As far as grains go, wheat and rice run neck-and-neck in terms of consumption. But when it comes to nutrition, rice -- specifically brown rice -- might make the healthier option, because your body utilizes the carbohydrate and protein content of brown rice than it does wheat. But you don't have to limit yourself to plain brown rice. If you like aromatic rice, jasmine rice makes a good option, especially if you find it in the brown rice variety.
Same Number of Calories
Whether it's brown or white, jasmine or plain, it all has the same calories. A 3/4-cup serving, which is approximately 146 grams, of cooked brown or jasmine rice contains 160 calories. With only 1.1 calories per gram, both the brown and jasmine rice are low-energy-dense foods and make a good choice for those watching their weight. Low-energy-dense foods fill you up on fewer calories and help you eat less.
Carbs and Fiber
The carb and fiber content in brown and jasmine rice varies. A 3/4-cup serving of plain brown rice contains 34 grams of total carb and 3 grams of fiber. The same serving of white jasmine rice contains 36 grams of carbs and 0 grams of fiber, while the brown jasmine rice contains 35 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. The brown rice varieties make a healthier option because of their fiber content. People who eat more fiber have lower rates of heart disease and obesity.
Protein and Fat
When it comes to protein and fat, there are slight variations in both the brown rices and the white jasmine rice. A 3/4-cup serving of the plain brown rice contains 2.5 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat. The same serving of the white jasmine rice contains 3 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat, while the brown jasmine rice contains 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat. As a whole grain, the brown rice retains its germ, which is where the fat in the whole grain comes from.
Vitamins and Minerals
Just like the fat, the germ in the brown rice is also a source of vitamins and minerals. The white jasmine rice also provides vitamins and minerals but through fortification. Both the brown and jasmine rice help you meet your iron and B vitamin needs, both essential nutrients. Iron is part of every cell in your body and is necessary for delivering oxygen to your muscles and organs. The B vitamins help convert the carbohydrates in rice into energy.
- The Cambridge World History of Food: Rice
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Rice, Brown, Long-grain, Cooked
- Mahatma: Jasmine Rice: Nutritional Info
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Trader Joe's Brown Jasmine Rice
- British Nutrition Foundation: What Is Energy Density?
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: The Importance of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
- Harvard School of Public Health: Health Gains from Whole Grains
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Iron and Iron Deficiency
- MedlinePlus: B Vitamins