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Short Answer:

No, brown rice is not Paleo!

is brown rice paleo

But Isn’t Brown Rice the Healthier Option?

Brown rice is unmilled rice that has a mild, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Unlike white rice, it contains the bran and germ of the seed that contains fat which can make it easily turn rancid. Brown rice has a shelf life of approximately 6 months.

Brown rice has been believed to be more nutritious than white rice. It supplies a good dose of B vitamins, iron, zinc, phosphorus and niacin, as well as small amounts of calcium, folate and vitamin K because of the bran that contains it. It is lower in glycemic index than white rice and has more protein and fiber.

Brown rice is nutrient dense!

While the bran supplies most of the nutrients in brown rice, it also contains most of the anti-nutrients in grains such as phytates and lectins which are harmful to human digestion, can cause gut irritation and even block nutrient absorption. Brown rice may have all the nutrients mentioned above but with the phytates present, they may not be absorbed as well, hence, the nutrients are less bioavailable.

And because brown rice has the bran and germ and less refined which makes it harder to digest.  This can lead to leaky gut syndrome when consumed on a regular basis.

Lower Glycemic Index

It is true that brown rice is lower in glycemic index. But it doesn’t mean that it will not cause a spike in blood sugar. Blood sugar may vary for each individual depending on different factors. If a person has elevated blood sugar, diabetic or overweight, brown rice can still have an effect on him.

Arsenic in Brown Rice

Studies showed that compared to white rice, brown rice has significantly more arsenic content.  Arsenic in brown rice is naturally found in the bran. (Yes, the bran that contains all the nutrients!) Arsenic has been found to be a toxic and carcinogenic substance. We mentioned on our previous post that arsenic can increase the risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart illnesses.

Polyunsaturated Fats in Brown Rice

The germ of the brown rice contains very high amount of polyunsaturated fats. This is the reason why brown rice turns rancid easily. Polyunsaturated fats can also increase the risk of heart problems when consumed regularly.

Forget About Brown Rice!

Like white rice, brown rice is also not Paleo. It can impose more health problems compared to white rice. Though brown rice may be nutrient dense, the phytates and lectins make it less bio available to the body. With the bran and germ on, brown rice can also supply more toxins to the body such as arsenic. And because polyunsaturated fats are also present in brown rice, it can increase the risk of heart diseases and cancer.

If you think brown rice is healthy, you might have to think again! It is not as healthy as we thought of it.

What Experts Say About Brown Rice… Is It Paleo?

“Brown rice, on the other hand, has significantly more arsenic than white rice and should be avoided or consumed rarely. Some of the brown rice brands tested contained at least 50% more than the safe limit per serving, and a few even had nearly double the safe limit”. – Chris Kresser

“Brown rice eaters tend to have poorer mineral balances than white rice eaters”. – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Brown Rice and Paleo

Chris Kresser. Arsenic in rice: how concerned should you be?

Mark’s Daily Apple. How Bad is Rice, Really?

Wellness Mama. Is White Rice Healthy?

Butter Believer. Brown Rice or White Rice: Which is Healthier? (You Might Be Surprised!)

The Paleo Model. Why White Rice is Healthier than Brown Rice

Paleo Leap. All About Rice

Ancestral Nutrition. Why White Rice Is Healthier Than Brown Rice

Versatile Health. Is Rice Good For You?

SF Gate. Healthy Eating. Does Brown Rice Contain Trans Fats?

Other names for Brown rice

whole grain rice

Did we miss anything?

Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?

photo credit: brown basmati rice