New Users Registration  |  Useful Links  |  FAQ  |  Site Map 
Go Search


Skip Navigation LinksHealth Xchange > Healthy Living > Diet and Nutrition > The Best Rice for Your Health
  Diet and Nutrition  

The Best Rice for Your Health


Rice, without question, is the staple food in Asia.

In fact, half the world’s human population depends on this unassuming grain as a primary source of food. The average Asian also eats more than thirty times the amount of rice as the average European.

Did you know that there are 40,000 known varieties of rice? So, which ones are the best for your health?

Long-grain rice has the lowest glycaemic index compared to the shorter grain varieties. This means it gets converted into sugar more slowly, releasing energy steadily into the bloodstream and keeping you full longer. So if you have to eat white rice, go for the long-grain version.

The healthiest option though, is actually brown rice. Brown rice has thrice the amount of fibre, more calcium, phosphorus and vitamin E than white rice. Due to its higher fibre content (which slows the absorption of sugar into the body), brown rice is often recommended for diabetics. The oil in rice bran is also believed to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Whichever type of rice you choose, all contain the eight essential amino acids for building muscle and amounts of B Vitamins, phosphorus, iron and potassium. Rice is also naturally gluten-free, low in sodium and almost fat-free, so go ahead and enjoy this grain in moderation!

Most common grains fall into the following categories:

Short-grain rice

Short-grain rice has a length less than twice the width, and is often associated with Japanese and Korean cuisines. Compared with its longer-grain counterparts, it has a higher percentage of amylopectin. Amylopectin is a starch component that gives short-grain rice its signature sticky texture when cooked.

Brown rice

Brown rice undergoes minimal processing, so it retains the bran and endogerm. The brown rice we usually see is brown long-grain rice, but there are also shorter-grain versions, which are not as popular. Brown rice has a chewy texture.

Medium-grain rice

With a length of two to three times the width, this type of rice is much less commonly eaten locally. You may have seen the American medium-grain rice on supermarket shelves. Originating from California, it is sold under the name ‘Calrose’.



  Ask the Specialists - Free Doctor Q&A
(Now - 30 Apr)
    Feet Problems
If you have questions related to feet problems, take this opportunity to get valuable advice from a podiatrist -- now!
    Previous Q&As
Check out our archive for all our previous doctor's Q&As!
*Latest Update: Age-related Eye Conditions (Cataract, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy), All About Medication
  Medical Expertise Contributed by:  
  Singapore General Hospital
Tel: (65) 6222 3322
  KK Women's and Children's Hospital
Tel:(65) 6225 5554
  National Cancer Centre Singapore
Tel: (65) 6436 8000
  National Heart Centre Singapore
Tel: (65) 6436 7800
  Singapore National Eye Centre
Tel: (65) 6227 7255
  National Dental Centre Singapore
Tel: (65) 6324 8910
  National Neuroscience Institute
Tel: (65) 6357 7153
SingHealth Polyclinics
Tel: (65) 6236 4800