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White Rice vs Brown Rice vs Quinoa Nutrition Facts

What is healthier: white rice vs brown rice vs quinoa

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering a viewer question about, based on the nutrition facts, which is healthier: white rice vs brown rice vs quinoa.

Yes, welcome to another episode of Food Wars, where I’m comparing which is more nutritious to eat: quinoa or rice?

Alright, let’s get into this.

First of all, there are many different types of rice.

White is out, brown is in.

For most people, this also applies to white rice.

I know this may shock some people.

Especially since white rice only has one ingredient.

However, let’s compare the calories and macronutrient breakdown of white rice vs brown rice, as well as the different processing steps.

Calories: white rice vs brown rice

  • White rice calories per 100g: 130 calories
  • Brown rice calories per 100g: 112 calories

Carbohydrates: white rice vs brown rice

  • White rice carbohydrates per 100g: 29g of carbohydrates
  • Brown rice carbohydrates per 100g: 24g of carbohydrates

Protein: white rice vs brown rice

  • White rice protein per 100g: 2g of protein
  • Brown rice protein per 100g: 2g of protein

Fat: white rice vs brown rice

  • White rice fat per 100g: 0g of fat
  • Brown rice fat per 100g: 1g of fat

Based on calories and the macronutrients, it’s clear brown rice is a healthier option.

But it’s important to dig a little bit deeper.

This includes looking at the refining process of rice, and comparing the micronutrients.

White Rice vs Brown Rice vs Quinoa Nutrition Facts

Is rice healthy? White rice vs brown rice

Let me simplify the refining process.

Various types of rice go through several refining steps before it is packaged and sold to you in a grocery store.

  • #1 Step: Remove the outermost layer of the grain, the husk.
  • #2 Step: Remove the bran.
  • #3 Step: Remove the germ.

Brown rice goes through processing step #1, then stops.

During the refining process, the outer layer of the brown rice, known as the husk, is removed.

By removing the husk, you’re then left with a type of rice, known as brown rice, that you would find at the grocery store.

This means brown rice retains the bran and the germ.

White rice goes through all 3 processing steps

To make white rice, food manufacturers continue the refining process by removing the husk, then also removing the next two layers called the bran and the germ.

Unfortunately the bran and the germ is where a lot of the nutritional content of rice, including the vitamins and minerals, are found.

When all 3 layers are removed from the white rice, a lot of the nutrition goes with it.

Even if the package says “enriched” white rice, be aware that these are synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals.

Unfortunately your body doesn’t absorb synthetic versions as well as vitamins and minerals that are naturally occurring in the food.

If you’re eating rice, stick with brown rice.

White is out, brown is in.

In addition to white rice, this also applies to other refined carbohydrates, such as white pasta and white bread.

Ok let’s take this white rice vs brown rice vs quinoa comparison to the next level.

Lets go head to head and compare brown rice vs quinoa.

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What’s healthier: brown rice vs quinoa nutrition facts

Quinoa has made quite an impression on the health food scene over the last few years.

I’m sure a lot of you have already heard of it, but to some people, quinoa is the new kid on the block.

In fact, a lot of people still don’t know how to pronounce quinoa.

Quinoa is pronounced: keen-wah.

Although both quinoa and brown rice are considered complex carbohydrates, the macronutrient and micronutrient breakdowns are quite a bit different.

Calories: brown rice vs quinoa

Let’s compare the calories of brown rice vs quinoa.

Based on an equal uncooked serving size of 1/4 cup (50g), both brown rice and quinoa have the same calories.

  • Quinoa calories per serving: 180 calories
  • Brown rice calories per serving: 180 calories

Carbohydrates: brown rice vs quinoa

What about carbohydrates?

Based on the same serving size, brown rice has more carbohydrates than quinoa.

Another interesting point is that even though quinoa has less carbohydrates than brown rice, quinoa has more fiber.

  • Quinoa carbohydrates per serving: 32g of carbohydrates (6g of fiber)
  • Brown rice carbohydrates per serving: 36g of carbohydrates (2g of fiber)

Protein: brown rice vs quinoa

Next, lets compare the amount of protein.

The most important aspect of this comparison is that quinoa has a complete amino acid profile.

This means quinoa contains all the required essential amino acids, in sufficient amounts, to build lean muscle tissue.

Brown rice does not contain the same muscle building amino acid profile as quinoa.

  • Quinoa protein per serving: 10g of protein
  • Brown rice protein per serving: 4g of protein

So once again, another win for quinoa.

Fat: brown rice vs quinoa

  • Quinoa fat per serving: 3g of fat
  • Brown rice fat per serving: 1.5g of fat

No real issue here.

Micronutrients: brown rice vs quinoa

Let’s keep going down line and compare the micronutrients.

For most vitamins and minerals, quinoa contains a higher amount than brown rice.

These include:

  • iron
  • magnesium
  • folate
  • phosphorous
  • zinc

Recap: quinoa vs brown rice nutrition fact:

Quinoa is the winner.

This is based on the facts that quinoa is:

  • a full complete protein
  • higher in fiber
  • higher in most vitamins and minerals

Hopefully this answered your question about which is healthier: brown rice vs quinoa.

Quinoa cooking tip:

When you’re cooking quinoa, make sure you rinse it under water, in a fine strainer first.

This will help remove the bitter saponin coating from the outer hull of the quinoa.

Thanks to the viewer who asked this question on which is healthier: white rice vs brown rice vs quinoa.

I have an ongoing long list of all your questions, and I’m trying to get to as many of them as I can.

So don’t forget to subscribe to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel and leave a comment below if you
have any questions that you want me to do a post on.

If you enjoyed this episode of Food Wars, click the social media buttons to share this with your friends.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick, fat burning 4 minute Tabata workout for you.

Get ready to get sweaty.

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10 responses to “White Rice vs Brown Rice vs Quinoa Nutrition Facts

  1. We’ve just found quinoa a few months ago and have been using ever since instead of couscous. Can’t wait to see some recipes from you with quinoa.

    On another note, what exercise would you recommend to help with pull ups? I can only get 3 or 4 in and that it. Any ideas?

    1. Two things:

      1. go horizontal style and build your way up. go to a smith machine and place a barbell on a low rung. go underneath the bar and hang with your body almost parallel to the floor … pull up. This is called the horizontal pull up or inverted row

      2. focus on a slow negative of the pull up (this is the lowering phase) then jump up and slowly lower yourself down again.

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