One of the biggest misconceptions about food is brown vs white rice…..I’m here to set the record straight and throw in a new player to the game - black (forbidden) rice. Forbidden rice gets it’s name from the Chinese emperor who knew all of the unique nutritious value the rice had so he forbid any of the commoners from eating the rice. He wanted it all for himself!
What’s so great about it? In addition to the vitamins and minerals found in white & brown rice, black rice has anthocyanins which are a rich antioxidant that give it its black color. This antioxidants help in preventing inflammation, cholesterol, high blood sugar, skin and immune health as well as free radical oxidation which most athletes have!
Looking at the macronutrients all 3 types of rice are pretty similar but the bigger picture is the micronutrient value and how these rices affect your digestion and blood sugar after eating them. Athletes who want to cause an insulin response post workout should aim to eat white rice in their post workout meals and for “day of” competitions due to the low fiber, high carb content. I also recommend white rice to people who have sensitive stomaches, are on elimination, FODMAP or other special low fiber diets while healing their gut.
Brown rice has the husk on the rice which preserves the natural nutrients, unlike white rice which is enriched with the nutrients lost from the processing of the rice. A bit more fiber which can stabilize blood sugar a bit better than white rice but no major differences between these two grains. Brown rice has a nicer texture than white rice and can be used for heartier meals
Black rice has a nutty taste and harder texture which makes it a good, filling compliment to most meals with meats and veggies.
Don’t forget rice is naturally gluten-free so it’s a great carbohydrate source for anybody with autoimmune diseases, celiac and IBS.
The bottomline is that yes, calories and macros matter but the we always want to look at the nutrient value of food. Functional food for functional medicine nutrition. That’s what sets myself apart from regular sports nutritionists and dietitians.