Brown rice or white rice? I know, of all the highly intelligent conversations we could have had, we discussed rice. Honestly, I had not thought about it. I have always heard that brown rice is more healthy. I like the texture of brown rice. So, I eat brown rice. My brothers disagree saying that it does not matter and they like the taste of white rice better. I am a bit of a nerd though, so I spent some time researching the subject. What I found is partially inconclusive- darn it!
I read all about rice, the different types of grains, where it comes from, who eats the most (obviously, Asia) and what part of our diet includes rice. One source (http://www.springerlink.com/content/k2101h4656547745/fulltext.pdf) mentioned that while brown rice may have a higher nutrition content than white rice, the white rice may actually be healthier for you. The reason given for this is that when you eat white rice your body is able to absorb more of the nutrition than it does from brown rice. While I did not spend ALL night reading about rice, that is the only academic source I read suggesting this. I did read several other sources and discovered some interesting facts.
In the article “White Rice, Brown Rice, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetesin US Men and Women” (http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/170/11/961) they talk about a study they did measuring the incidence of diabetes in men and women that primarily consume brown rice or white rice. They found that an intake of brown rice (as opposed to white rice) was associated with a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.
I found a few articles discussing a decrease in the incidence of cancer as associated with brown rice. One mentiosn that Asia largely has a lower rate of certain cancer types than western areas such as the United States (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/9/11/1163.short). This article along with “Protective Effect of Colored Rice over White Rice on Fenton Reaction-based Renal Lipid Peroxidation in Rats” suggest that there is some type of chemical in brown rice that lowers the risk of certain cancers (http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10715760290025960).
I am sure that I could spend the next week reading all about rice (I think I would rather read about chocolate!). Despite the claim that white rice might be more healthy due to absorption, I think I will stick with brown rice. It definitely appears to have some good long term health benefits, but bottome line- I like the taste.
Note: I am not paid by any rice or scientific companies to say any of this.