into this because of this study, since I’m currently lactating as well:


    • dani Reply

      Yes, sprouting does reduce phytic acid content and improve digestibility. But doesn’t eliminate phytic acid and still isn’t very nutrient dense overall.

  39. Nori Kamel Reply

    I am asking: Is there any type of gluten in the white or brown rice please?

  40. I agree. We only eat organic white rice. white jasmine or white basmatti which have a lower glycemic index.

  41. I love both colors of rice, I no longer delve into what is better anymore, I just eat healthily, and enjoy my food. As long as I am not eating junk food, fizzy drinks etc I am happy. 🙂

  42. We have been using brown rice as a recommendation for adrenal fatigue. Your article makes me question if that is a good idea. Any advice?

  43. Thanks for posting such a wonderfully informative piece in white vs. brown. For the record, I am immunocomprimised since birth with Selective IgA deficiency. Many foods can be problematic, particularly those with carbohydrates. I have had battles with chronic fatigue, leaky gut syndrome, IBS, and candidiasis. I discovered through some trial and error that organic white rice is very healing for my gut. This seemed counter intuitive, so I went to look online for a scientific explanation. I also never forgot that when I went on an aruvedic regimen. I was advised that white rice is “healing”, much to my surprise. Now I understand why. To cool it off (aruvedically) I add organic cold pressed toasted sesame oil, raw yoghurt and Celtic sea salt. This also lowers the glycemic index significantly. I don’t indulge every day, but maybe twice or three times a week. Never bloats me! Thanks again for a great discussion and entry!

  44. Kelly Plekkenpol Reply

    What about flax seed or quinoa? I enjoy eating both in my diet. Since you advocate no grains are these bad for your digestion?

  45. Considering that there is more people overweight than underweight in the USA, I’d say antinutrients are actually a good thing. Hard to digest actually means less protein-calories and carb-clories will accumulate, therefore unless you live in a poor country where nutrition is limited, based on your article, brown rice is actually better.

    • dani Reply

      That’s entirely inaccurate. It’s the same amount of calories – there’s no way to change the amount of calories a person is consuming. It’s just lesser nutrient density – which in turn leads to issues like obesity.

  46. I have experimented in the same fashion. White rice is very easy to digest, provides good energy. Should be consumed with fat (butter) and some protein (egg or beef, etc.). However being on a paleo diet for a long time I began to accumulate excessive iron.

    Right now I am using IP6 and eating brown rice and various others for the sole purpose of reducing iron levels. Men tend to have much higher iron levels, which can be extraordinarily harmful. Thus in these cases it would seem useful for them to eat the whole rice. I will further experiment, however so far there is ample improvement.

    Also noting that the need for white rice or other starches/sugars are all in correlation to metabolism and how much you exercise. Going low carb when you exercise a lot will only increase oxidation and wear you down.

  47. The world was a very different place for our ancestors, going that far back in history is going to give a lot of mixed information, and correlation does not always equal causation. There is some interesting evidence to support the fact that our pre-industrial, pre-agricultural and even prehistoric ancestors had suffered from Cancer and Diabetes. The truth is we has only uncovered such a small slice of the fossil record, which represents such a small slice of life so it would be improper to draw too many hard conclusions from this.

    However, and this is a big however, I feel that the majority of your actual recommendations are sound and have a good backing in science, especially in relation to GI and Nutritional Density. This article was interesting and you make it very clear to anyone who takes the time to read it in it’s entirety that Brown Rice isn’t a miracle health food and White Rice isn’t some sort of poison. I did find myself laughing at some of the comments, especially the people who have already made their mind up would rather quote an outdated, discredited study than read any of the material you kindly provided.

    My only further advice to you, if you genuinely believe the ancestral diet is the healthiest way we can eat today, I would advise you keep supporting all of your points with modern science (as that works for us rational thinkers), and toning down the “because our ancestors did” reasoning. Sure our ancestors might have lucked out in the food department, but they also did a lot stuff that was totally pointless or counter-productive. Would you go to a doctor that practised “ancestral medicine” or send your children to school that promised “ancestral learning”?

  48. …isn’t brown rice healthier than white rice?
    The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO.

    But what about sprouted brown rice?

  49. Well this article is not entirely correct as my type 1 diabetic child spikes much higher on white than brown rice and does this consistently. I don’t mind the other innacuracies so much but this is a dangerous and very incorrect one. Most brown rice on the shelf is merely what will become white rice than has not been polished/ground at its last stage yet and is not true “brown rice” which looks much more like a flattened or narrowed pumpkin seed and can be found when you purchase raw wild rice.

  50. Jason in Vancouver Reply

    Hi Dani, I am currently in the process developing my own diet to deal with Gout and other issues and have been finding a low carb, low fructose diet is working well. It’s been about three weeks and I’m noticing trouble focusing and concentrating. Nothing severe or alarming, but noticable. I think this means I need more carbs and will be trying your white rice and possibly potato idea. Now to my actual question 🙂 Where do you include white rice “flour” in your plan? I love Pho with rice noodles etc. and some rice pastas would be a great sub every once in a whiel when I just want a bowl of pasta. I’m a bit of a carb’o’holic and anything I can introduce will be appreciated. 🙂 Thanks!

    • dani Reply

      I think white rice flour in small amounts is just fine. If you’re addicted to carbs though, that needs to be addressed – it can be indicative of several health issues.

  51. And it’s phytic acid that causes issues with the consumption of industrial wheat. That is what is in the wheat when harvested at hard flint instead of severing it from the roots at the soft flint stage. Wonder when that little factoid (and the fact it isn’t gluten) will finally come to the surface?

  52. Pingback: White rice > brown rice - Easy Peasy Natural Living

  53. Pingback: Is Brown Rice Healthier Than White Rice? We Found a Better Alternative – Dot Network

  54. This article isn’t quite accurate. Phytates are present in rice but are still only 1-2 percent of overall content. Not to mention phytates have benefits as well, including helping fight cancer (there are others as well). The only people who would really have an issue with phytates are those in third world countries who are mineral deficient or possibly a vegan or vegetarian. And that would only be if they are consuming really large amounts of phytate-containing foods. You can easily find this information online or on specifically.

  55. Maurice Fortin Reply

    so Rice is unhealthy, and yet, for thousands of years humans have survived on it, why is that
    “Leaky gut syndrome is a hypothetical, medically unrecognized condition”

    opinions are fine and all, but, to pick and choose what is actually relevant data and fill in a bunch of unfactual half truths is assine.

    Instant brown rice can be one of the healthiest to consume foods (as the making it instant process breaks down much of the hard for body to digest stuff and pretty much leaves it “as good as it can be) if you add some veggies and a healthy meat source such as Salmon (which is amazingly more healthy than a normal standby which many people use Tuna) if you watch to not consume too much salt like adding a bunch of soy sauce, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a portion of rice.

    Rice and beans with added vegetables and a bit of meat is absolutely healthy, make sure to get your vitamin C of course, but at least a simple diet per meal cost of ~$5 max is providing darn near a complete “healthy meal” which is quite low in sugars, salts, high in healthy fats/proteins etc.

    Title is incredibly misleading IMO, not nearly the “full truth” looking at every fact.

    Kind of like “modern science” takes facts out to say “the world is a few billions years old” or “global warming will be the death of the earth as we know it”

    Take one part “mostly truth: mix with a few parts anything but, and you can sell “100% beef burgers” like Mcdonalds does, or TACO Bell sells “meat” named menu items. ^.^

  56. Pingback: All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend - Super Recipe

  57. For some who have noticed that white rice was almost “healing”, look into restricted starches…. apparently cooking white rice then letting it cool off in the refrigerator will turn the starches into more of a fiber… when eaten it acts as butyrate…. butyric acid has been shown lately to work wonders for Crohns patients

  58. Pingback: ¿Que Tipo De Arroz Es El Más Saludable? | Dra. Cocó

  59. Hi there,

    I am a medical professional and work with patients on nutrition. Most of my patients who switched to brown rice and whole grains had desired weight loss and improved blood glucose levels and A1c. I have also seen an improvement in LDL cholesterol. I wouldn’t recommend simple carbs unless someone is diabetic and having an hypoglycemia episode. While phytic acid can bind to other minerals, there is not a significant amount that can actual inhibit enough nutrients to make us “deficient.” We still are able to absorb plenty. Also phytic acid is actually beneficial, it has anti inflammatory and antioxidant effect. Brown rice is also higher in fiber, acting like a prebiotic which feeds your gut bacteria, making your own gut bacteria more efficient in breaking down food and helping your body absorb nutrients. Therefore I would not limit your intake of brown rice, I think it actually needs to be included as part of a healthy balance diet.

    Please consult with your Doctor and Registered Dietitian if you have any nutrition concerns or any gastrointestinal issues.

    • dani Reply

      Your patients with blood sugar levels of course see improved blood glucose levels and A1C when switching to whole grains – this eliminates a lot of processed foods they’re eating. They’d likely be better off eliminating majority of whole grains entirely, and possible just eating a small amount of gluten-free grains.

      The improved blood work isn’t because brown rice is inherently healthy for them – it’s because they’re eliminating a lot of junk food they previously ate.

      As stated in the article, brown rice is a poor source of fiber, minerals and vitamins. Considering majority of people eat grains with each meal – phytic acid is a valid concern when it comes to nutrient absorption.

      There is literally nothing in brown rice that couldn’t be obtained, better digested and accompanied by more nutrients in something like broccoli, avocado, cabbage, kale, etc.

      • Hi and thank you for this fascinating article.
        My question is with brown rice syrup, does it share the same negative effects as brown rice ?

        • dani Reply

          They’re completely different. I do not consume brown rice syrup. It’s not a sweetener I recommend.

  60. Gregory Gomez Reply

    I support Jen’s view above, so there is little I can add to her adroit observations about the superiority of brown rice over white.

    Dani, your article is the first I’ve ever read that extols the virtues of white rice over brown, which I find amazing. I guess you can believe whatever you want.

    Incidentally, I’ve eaten brown rice all my life and have never had a problem as a result of doing so, not one single issue.

    Dean Ornish, M.D., Joel Fuhrman, M.D., and Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D. would strongly recommend brown rice over white, the exact opposite of what you advise. All of these doctors have decades of experience treating patients with heart disease and/or diabetes; they have had their work peer-reviewed; and they are all best-selling authors.

    To call Dr. Esselstyn a quack is simply disgraceful.

    I await your next article in which you extol the virtues of Wonder Bread over whole wheat. After all, we all know that “Wonder Bread builds strong bodies twelve ways.”

  61. It does not should be your hand that salts your food well over what exactly is healthy.
    If the location that’s affected is very small, mold remediation can likely be performed
    by you. Salt is certainly typically the
    most popular material used around the globe for melting ice.

  62. Julie Moravia Reply

    Dani, I have to say that I commend you in how you handle those who disagree with you. Based on what you have presented, both in your original article and in your replays to naysayers, I think you must be a truly amazing person. I also want to thank you as, believing that brown rice was healthier but not really liking it, I am now much more comfortable eating white rice. Kudos!

  63. Conclusions

    The dangers of phytic acid have been overestimated. Contrary to popular the paleo belief, phytic acid might be beneficial in small doses and might have anticancer effects. As seen with gluten degradation by Rothia species, the phytase activity present in some exclusive human Bifidobacteria shows that adaptation to wheat/grains is indeed happening. Once again, the microbiota plays a dominant role.

    From epidemiological data, foods with high phytate content are not associated with increased risk for several chronic diseases. As association doesnt means causation, we cannot conclude that whole-grains are healthy but we cant also conclude that whole-grains are unhealthy. With the increasing attention to paleolithic and similar diets, it is of utmost importance that all evidence is critically analyzed and reviewed. Making unsupported statements and cherry-picking data would only cause rejection by scientists. Dogma is not good in science (or in anything else, for that matter).

    I dont recommend whole-grains and legumes because there are foods more nutritious, as well as because whole-grains and legumes are very high in carbohydrates. The potential benefits of phytate can be obtained by eating other phytate rich foods, such as nuts and cocoa; as well as soluble fiber and oligosaccharides as the main dietary fiber type. The problem with high levels of phytate is only relevant when the diet is deficient in micronutrients and essential food sources. Finally, maintaining a proper gut flora is essential for phytic acid metabolism and adequate mineral absorption.

    *Any evidence of a significant increased risk from these foods would be greatly appreciated.

    ResearchBlogging.orgHaros M, Carlsson NG, Almgren A, Larsson-Alminger M, Sandberg AS, & Andlid T (2009). Phytate degradation by human gut isolated Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum ATCC27919 and its probiotic potential. International journal of food microbiology, 135 (1), 7-14 PMID: 19674804

    Haros M, Bielecka M, Honke J, & Sanz Y (2007). Myo-inositol hexakisphosphate degradation by Bifidobacterium infantis ATCC 15697. International journal of food microbiology, 117 (1), 76-84 PMID: 17462768

  64. Pingback: White Rice, Brown Rice & everything in between! – morningswithpk

  65. “Every single traditional, ancestral culture on earth eats meat.
    These cultures were never plagued with obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease..”

    As far as the first is concerned:

    The last staement woud be impossible to prove.

  66. Pingback: Wheying in on Whey Protein | Paleo on the Go Test Kitchen

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