Health Nutrition & Diet Is Rice Healthy? The 3 Healthiest Types of Rice, According to RDs We share all the healthy benefits of eating these scrumptious little grains—and which varieties are better for you. By Jennifer Benjamin Jennifer Benjamin Facebook Twitter Website Jennifer is an LA-based freelance writer, editor, and content creator, with over two decades of experience working for national magazines and websites. As a scribe-of-all-trades, she's written several hundred articles covering a wide range of subjects, including health and fitness, parenting, relationships, beauty and lifestyle. Highlights: Freelance Writer for Health, Parents, SELF, Women's Health, Men's Health, Martha Stewart Weddings, Allure, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Match.com, WE Network, Weight Watchers Magazine. The Bump, The Knot, The Nest. Deputy Editor, Cosmopolitan Style and Beauty Issue Senior Editor, Cosmopolitan Magazine Edited Cosmo's Best Confessions Ever book (April 2006) Edited Bedside Astrologer and Bedside Astrologer Booklet (2005) Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines Updated on November 13, 2022 Fact checked by Danielle Slauter Fact checked by Danielle Slauter Highlights: * Has worked as a fact checker for Real Simple since 2022 * Worked as a staff writer for Mochi Magazine * Currently runs and operates the United States blog for Student Beans Our Fact-Checking Process Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article Black Rice Wild Rice Brown Rice FAQ Whether serving up arroz con pollo, a tasty stir-fry, or mushroom risotto, rice is a staple in most diets and cuisines. "Rice is not only affordable and accessible, but it's relatively easy to make," says Claire Carlton MS, RD, LD/N, a North Carolina–based registered dietitian, nutritionist, and digestive health expert. "Rice is also a fiber-rich source of nutrients and naturally gluten-free." Of course, there is a slew of healthy grains to choose from, but rice is among the most readily available, particularly white and brown rice. Plus, rice comes in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes, each with a distinct flavor and health benefits. We asked experts to reveal which rice grains offer the healthiest benefits and give us the good, bad, and ugly of brown rice and white rice nutrition. Black Rice Although sometimes harder to find, black rice is the number one nutritional rock star among rice varieties. It's high in fiber and nutrients that lower cholesterol, promote healthy digestion, and stave off chronic disease. A black rice bowl can also give you a hearty hit of protein, serving up almost 10 grams in one cooked cup. "Black rice has been shown to have the highest level of antioxidants of all rice varieties, due in large part to the anthocyanin content—a powerful anti-inflammatory that gives the grains their dark purplish hue—as well as flavonoids and carotenoids," explains Megan Roosevelt, RDN, LA-based registered dietitian, nutritionist, and founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com. What Is Black Rice? 4 Reasons to Add This Nutritious Grain to Your Diet Wild Rice Another healthy rice winner is this chewy, long-grain version, native to North America. Like black rice, the high fiber level in these brown and black grains aids digestion and lowers cholesterol. Wild rice is also packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C, Roosevelt says. How to Cook With Wild Rice—and 6 Recipes to Get You Started Brown Rice With its nutty, dense texture, brown rice is one of the better-for-you starch options; it's high in B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. "It's also a whole grain and high in fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar and promote a feeling of fullness," explains Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP, a California-based functional medicine doctor and clinical nutritionist. "Brown rice gets things moving in your digestive tract, as well, while feeding healthy bacteria in your gut." How to Make Perfect Brown Basmati Rice Your Rice Questions Answered Is White Rice Healthy? While it may be more palatable to some, white rice isn't nearly as good for you as the more colorful varieties. "It's been processed to strip away the hull, bran, and germ, which is where most of the nutrition is found," explains Roosevelt. "It gives it a softer texture than wild or brown rice, however, it's less nutritious, lacks fiber, and has a higher glycemic index." That being said, many white rice brands are artificially-fortified with folic acid, calcium, and iron, which slightly boosts its benefits. Plus, the lower fiber content may be preferable to those dealing with digestive issues. Long Grain White Rice Is Yellow Rice Good for You? Yellow rice is not its own rice variety, like brown or black rice. It's white rice cooked with either turmeric, saffron, or achiote (annatto)—or a combination of the three—to give it the yellow color. Because of the turmeric, yellow rice provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Additionally, it contains riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. Plus, you'll find that yellow rice has minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium. Should I Worry That Rice Is High in Arsenic? As you may have heard, rice is high in arsenic, a known carcinogen that contributes to higher rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune disease. "For adults, the recommendation is to eat no more than two servings per week, which includes rice syrup and rice flours that may be on the labels of some pre-packaged foods," warns Petersen. "Short-grain rice has less arsenic than long-grain rice. Also, a study from Consumer Reports found that brown basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan are some of the safest rice sources." Here's the good news: You can reduce the carcinogen content in your rice with proper cooking techniques. Petersen recommends first rinsing your rice about five times in a sieve. Then, cook the rice as you would pasta, using a 10-to-1 ratio of water to rice instead of the typical 2-to-1. Once the rice cooks thoroughly, drain and rinse it again. To counter any ill effects, Petersen also suggests serving your rice with foods high in antioxidants, like dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and turmeric. Once cleaned, colorful rice grains can be a tasty, nutritious addition to your weekly diet. 17 Simply Delicious Rice Recipes You'll Want to Make Tonight Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Cleveland Clinic. The health benefits of forbidden rice. Surendiran G, Alsaif M, Kapourchali FR, Moghadasian MH. Nutritional constituents and health benefits of wild rice (Zizania spp.). Nutr Rev. 2014;72(4):227-236. doi:10.1111/nure.12101 FDA. Arsenic in rice and rice products risk assessment report. Consumer Reports. Which rice has the least arsenic? Accessed December 8, 2022.