Brown rice is whole grain rice. Only its husk or the outer hull, and not its bran layer and germ, is removed. The bran and the germ contain important antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals and fibre.
“Brown rice is healthier in terms of its higher fibre, vitamin and mineral content,” said Jaclyn.
Replacing as little as 20 per cent of a bowl of white rice with brown rice can help Asians, who are genetically more predisposed to diabetes, reduce the risk of diabetes, said the HPB.
Whole grain rice comes in a variety of colours, including brown, red, purple or black. Brown rice can have a medium to high GI, red rice has a medium GI and black rice has a low GI, according to Lynette.
Whole grains such as brown rice are especially helpful for diabetics who are trying to control their blood sugar level, said the HPB spokesman. “This is because whole grains and fibrous foods such as fruit and vegetables take a longer time – three to four hours – to convert the carbohydrates to glucose after being consumed.”