RSSWhat happens when you eat brown rice vs. white?

Posted on Thu, 28 Nov 13

What happens when you eat brown rice vs. white?

Compared to white rice a single meal of brown rice can improve your blood sugar within an hour, and after a few weeks help you lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health.

To see if there is a marked difference between white rice and brown rice on blood glucose metabolism, body weight, body fat and cardiovascular health a group of Japanese researchers conducted two experiments.

In study 1 people ate a meal of either white or brown rice and had their blood glucose and insulin measured 60 minutes later, as well as the relaxation of blood vessels (vasodilation) in their cardiovascular system.

Eating brown rice, which contains more nutrients and fiber, resulted in lower increased in blood glucose and insulin compared to white rice, which has had the nutrients and fiber removed.  The brown rice also protected against a decrease in vasodilation that occurred in those who ate white rice.

In study 2 people ate either white or brown rice for 8-weeks and had a more comprehensive examination of cardiovascular risk markers and body weight.

Sure enough, eating brown rice resulted in a significant decrease in body weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. And people eating brown rice also had improvements in other important heart disease risk factors including insulin sensitivity, blood cholesterol and endothelial function.

So next time you have a choice between brown or white rice remember that whatever your choice, the health effects are powerful and start after a single meal.


Shimabukuro M, Higa M, Kinjo R, et al. Effects of the brown rice diet on visceral obesity  and endothelial function: the BRAVO study. Br J Nutr. 2013 Aug 12:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]

Tags: Rice, Brown Rice, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity

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