Brown Rice vs. White Rice

Which one is right for your family?

Brown Rice vs. White Rice FAQs
(Frequently Asked Questions

        What are the differences between brown rice & white rice?    

    • White rice has had the bran removed, & thus is not a whole         grain.
    • White rice cooks faster & is fluffier, but has less than 1/3 the         fiber of brown rice.
    • White rice, because the bran has been removed, has a longer         shelf life.
    • Brown rice contains a greater amount of fiber & vitamin E,         plus the minerals magnesium, manganese & zinc.
    • Brown rice requires slightly more water for cooking.   
    • The higher fiber content of brown rice slows down the                     absorption of carbohydrates, which helps regulate blood             sugar levels.
    • Yet at the same time, high fiber speeds up the digestive                     process, which means foods are processed faster through            the body, thus reducing the risk of colon cancer.
    • Foods containing high fiber have been shown to reduce               levels of cholesterol, leading to a healthier heart.
    • Brown rice has more texture than white rice, & has a nutty            flavor, so can be the focus of a prepared dish, rather than a        mere filler. 

What is "organic rice?"

Organically grown agricultural products are those grown without using pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sludge from sewage, genetically modified organisms, or radiation.  Organic products generally cost more than those grown non-organically, but the difference may be negligible when you calculate the price per serving.

What is "wild" rice?

Although it can be cultivated, wild rice is native to both North America & Asia.  It grows naturally in small lakes & streams.  High in both fiber & protein, wild rice  is low in fat & contains no gluten.  Wild rice has a pleasant nutty taste & is often added to brown rice recipes.  Adding 1/4 cup of raw wild rice to your brown rice prior to cooking will not only add flavor, texture, & important nutrients, but will increase the visual interest of any rice dish.

Which rice is right for your family?

Unless there are are specific dietary restrictions brown & wild rice offer your family greater nutrition, including fiber & protein, than white rice.  The USDA guidelines specify three daily servings of whole grains, & increasing the use of wild & brown rice on your dinner table is an easy way to meet your family's nutritional needs.

Rice is a carbohydrate.  Why should I serve it to my family?

A balanced diet is composed of fats, protein & carbohydrates.   All are essential, in moderation.  In addition, as whole grains, brown & wild rice have health benefits.  They can help regulate blood sugar fluctuations & reduce cholesterol.  Their high fiber content is beneficial to digestion.

What do I need to do to change a recipe to use my preferred type of rice?

Brown & wild rice require longer cooking times, & a bit more water.  Cooking in a microwave or rice cooker make preparation super simple.  To keep liquid from boiling over in the microwave, cook the initial 4 minutes on High, then complete cooking at 40% level

My family doesn’t like brown rice.    How can I provide the better nutrition when serving white rice?

You can purchase fortified white rice, to which vitamins have been added to make up for those removed by milling off the bran.  However, the fiber is not replaced.   If it is necessary to disguise the fiber from reluctant family members, rice bran can be added to sauces or other foods.

If your family does not require gluten-free foods, wheat germ can be added to almost any food for additional nutrients & fiber; just be sure to keep any brans refrigerated after opening.

Often, family members prefer foods they are used to eating.  By gradually introducing whole grains, they can become accustomed to the more interesting flavors & textures they encounter.

Because white & brown rices require different cooking times, you can prepare one batch of whole grain & one batch of white rice.  Keep them in the refrigerator in zip-locked bags & re-heat together in the microwave for serving, varying the proportions of brown to white as necessary.  Start with a smaller percentage of whole grain, gradually increasing it as your family becomes used to the new taste & texture.

For whole grain rice recipes, try Tooty-Fruity Rice as a nutritious side dish suitable for both company & family,  or Gallo Pinto for a protein-rich breakfast.  Rice dishes re-heat well in the microwave.   For an easy complete-protein dish, try Rice  & Black Bean Salad & for a taste of the South, make a big batch of Red Beans & Rice.


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