Rice is frequently consumed in combination with other foods, such as vegetables, beans, and meat. It is a low cost food, so it allows you to stretch your food budget.
There are many varieties of rice, many of which you are probably not familiar with, such as Arborio, black, red, jasmine, basmati, and then the more common wild, brown, and white.
All rice provides a variety of nutrients, including carbohydrates and protein. Plus, rice is gluten free. A one cup serving of wild rice even contains 156 mg of omega 3 fatty acids to help promote heart health and lower cholesterol.
The two most common include white rice and brow rice, so let’s by compare these two options.
White Rice vs. Brown Rice
White rice is a refined grain and comes in short and long grain varieties. Short grain tends to be soft and sticky, making it commonly used for dishes like paella and risotto. Long grain rice cooks with the rice grains separated due to its lower level of starch. This makes it frequently used in pilafs and dishes with sauce.
Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning it contains the germ and bran parts of the grain. This means it is naturally higher in nutrients because "parts" have not been removed. Compared to white rice, brown rice provides more magnesium, other minerals, and fiber. One cup of white long grain rice contains only one gram of fiber. A one cup serving of brown rice provides four grams of fiber. Your daily goal is to consume 25-35 grams of fiber. A diet high in fiber promotes a lower cholesterol and heart health. Brown rice is much heartier than white rice, so it does take longer to cook.
Just because brown rice is more nutrient dense that white rice, doesn’t mean white rice cannot be a part of a heart healthy diet. The fortification of white rice in the U.S. does add back in valuable nutrients which are needed for overall health.
For guidance on how to promote lower cholesterol levels, sign up for the free e-course "How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps" at https://lowercholesterolwithlisa.com.
Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides clients step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so they can live life and enjoy their family for years to come. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques. She can be found on Twitter @lisanelsonrd and Facebook at hearthealthmadeeasy.