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Carbs in Rice

Nutritional Information, Glycemic Index, Calories, Protein

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Updated April 09, 2014

brown rice

Brown rice has more nutrients and fiber than white rice.

Photo © Karen Struthers
Rice is an important part of the diet of most of the world's population. Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, in which the bran and germ have been removed, though most white rice is enriched with (at least) niacin, thiamin, and iron (in the U.S. this is required). Note: It is more accurate to say that the extra vitamins are on the rice rather than in the rice -- rinsing the rice before cooking can remove a lot of these added nutrients.

The amount that rice will raise blood sugar is partly determined by the amount of amylose in the rice. (There are two kinds of starches in our food; most of it is called amylopectin, and the rest is amylose. Amylose is more slowly/less easily digested.) In general, longer grained rice has more amylose. You can tell by the fact that this rice doesn't clump together as much. At the other end of the spectrum are the sticky ("glutinous") rice used in sushi and the arborio rice used to make creamy risottos. These rices have a very high glycemic index, whereas long-grain rices have a more moderate glycemic index.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Rice

Glycemic Index for Rice

The glycemic index of rice has been studied a lot. The glycemic index range is from 50 to 90. In general, white rice is higher than brown, and shorter-grain are higher than longer-grain, but there is a fair amount of variation. Also, in general, the amylose content is somewhat more important glycemically than whether it is white or brown.

More Information About the Glycemic Index

Glycemic Load of Rice

  • ½ cup cooked white rice: 17
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice: 13

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Rice

Rice is an excellent source of manganese and a very good source of magnesium. Brown rice and enriched rice are fair sources of thiamin, niacin, and Vitamin B6.

More Information About Rice at Calorie Count.

More Carb Profiles:

Sources:

Brand Miller, Janette, et al. "Rice: a High or Low Glycemic Index Food?" The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 56, 1992, pp. 1034-1036.

Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21

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