Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein. This is not surprising, since brown and white rice both start out as the same raw rice. The difference is purely in the degree of processing done. If the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, the result is brown rice. If the husk and the bran layer underneath are removed, the result is white rice.
Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as B1, B3, and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it "enriched", as food suppliers in the US are required to do by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
One mineral that is not added back into white rice is magnesium. Other key sources of nutrition lost are fatty acids and fiber. When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed. A recent study has shown that rice bran oil may help lower LDL cholesterol.
We can see the difference between nutrition facts of 100g of cooked long-grain brown rice and 100g of cooked long-grain white rice in the following chart:
Calories: Brown = 111, White = 130
Glycemic Index: Brown = 55, White = 70
Glycemic Load: Brown = 12, White = 18
Amino Acid Score: Brown = 75, white = 71
Protein: Brown = 2.6g, White = 2.7g
Carbohydrate: Brown = 23.0g, White = 28.2g
Total Fat: Brown = 0.9g, White = 0.3g
Saturated Fat: Brown = 0.2g, White = 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat: Brown = 0.3g, White = 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat: Brown = 0.3g, White = 0.1g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Brown = 14.0mg, White = 13.0 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Brown = 309mg, White = 62.0mg
Dietary Fiber: Brown = 1.8g, White = 0.4g
Thiamin (B1): Brown = 0.1mg, White = 0.2mg
Riboflavin (B2): Brown = 0.0mg, White = 0.0mg
Niacin (B3): Brown = 1.5mg, White = 1.5mg
Vitamin B6: Brown = 0.1mg, White = 0.1mg
Folate: Brown = 4.0mcg, White = 58.0mcg
Vitamin E: Brown = 0.0mg, White = 0.0mg
Magnesium: Brown = 43.0mg, White = 12.0mg
Phosphorus: Brown = 83.0mg, White = 43.0mg
Potassium: Brown = 43.0mg, White = 35.0mg
Selenium: Brown = 9.8mcg, White = 7.5mcg
Zinc: Brown = 0.6mg, White = 0.5mg
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