Brown or white: Which rice or sugar is better for your health? We ask a dietitian

  • White rice is less nutritious than brown rice, and many people incorporate brown rice into their diet as a better option..
  • However, white rice is more beneficial with a particular person or in a particular situation.
  • Brown is better than white when it comes to sugar, but neither is recommended as part of a healthy diet.

Comparing all the countless rice and sugar options on the market today can leave you standing in the grocery aisle and scratching your head in confusion.

From basmati to long grain rice, brown rice, granulated sugar, raw sugar and brown sugar, there are varieties to suit every taste and dietary need.

staple food rice Over 3.5 billion people worldwideespecially enjoyed in parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa. according to healthline, There are over 7000 different types of grains, ranging from different colors to shapes and sizes. For many of us, however, the most commonly consumed varieties in South Africa and many other countries are white and brown rice.

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But when it comes to choosing between white and brown rice, many of us believe that brown rice is more nutritious. I asked a nutritionist.

Response of registered dietitian

Both brown rice and white rice are made from the same grain. Explanation of past News24 articlesBrown rice becomes white rice after going through a refining process that removes the husk and bran (brown rice). Unfortunately, this process removes nutrients such as iron, vitamins and magnesium.

registered dietitian, Toni Brien of Crazy4Foodexplains:

Brown rice is generally considered to be more nutritious than white rice. This is because it is unprocessed and contains more fiber, magnesium and antioxidants than white rice.

Brien adds that this hearty, nutty rice also has a lower GI (glycemic index) compared to white rice. The NHS explains: The GI is a rating system for carbohydrate-containing foods that indicates how much each food affects blood sugar (glucose) levels when eaten alone.

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“[A lower GI] It helps control blood sugar levels and keep you going for a longer period of time,” says Brian. They add that it has a moderate GI. That said, not all white rice is bad for you. Brian says:

Both white and brown rice can be included in a healthy, balanced diet as long as portions are controlled. White rice is better than brown rice, as is the case with those who have it.

Healthline also explains: White rice is often unfairly criticized.Earlier this year, the principal investigator of the study says “A diet that includes high intakes of unhealthy refined grains can be thought of as similar to a diet high in unhealthy sugars and oils.”

But sometimes it is beneficial.

A low-fiber diet is beneficial for people experiencing heartburn, nausea, vomiting, or recovering from medical procedures that affect the digestive system, and in these cases, low-fiber diets may be beneficial. , bland, easy-to-digest white rice is often recommended, says Healthline. Pregnant women may also benefit from the extra folic acid found in nutrient-rich white rice.

News24 also notes that while too much white rice can lead to weight gain (because carbs digest quickly), it’s also a great post-workout meal because fast-digesting carbs are absorbed by your muscles to make up for lost energy. I explained that I would be exercising.

Sweet talk: what about sugar?

With ongoing research into the health effects of the foods we eat, we hear more and more about how unhealthy sugar is. the numbers show Global consumption of sugar was just over 171 million tonnes in 2019-2020 and is projected to rise to about 179 million tonnes by 2023.

Studies show that reducing the amount of added sugar (what manufacturers add to processed and prepackaged foods) significantly improves overall health. News24 previously pointed outConversely, diets high in sugar are associated with an increased risk of certain health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Contrary to popular belief, brown sugar and white sugar are not all that different when it comes to nutritional value.

“When comparing white sugar to brown sugar, if you want to get down to nutrition, less refined brown sugar has slightly more micronutrients than white sugar. [sugar]’ says Brian.

“But neither is high GI and not very nutrient dense. So if you really want to pick and choose what you want, yes. Brown sugar is better than white sugar, but both are healthy.” Not recommended for balancing diets.”

Read more | 4 practical ways to reduce sugar

The same applies to brown sugar. It is dark brown, juicy, and tastes like toffee.

“Because that sugar is just unprocessed… it contains more nutrients, but it’s still sugar, not a good source of nutrients,” Brian says.

In fact, added sugar should always be limited or avoided whenever possible, she adds.

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