The hemp-wearing earthy types will tell you that brown rice is full of protein. They’ll tell you that it’s got the fiber to make your poop strong and proud. They’ll tell you that it doesn’t raise blood sugar as much as white rice. Well, they’re right, but those are all minor details.
Yes, brown rice has protein, but it’s a negligible amount; you’re better off with a mouthful of animal protein. Brown rice does indeed have fiber, but you’d be better off getting your fiber through other, more nutrient-dense fiber sources like fruits and vegetables. And lastly, yes, it doesn’t do much to raise blood sugar, but no one eats a bowl of white rice by itself unless that’s all they get to eat. Instead, they eat it with meat, or vegetables, or a little oil, all of which ameliorate rises in blood sugar.
The Main Problem With Brown Rice
There’s one thing about brown rice that makes it particularly problematic and that’s the presence of phytic acid, a compound located in the rice bran – the part that gives brown rice its color. Phytic acid, quite simply, grabs on to or chelates minerals, in addition to inhibiting enzymes we need to digest food. This results in making many of the coveted nutrients largely unavailable for digestion.
That’s why white rice, despite decades of propaganda, is often a superior food, especially for athletes. White rice is fortified with vitamins (digestible ones) and isn’t associated with food allergies, bloating, or any other digestive problems often associated with grains in general.