thoughts on parboiled rice?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 01, 2011 at 3:21 AM

Parboiled rice usually refers to rice that has been vacuum dried, and then cooked with steam and pressure - forcing nutrients (mostly water soluble vitamins) from the husk into the starchy kernel. It also gelatinizes some of the starch, making the grain harder, easier to polish (de-husk) and resistant to pests. Parboiled white rice is very popular in certain parts of Asia and the South Pacific. It prevents the disease "beri-beri" (thiamine deficiency)that was common when white rice was a staple.

So how does this compare to white rice (mostly neutral starch, essentially devoid of micronutrients) and brown rice (lots of micronutrients, but hampered by lots of anti-nutrients as well)?

Despite some digging, I wasn't able to find any determinations of the phytate, lectin, etc. levels of parboiled white rice... wondering if anyone here has already considered this.

Thanks :P

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4 Answers



on February 16, 2011
at 04:50 PM

I would avoid rice in general because it is still a grain, and very high in starch.

If you have decided to eat rice anyway, it sounds like parboiling it will offer more nutrients than the typical white or brown varieties, so it might be the lesser of the evils.


on January 01, 2014
at 12:58 AM

Parboiled rice has a GI of 35 to 38, because it is not digested by the small intestine which is why the starch it contains is called resistant starch; it resists digestion by the small intestine. In the large intestine it serves as food for the bacteria that live there, thus it is a prebiotic not a probiotic. Potato starch contains up to 85% resistant starch. This isn't Paleo in the strictest sense, but green bananas are if you eat fruit and they also contain significant amounts of resistant starch.


on January 29, 2013
at 11:35 PM

I was also wondering about parboiled rice. Does anybody have more intelligent input than previous commentators?

I'm thinking processing rice like this would be important in developing countries who rely very heavily on rice as a staple food, but less important when diet is mote varied and nutrient dense, perhaps making digestion and taste of the rice into more important factors


on February 03, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Very high glycemic index. Avoid.

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