Why is white rice better than brown

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 21, 2013 at 2:21 AM

The reasons everyone uses are phytic acid and lectins but that doesn't stop us from eating coconut, any nut or seed, leafy greens or basically any plant food. Brown rice pretty much blows away white rice in terms of nutritional content(emphasis on the word content, not absorbtion) so how much of a difference do the phytates a make, and what about sprouted brown rice, because I have an entire bag of that sitting in my cupboards.


on August 21, 2013
at 02:55 AM

I would probably just eat it, but not all at once.

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3 Answers



on August 21, 2013
at 10:33 AM

Simple. It's a grain. Like wheat, rye, corn, and other grains, brown rice has some funky, harmful stuff in it. It's not as harmful as the gluten and gliadins in modern dwarf wheat, but it can cause problems. Phytates aren't the only issue. As with all grains, they have gluten like compounds that have different effects than wheat gluten. While brown rice's version of gluten isn't as bad as wheat, it can still cause problems...

Luckily, most of the bad stuff is in the outer portion which gets polished off when it becomes white rice. So white rice lacks all of the problematic components. Similarly, whole wheat is more harmful than wheat whose bran has been stripped off, but unlike rice, wheat contains plenty of gluten inside it.

I'm sure you believe that there are wonderful nutrients in that brown rice, but you can get them elsewhere without the attached harmful baggage.



on August 21, 2013
at 12:23 PM

Pretty much all foods (both plant and animal) have lectins to some degree. The key is the type and concentration of lectins. The term lectin is a broad category and the actual lectin differs from food to food.

Mat Lalonde discussed Lectins on Chris Kresser's podcast: "There are some lectins that are not deactivated by heat that do survive digestion, make their way into the bloodstream, and are likely very allergenic, and one of those is peanut lectin. And that research has been done. If you have people eat raw or roasted peanuts and you look at the level of lectin that goes into their blood within one hour of consuming those peanuts, you see the lectin levels rise. So there are some that are dangerous, but you should not assume that an entire class of chemicals is???that all of them are dangerous if they haven???t been individually tested. "


In that link, Mat also discusses phytates. Phytates don't steal nutrients from you, but they prevent you from absorbing all the nutrients that you consume with them. So, to the extent you can minimize them, it is probably a good thing as it will increase the bioavailability of nutrients in your diet, but they are not toxic.



on August 21, 2013
at 12:43 PM

It's interesting, Elliott Hulse recommends Brown rice instead of white if you want to put on mass. He's kinda paleo now, I think, so still says no gluten grains, but he says for some reason, brown rice and protein helps people build mass and he can't explain it. I'm guessing it's the starch--> insulin response that signals muscles to grow. Similarly, The Bulletproof Exec has brown rice right next to white on the spectrum of grains (closest to 'Eat' but still not in the green area). So I'd just go with personal preference. I enjoy the nutty taste of brown rice, but I'm using white sticky short grain rice with Carb Nite as an experiment which is one of the higher GI carbs.

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