Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on rice, and antioxidants. Also, there are 1,449 other subjectscovered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: The Best Foods: test your nutrition knowledge.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on rice, and antioxidants. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    • Lou

      Hi!

      Thanks for a very informative site! Do you know if red jasmine rice has a lower glycemic index than brown rice?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.zdrojewski Mary Zdrojewski

    After watching this I tried to buy red rice online, but I found all different kinds. Is this red rice the one called Himalayan?

  • Chelsea

    Mary Zdrojewski: There are many varieties of red rice. The red pigment comes from antioxidants, so no matter which variety you choose, you will be receiving beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals. To learn more about antioxidant-containing foods, see the following videos: http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/antioxidant-content-of-3139-foods/ and http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/carrots-vs-baby-carrots-2/

  • http://www.facebook.com/adamcapriola Adam Capriola

    Why is white rice the worst? Just because it has less nutrients? What about the lack of insoluble fiber – is that a positive or negative?

    • Toxins

      Hello again Adam!

      View this video http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/great-grain-robbery/ as well as read the comments and you will be enlightened further on the harms of white rice!

      • http://www.facebook.com/adamcapriola Adam Capriola

        Thanks for the link, but I’m not following. It talks about how refining flour makes it lose nutrients, but doesn’t specifically talk about rice (though yes, I assume it loses nutrients too).

        The part about the plaque building up, it still says you need to go on a plant based diet to actually stop or reverse the disease. Are there any studies on vegans eating white rice? From what I’ve read, I just don’t really see anything proving that white rice is bad.

        This site even seems to suggest brown rice has more arsenic in it, which is not desirable. And other things I’ve read say that brown rice absorbs more water from your body, so it fills you up quicker. Does that basically mean it dehydrates you?

        I’m just trying to learn more, so please enlighten me. :)

        • Toxins

          These are all good questions,

          The “Great Grain Robbery” can be applied to white rice as well because it is in fact the bran that holds the great majority of the nutrients. Similarly to eating an oil, which is all fat and little to no nutrients. White rice is all carb, and an insignificant amount of nutrients. To eat empty calories is never beneficial.

          We should strive to eat as close to the whole plant food as possible for optimum health. This is what is meant whenever you see or hear the words “plant based” said by Dr. Greger. Check out this link Dr. Greger mentions in the comments “[White rice] actually resulted in millions of deaths from a vitamin deficiency called beri-beri, Louise. A very dark time in nutrition history.” Here is the medical review link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2889456/pdf/medhis5403-02-295.pdf

          Whenever you eat brown rice, similarly to whole wheat pasta, it already contains water in it since it was boiled. Therefore, to absorb even more water within your body doesn’t make a lot of sense. What is meant by the statement you quoted is that you are taking into account water weight when you eat brown rice so you will get full quicker because it takes up more space due to the liquid absorption from boiling. This is a good thing!

          In regards to the arsenic issue, I agree, it makes me uneasy that a healthy food can contain arsenic, so that is up to you to whether or not to eat rice. But if you do, choose US grown, and always brown rice.

          • http://www.facebook.com/adamcapriola Adam Capriola

            Thank you for the detailed response! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

            Ok, so brown rice has more nutrition than white rice… but isn’t it still a “good” carb? I know what you mean by empty calories, but comparing oils and white rice is a stretch in my opinion. Much better to eat 500 calories worth of white rice than oil, right? Not all empty cals are the same. Even 500 calories of white rice compared to processed white bread… the white rice is still way better, correct?

            And does white rice not digest and get assimilated into the body more easily than brown rice, which could be important for athletes who need to fuel up on carbs?

            Looking forward to your responses! :)

          • CarbEater

            I don’t think white rice is bad because as the China Study and McDougall mention, Asian countries thrive on a diet with white rice. Although brown rice may have more nutrients, but I wouldn’t say that white rice is bad.

        • Toxins

          You are correct, oil and rice have different health values but i was just going for the analogy here. I would also agree with you that white rice is better than white bread because more of the whole plant is intact. I will say though, that brown rice will keep you full longer, providing more energy, and will also satiate your vitamin needs better, as you well know. White rice is in fact more easily digested because their is less bran to it but again, this is considered empty calories. I highly encourage you to view the world health organization’s view on white rice vs brown. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=128#healthbenefits

          If you have a choice between the two, choose brown rice. I myself am a sponsored rock climber and brown rice really keeps me full for a long time. I don’t feel sluggish either, its consistent energy.

    • Healthy Guy

      This link will fully answer that question for you.

      http://healthyguy.com/brown_rice.pdf

  • DebRichards

    Is there any danger to NOT washing black or red rice before cooking? It seems like a substantial proportion of the pigment washes away in the wash water.

    • Thea

      DebRichards: Great question and I hope that someone answers it!

      To add to the discussion: I don’t bother washing my rice, and I still see a lot of pigment come out in the method that I use to cook the rice: casserole method in a pressure cooker. When I see that red-tinted water at the bottom of the pan, I wince, thinking that I must be loosing a lot of nutrients. But if so, those nutrients are rising with the steam over the edge of a glass bowl and then falling to the bottom of the pan.

    • DrDons

      I wouldn’t worry so much about the loss of nutrients which in itself would not be dangerous. However washing is a good idea as it can avoid contaminants and food borne illnesses that might have been introduced by harvesting and packaging. Obviously buying organic is better see http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/can-pesticides-be-rinsed-off/ and avoiding animal products substantially reduce pollutants compared to plant based http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/industrial-pollutants-in-vegans/ but organic foods can still be contaminated. So I would continue washing.

  • Vegan for Life

    I just purchased a Zojirushi rice cooker that has a GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) setting to cook brown rice (add two hours at 104 degrees to activate the rice) that claims to increase to 150% of the amount of GABA contained in non-activated brown rice, which it further claims to lower blood pressure and relieve stress.

    It seems to be a pretty lofty claim, but I cannot seem to find any scientific information to support it.

    I wanted to know whether it is worthwhile to cook brown rice on this setting, given the additional cooking time, and use of energy.

  • DrDons

    I won’t weigh in on the issues of GABA except to say I haven’t seen any studies to support their claims and until I see credible evidence I will remain skeptical. You did ask about how to minimize the reactions to folks when you “come out of the closet” as a person following a plant based diet… I prefer to vegan after my biking buddies starting accusing me of being from the planet, Vegan!. The best approach is the one recommended by Doug Lisle PhD. You can order his DVD, The Pleasure Trap, from the John McDougall website. It is very entertaining and contains three talks. The last one, Getting Along Without Going Along, is the best approach I’ve come across. It involves the importance of status within groups. I could try and explain but really couldn’t do it justice. It is practical and effective.

    • Vegan for Life

      Thanks, I will check it out.

  • http://www.emilywebber.com EmilyWebber

    Hi Dr. Greger,
    I just had a question about the red rice. I took a quick look at the studies you cited and was wondering where it says that the red rice is higher in antioxidants? I couldn’t find that study. It looked like they all reference black rice. Am I looking at the wrong stuff? Thanks!
    Emily :)

  • Toxins

    I keep finding Chinese black and red rice, but i know that this should have higher arsenic levels because it was shipped from China. Does this rule apply to black and red rice like i know it does for brown?

  • jht

    I just got back from a dinner with Dr Greger. Someone noted there are many varieties of red rice and asked what kind of red rice to buy? His reply was it didn’t matter and to buy whatever is cheapest. He also confirmed in answer to another question that “Red yeast rice” is different than “Red rice” and is not what he was talking about here.

  • http://twitter.com/garyyuen गरिष्ठ

    btw, Ayurveda’s Caraka Samhita said red rice (raktasali) was best thousands of years ago. :) worth checking out other grains, like barley for “general equilibrium” and job’s tears “nothing more reducing/slimming.”

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For some context, please check out my associated blog post The Best Foods: Test Your Nutrition Knowledge!

  • Keywestmac

    Can you somehow raise the volume on these older topics? People can turn it down, but I’ve everything up and can barely hear this one and some of the other older ones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=666366687 Stephen Lucker Kelly

    What kind of red rice is it? Camargue red rice?

  • Dawn

    My son is asthmatic from a very young age and has problems with his immune system. He ask has allergies to nuts dairy and sesame. Any advice would be appreciated

  • jennifer

    thanks for posting this informative vid; i am surprised that black rice has fewer anti-oxidants, by such a substantial margin

    i do find the red varieties easier to eat, as the black can be quite hard even after cooking, whereas the red fluffs up nicely and has a softer texture and is very versatile as a salad ingredient or to accompany cooked dishes such as stews and curries

    here in europe there are some great varieties of red rice grown in italy and france and while i was in auroville, an intentional community in india, they produce their own lovely red rice, organically grown

    the next part of the conversation i am interested in is rice vs quinoa – which also has red and black varieties

    blessings of good health

    • Healthy Guy

      If you add black rice to soup, it does a better job at softening and becomes nice and fluffy.

  • lovestobevegan

    Enjoy both the healthiest lentil (nutritionfacts.org/video/the-healthiest-lentil/) and healthiest rice with my version of sloppy joes.

    Tidy Joes

    -1 cup red rice
    -2 cups uncooked red lentils
    -5 cups water/homemade vegetable broth
    -1 large red onion, diced
    -5 cloves garlic, minced
    -Jar organic salsa
    -2 tbsp chili powder
    -2 tsp oregano
    -2 tsp marjoram
    -2 tsp basil
    -1 tsp cilantro
    -¼ tsp white pepper
    -Pinch cayenne pepper
    -Pinch Ceylon cinnamon
    -Black pepper to taste
    -1 organic* red bell pepper, diced

    Cook rice in 2 cups water for 40-45 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, in a large pot with a splash of water, sauté onion until translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add remaining 3 cups of water, lentils, garlic, spices, and salsa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for about 10 minutes to allow flavours to meld. Serve over red rice and top with raw (bell
    peppers lose up to 75% of their antioxidants when cooked nutritionfacts.org/video/best-cooking-method/) bell pepper.

    *Sweet bell peppers rank number three in the “dirty dozen: 12 foods to eat organic” so try to purchase organic (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/).

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

  • delinger

    It’s great to know that red rice is super with antioxidant. What about other minerals like zinc, iron, manganese, Vitamins, Carbs, sugar, protein, fat and fiber contents amongst the 3 type of rice?

  • Tarver

    How about “instant” brown rice, such as http://www.minuterice.ca/prod_brown.htm? Is this really a fast and convenient whole food, or is there a catch? http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/expert.q.a/06/25/brown.rice.jampolis/

  • Will

    Is distilled water safe? I have a water distiller and i want to know the safest way to get electrolytes. You should do a video on the healthiest water because there is so much conflicting information out there. Thanks a bunch love your videos!!!! Will Read

    • Healthy Guy

      I’ve been drinking distilled water, the purest water in the world, for over 40 years. I’ve been told all kinds of horrendous horror stories of how damaging it would be to my body including my nails wrinkling and other horrible things. It turns out it is all lies. Dr. Paul Bragg, the Father of Health in America, got it right like so many other things.

  • marlin

    What about quinoa vs black rice??

  • Hila

    What about the arsen in rice? Is it found in all these kinds?

  • arkay

    Hello Doc,

    Thanks for all your wonderfully informative (& often entertaining) video”s.

    Question regarding the “Red rice”… what kind is it? Found some at a Indian grocery store… are there different kinds? You said you switched to red rice…where do you get yours?

    Cheers,
    RK

    • Thea

      RK: Thought I would share my experience with red rice: I can get it really cheap at our local Asian store. But I can’t get it organic there. I can also get it at our “health food”? grocery store, Market of Choice. But at Market of Choice, it is very expensive. On the plus side, it is organic and one brand is even fair trade.

      As for different kinds: I’ve used both long and short grain red rice. The short grain red rice is like typical brown rice in texture, where “typical” is what I grew up with anyway. The long grain red rice is like brown basmatti rice – at least I think so. The point is that there are different varieties and textures.

      Hope that helps.

      • RK

        Thanks for the info!
        I understand that it is recommended to get organic for fruits and veggies because of pesticides and gmo… but is that recommended for rice too?

  • RK

    Hello Doc,

    Have a question on cooking methods of rice versus it’s nutrition value!

    A relative told me that cooking rice with excess water and then filter/throwing out the excess water, is healthier option since it will drain excess starch!
    Is there any truth to this?

    Does cooking method affect nutrition in rice?

    Thanks,
    RK

  • Sebastian Tristan

    It’s here that my nutritional existential questions are answered. =D

  • diane

    What is the best rice for good carbs

  • ellie

    Hi. I was told that Basmati rice is whole grain rice. I haven’t been able to find any documentation that supports that and I was wondering if you know the answer? I LOVE Basmati rice.

    • Thea

      ellie: I am not an authority on this topic, but I can tell you that a couple years ago, I bought a package of “brown basmati rice”. Because there can be a brown one and a white one, that says to me that unless the basmati is labeled as “brown”, you are not really getting what people typically mean by whole grain.

      Now, I don’t know if that is really true. Maybe all basmati rice is really brown and they just added that to the package I bought for marketing purposes? The issue of brown vs non-labeled basmati is worth investigating if you eat a lot of basmati rice, and I’m thinking this post will give you a clue on how to search.

      Good luck.

  • V

    What about red quinoa is it better than black & White quinoa? Which type of quinoa is lower in fodmaps,I can’t find anything on it after a google search.
    Thanks!

  • V

    Also if you can’t eat much fibre,parboilled rice is a better option than White rice because the process(soaking & steaming) keeps some of the b vitamins

  • Dolores Glowacki

    Doc – your reference sources are showing black rice not red rice; am I missing something here?

  • Luis Barini

    How do the levels of arsenic in red and black rice compare to levels in brown and white rice?

  • Eric K

    What has more anthocyanins? Black rice or Red Rice. It looks to me that black rice might have more anthocyanins. Can someone clarify? What is more important when fighting cancer, anthocyanins or antioxidants?