3

votes

White or fermented brown rice with meal?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 03, 2012 at 1:58 PM

My question.. Which is better: 1) straight out of the package white rice or 2) properly prepared (fermented) brown rice.

The conventional wisdom is that brown rice is better and that white rice is just empty calories. The Paleo-wisdom is that neither are great, but brown is worse because of its phytate content that make the additional nutrients in the rice bran unavailable. However, according to some, including Stephan Guyanet, properly prepared brown rice makes those additional nutrients bioavailable (see Stephan Guyanet's post for method and reasoning: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-way-to-soak-brown-rice.html), which should swing the pendulum back to brown rice as the more nutrient dense and therefore preferred rice. I wanted to see for myself, so I did some digging.

The chart below shows where brown rice has more of something relative to white rice. I removed nutrients that were either very low (<1% RDA) or very similar between white and brown rice (<5% difference). Also, for some reason I left out Selenium, which white is far better than brown (white: 7.5ug or 14% RDA, brown: 0ug or 0% RDA)

chart

To me, its a toss up. However, it's also worth noting that when fermenting brown rice, the chelated nutrients locked up by the phytates are dispersed into the soaking solution, and that solution is tossed out prior to cooking (you cook in fresh water). So perhaps the nutrient content is even lower for brown rice than these numbers suggest.

I've also included the Cron-O-Meter charts to help visualize the difference:

brown rice vitamins brown rice vitamins

white rice vitamins white rice vitamins

brown rice minerals brown rice minerals

white rice minerals white rice minerals

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on February 06, 2012
at 10:20 AM

Suggest you check out the FAQ - nuff said!

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:26 PM

I don't think agreeing on a baseline is important. The purpose of this site is to allow people to explore diet and nutrition. The idea of Paleo is elusive at best, and as far as I'm concerned, it's just a convenient label.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:20 AM

So now I am curious enough to try fermented rice. Any hints?

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Happy to hear what you think paleo means? Maybe "agreement" is a bit strong - but there has to be a common basis for even using the term paleo on this site. Meaningless otherwise - so you don't get away with a flippant comment. (Mine was not, nor intended to be offensive)

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:55 PM

Ease of cooking is a factor every time we cook a meal. Do we all make exquisite foods for every meal? No, of course not, but we do occasionally when it suits us. For rice, I the fermentation process described at Stephan's blog is easy enough, but I question if its even necessary. Maybe we just eat the white rice cooked normally and be done with it.

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:53 PM

Alex, I have no source for losing nutrients in the soaking solution other than Stephan Guyanet said it on his blog. You can see it in the comments on the link above. I don't think this is a make-or-break factor, but more food for thought.

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:28 PM

Every time fermented rice comes up, someone mentions that it's too much trouble. This frustrates me to no end. I can assure you that apart from having to plan one day in advance, it adds all of 20 seconds to the prep time.

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:18 PM

I would also question the utility of those nutrient tables. Good chance we're comparing apples and orages. What we would really want to see is the nutrient content of the same batch of rice either polished or unpolished. Nutrient content will vary significantly based on variety, region, seasonal growing condition, growing techniques, etc. Still interesting question.

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:13 PM

I would question whether the nutrients are lost to the soaking solution. Do you have any sources for that? Just because the phytates have been degraded doesn't necessarily imply that that the nutrients will immediately leach out. For what it's worth, I've been using fermented brown rice for over a year now, and love it. Cook a bunch at once, then paleo stir frys throughout the week.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Are you going to factor in the ease/time involved when you decide? Seems white makes sense in that regard.

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:20 PM

My approach to Paleohacks has always been one of hacking, optimizing, and tweaking, as the name of the site implies. Paleo on its own doesn't need a site like PaleoHACKS.. just stick to the basic tenants and you are done. However, I am interested in nibbling away at the edges to find how to truly optimize my diet. Rice is not a perfect food, but it is a food. On the occasions that I choose to eat it, I'd like to know how best to prepare it and which type to eat.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:19 PM

being "paleo" has nothing to do with us agreeing on anything.

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3 Answers

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:15 PM

That looks like so much trouble why not just skip rice altogether!

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:20 PM

My approach to Paleohacks has always been one of hacking, optimizing, and tweaking, as the name of the site implies. Paleo on its own doesn't need a site like PaleoHACKS.. just stick to the basic tenants and you are done. However, I am interested in nibbling away at the edges to find how to truly optimize my diet. Rice is not a perfect food, but it is a food. On the occasions that I choose to eat it, I'd like to know how best to prepare it and which type to eat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:20 AM

So now I am curious enough to try fermented rice. Any hints?

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:28 PM

Every time fermented rice comes up, someone mentions that it's too much trouble. This frustrates me to no end. I can assure you that apart from having to plan one day in advance, it adds all of 20 seconds to the prep time.

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:55 PM

Ease of cooking is a factor every time we cook a meal. Do we all make exquisite foods for every meal? No, of course not, but we do occasionally when it suits us. For rice, I the fermentation process described at Stephan's blog is easy enough, but I question if its even necessary. Maybe we just eat the white rice cooked normally and be done with it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Are you going to factor in the ease/time involved when you decide? Seems white makes sense in that regard.

0
Medium avatar

on February 26, 2013
at 02:50 PM

A significant fact that is left alone is that, fermenting increases many figures. For instance when fermenting vegetables the C-vitamin level goes up a lot.

Another significant fact is that you are only measuring macro nutrition. There are also other nutrition called phytochemicals that most likely have positive (or negative) influence on the body. But that is rarely discussed.

-1
D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:25 PM

Good answer, Anna +1 - what business has rice being included in paleo diet?

If you MUST eat grains (because you're vegan?) then, sure, better to have "PPG" (properly prepared grains). Your interests are better served by the Weston Price Foundation in this case!

Anyone need a common definition of paleo that we all can agree on? I thought minimum was no grains, no legumes, no dairies, and no processed foods.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:19 PM

being "paleo" has nothing to do with us agreeing on anything.

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Happy to hear what you think paleo means? Maybe "agreement" is a bit strong - but there has to be a common basis for even using the term paleo on this site. Meaningless otherwise - so you don't get away with a flippant comment. (Mine was not, nor intended to be offensive)

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:26 PM

I don't think agreeing on a baseline is important. The purpose of this site is to allow people to explore diet and nutrition. The idea of Paleo is elusive at best, and as far as I'm concerned, it's just a convenient label.

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on February 06, 2012
at 10:20 AM

Suggest you check out the FAQ - nuff said!

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