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Rice vs Wheat – Which is Healthier?
On one hand, Diabetes, Obesity & Cardio Vascular diseases are becoming a major health threat globally, And on the other, We have Wheat and Rice as the major staple food all across the globe – The major sources of Carbohydrates – Whose overload cause those diseases in the first place. So, it’s no wonder we’re facing this question to choose the healthier ones. But in order to choose between them, we must first know about them.
What are all a grain has…?
So Basically, A Grain, A Whole Grain – Has 3 Parts.
- Bran – Fibrous Outermost Layer;
- Germ – The Seed of the grain with High Nutritional Content;
- Endosperm – Made entirely by Carbohydrates and forms the body of a grain.
Usually, when grains are refined, Bran and the germs are removed and only the Endosperm of the grains is what we get to consume. While both Wheat and Rice grains have Bran, Germ, and Endosperm; Paddy additionally has a Hull within which the rice grain sits. Now that we know about them, let the fight begins.
Round 1: Refined White Rice vs Refined White Flour
Refined White Rice contains only the Endosperm (Pure Carb) part of the Paddy grain. And likewise, Refined White flour is just powdered endosperm of the Wheat grain. Both White Rice and White Flour have a very high Glycemic Index (GI) of 77, which makes them both very unhealthy. Since both White Rice and White Flour have only carbs, they are enriched with synthetic nutrients of Iron, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and Folic Acid.
One of the major problems consuming them is that they’ll spike up your Blood Sugar level which is Very Bad for You. Also, there are chances for a neurological disease called Beri Beri – A Vitamin B1 deficiency syndrome. And you’ll also deplete Vitamin B2, B3 and more. Other than that, Your Pulse Rate may increase, Also Swelling and Memory problems may occur. So Clearly, They aren’t healthy.
Round 2: Brown Rice vs Whole Wheat
Here both Brown Rice and Whole Wheat (or Whole Wheat flour) have the Bran, Germ, and Endosperm parts of their respective grains. But Brown rice will be separated from its husk. Now comparing with their respective refined versions, Both Brown Rice and Whole Wheat have better nutrients. This is because, for any given grain, their bran and germ contain almost 95% of all their nutritional contents.
Brown Rice is healthier than Whole Wheat for an important reason that, The GI of Brown Rice (68) is lower than that of Whole Wheat (72). And then if you’re consuming Whole Wheat flour, you must be aware that a Combination of 51% Whole Wheat Flour + 49% of White Flour can still be sold as Whole Wheat Flour, Which will further increase its Glycemic Index.
Wild Rice vs .?
Well, In comparison with Wild Rice, No other variant of Wheat or Rice stand a chance. Wild Rice contains all the Hull, Bran, Germ and Endosperm parts. This makes it more fibrous, healthier and accounts for its low Glycemic Index of just 52.
Is there anything else…?
Yes. Except White Rice and White Flour, Wheat and Rice have a Powerful Anti-Oxidant called Phytic Acid. Phytic Acid blocks the absorption of certain nutrients, but it also has the ability to fight against Cancer. Wheat has more Calcium, Vitamin B3 and, Zinc than Rice (Of course, Except Wild Rice).
But Rice has more Folic Acid than Wheat. While Rice doesn’t have Gluten, Wheat does. And our bodies have some issues with digesting it. Due to the usage of Pesticides, Traces of Arsenic and Glyphosate can be found in Rice and Wheat respectively.
For Thousands of Years, Our Ancestors used Wheat and Rice grains to ensure their Health and Food Security. But in recent decades, By Consuming Refined grains we are losing what our ancestors had cherished. Let us remind ourselves that What We Eat determine Our Health, And Health is the Best Wealth one can acquire.
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