Whether rice is healthy or not has been debated over many years. Still, it comes in many varieties and is part of many cultures and cuisines.
Rice is often served with dinner as a side dish, providing you with carbohydrates. Another high-carb food that people commonly eat around the world is bread.
Some even replace bread with rice as their source of carbs. But is that a good idea? Is rice better than bread?
Is rice better than bread?
Rice and bread are both nutritionally different and eaten in different forms. So, it’s hard to decide which is better for you as it all depends on your nutritional goals.
What’s more, regardless of whether you choose bread or rice as your main source of carbs, choose whole-grain bread and brown rice as these are the healthiest choices.
They’re both much higher in nutrients, such as fiber, minerals, and several vitamins. As a result, they can positively contribute to your health.
Is bread worse for you than rice?
To compare bread and rice, it’s important to take a look at their nutritional profiles. Firstly, a single slice of bread is much lower in calories than a single serving of rice.
So, if your goal is to lose some weight, rice might not be a good choice, at least not in large quantities.
Still, remember to choose whole-grain or whole-wheat bread instead of white bread when trying to lose weight.
While bread is lower in calories, it also doesn’t contain many essential minerals that rice does.
Nutrients like thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus are abundant in rice, especially the brown kind. All of these contribute to good health and help prevent many severe health conditions from developing.
On the other hand, white bread contains very few nutrients, while multi-grain bread provides some minerals but not in the quantities found in rice.
So, if you’re looking for a food to up your intake of micronutrients, it might be best to choose rice.
When deciding which food is better for you, it’s also beneficial to look at the fiber content. A single serving of rice can provide you with as much as 3.5 g of fiber, while a slice of bread can have up to 1.9 g if it’s whole grain.
Because of that, rice might be much healthier for you. To get as much fiber from rice as possible, make sure to choose brown rice as it’s the healthiest kind.
This is because white rice is stripped off of most nutrients, which decreases the number of nutrients it contains. So, try sticking with brown rice.
Bread, both whole grain and white, is also much higher in sodium than any type of rice available on the market.
While it’s an important mineral for your health, a diet high in dietary sodium is bad for you.
Too much of this mineral raises your blood pressure, which increases your risk of strokes and other issues.
So, make sure to limit how much high-sodium foods you consume. Also, if you have to carefully control your sodium intake, it might be best to use rice instead of bread as your source of carbohydrates.
Is rice good for you?
When determining whether rice is good for you, it’s best to look at brown rice as it’s more nutritious.
For example, one serving (one cup) of brown rice provides you with all the manganese you need per day, whereas the same serving of white rice has only 6% of your daily recommended need.
Manganese is a mineral important for forming connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones.
It also helps maintain normal brain and nerve function, so it’s important to get enough of it from your diet.
Brown rice is also a great source of several B vitamins, including thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6.
Thiamin helps your body turn carbohydrates into energy, niacin is incredibly important for the health of the baby during pregnancy, and vitamin B6 may help improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression.
As you can see, these vitamins are crucial to good health. So, loading up on them from healthy foods and whole grains like brown rice is a very good idea.
Eating brown rice has also been linked to lower blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, so it’s important to prevent that. The fiber and magnesium found in brown rice help control your blood sugar levels.
It makes this food a great choice for people who have to watch their intake of foods with a high glycemic index.
On the other hand, consuming a lot of white rice has been shown to increase the risk of diabetes. So, while eating white rice every once in a while is good for you, try limiting your intake of this type of grain.
What type of rice is the best for you?
While white rice is most commonly eaten around the world, brown rice is the healthier choice. Brown rice is a whole grain that contains bran and germ.
These grains provide you with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are important for your health.
On the other hand, white rice is a refined grain, which means that it has been stripped off of many nutrients and grains.
While this process makes rice easier for cooking, it also means you’re getting more empty calories. As a result, if you want to add healthy foods to your diet, you should choose brown rice.
Both rice and bread come with some health benefits. Because of that, it’s hard to determine which is better for you, especially since everybody has different dietary requirements.
So, if your goal is to shed some pounds, bread might be the best choice for you. But if you’re looking to up your intake of minerals, rice is the better option.
At the end of the day, it all depends on what your body needs.
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.