Surprise! White Rice May Be Better for You Than Brown Rice

White rice has been demonized for years, while brown rice has been put on a pedestal. What may be surprising to learn is that brown rice isn’t as healthy as you think. Brown rice is high in harsh, irritating insoluble fiber that takes a toll on your gut. Two more reasons you may want to forego brown rice: phytic acid and arsenic. Brown rice contains phytic acid, which is known as an anti-nutrient because it actually blocks your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients, like iron, zinc, and calcium. Eating large amounts of it can ultimately lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Brown rice is also higher in arsenic, which is a toxic heavy metal that, when consumed over time, could increase your risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, white rice contains soluble fiber, which absorbs water to soften your stools in the digestive tract, making them easier to pass. It also ferments in the digestive tract to help promote a good balance of bacteria in the gut. As the wisdom of ancient eating traditions in India and China have long pointed out, white rice is a hearty, filling starch that’s easy to cultivate, prepare — and to digest. So before you forego the white rice and choose brown rice, consider all the factors. White rice may be the more healthful addition to your plate after all.