Let’s face it, the majority of rice eaters don’t even want to get near brown rice. As is the case with whole wheat pasta, consumers tend to assume that brown rice is downright nasty. But what most consumers don’t know are the facts on why brown rice is the way to go.
It all started in 1860, in Scotland. Before then, everyone always stuck to brown rice. The equipment needed to make white rice wasn’t invented until this period. It wasn’t too popular in the beginning because in 1897, white rice was found to be the cause of beriberi, a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1. Brown rice has this vitamin in its outer layer, but this is stripped in processing white rice. Companies began enriching white rice with vitamins that are naturally occurring in brown rice, after receiving government pressure to do so. The problem is that they did not enrich the rice with very important nutrients called phyto-chemicals, which include a lot of fiber. Furthermore, white rice can contribute to developing diabetes! This is because the white breaks down into glucose much more quickly than brown rice, causing a more dramatic insulin reaction. That’s why those who already are diabetic are told to steer clear of white rice and pastas.
When asked what the reason for white rice processing is anyway, experts will tell you that it all happened for one reason only: longer shelf-life! White rice keeps for much longer than brown rice and therefore it makes companies much more money. Furthermore, people have gotten used to white rice’s texture, as well as it’s shorter cooking time. Factories are created to produce white rice, adn to produce its brown counterpart, companies would ahve to spend a lot money in switching optimal equipment.
Let’s go over the health facts, shall we?…
Even after enriching the white rice, which is required by law in most nations, the differences between the two types of rice are plentiful. Brown rice has more than 3 times more fiber, 2 times more Vitamin E, almost 2 times more B6 and over 2 twice the magnesium as white rice does. Brown rice also has almost 20 percent more protein. For those of you who are worried about the glycemic index, brown rice’s index is at 55, while white’s is at 70 (87 when parboiled!). For those of you who aren’t sure what the hell I’m talking about…let’s just say a donut has a glycemic index of 76!! Furthermore, eating foods that have a high glycemic index is correlated with developing diabetes later in life.
I hope the lesson here is obvious: stick to brown rice! So it takes 10 minutes longer to cook…I think if it means that you are less likely to develop diabetes in your future then those 10 minutes are well worth it!
Anyone have any delicious brown rice recipes? Share them with us by commenting please!