The Rice Riddle

by Anna Smith, MS, RDN, LDN

Last Updated: May 5, 2021

Maybe you have heard to ditch the white rice and switch to brown rice...any of this sound familiar? Probably so! This food swap is a popular one. While most people are on board to switch, many do not know the reason why. Spoiler alert: it is, in fact, a better-for-you carbohydrate choice!

Rice is a carbohydrate-rich grain available in many varieties beyond just brown and white. What makes brown rice a healthier choice compared to white rice is the whole grain content. White rice is milled rice, which removes beneficial layers of the grain, including removing the bran and the germ. This changes the texture and alters the nutrition content, resulting in zero grams of fiber. Brown rice is unprocessed, keeping all three valuable layers intact - the bran, germ, and endosperm - providing B-vitamins, Vitamin E, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. In addition, it contains fiber which helps lower cholesterol, keeps the digestive tract moving, and helps maintain better energy levels and balances blood sugar.

If it contains more fiber, does this mean brown rice is lower in carbohydrates? This answer might surprise you. More fiber does not mean fewer carbohydrates. Almost all rice contains roughly the same carbohydrate content. Fiber is the main difference when choosing a whole grain rice option. While the carbohydrate content remains similar, it is still advantageous to select whole grain rice due to its positive impact on health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend selecting whole grain options for at least half of our daily grain choices.

Brown rice, or other whole grain rice varieties such as wild rice, are the perfect item to include in your weekly meal prep because of their versatility. It can be consumed as a simple side, stuffed into a bell pepper, tossed into a salad, or even rolled into sushi. In addition, many flavor profiles work well with rice, including lemon, turmeric, black pepper, garlic herb, and even tomato.

By searching for Whole Grain Rice, there are more than 50 different products to choose from. Below are some options to try out during your next pick-up order or shopping trip!
For specific product questions or additional help in identifying other delicious, whole grain choices, consider signing up with a Kroger Health Registered Dietitian for a telenutrition appointment. We can assist you in improving your health even further through whole grain choice, how to enjoy them, and much more.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Anna Smith, MS, RDN, LDN

Anna Smith, MS, RDN, LDN

Anna is a positive, motivating dietitian who is ready to help make healthy happen in your life. Whether you have a medical condition or hoping to get back to your goal weight, Anna is eager to connect you with tasty recipes, budget-friendly food products, and time-saving hacks to ensure that your goals will be achieved. Outside of work, Anna enjoys barre/pilates, sushi, and online shopping!