There are hundreds of varieties of rice. But when you buy rice in the store the biggest choice is between white rice and brown rice. They’re very different.
Brown rice is a whole kernel of rice where nothing has been removed. Cooking it on a high heat burner will take 20 minutes typically. It contains the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. So, it has lots of vitamins and minerals and a little protein. Also, it goes further down your intestine in order to be digested. This means that it won’t give you an insulin rush the way white rice does. In fact, the National Institutes of Health estimated that eating whole grains versus people who didn’t eat grains had a 31% LOWER chance of getting Type 2 Diabetes.
White rice is rice stripped of its shell. It just contains the innards, which are carbohydrate. It has about 1/3 the nutritional value of brown rice. Also, it digests higher up in the intestine, where it’s more likely to cause a spike in insulin. So, why would you use white rice anyway? Well, it keeps for years on the shelf, but brown rice keeps only about 6 months. White rice is also about half the price of brown rice because of its limited shelf life and the need to turn over stock. White rice cooks in 10 minutes, half the time of brown rice.
Quinoa (pronounced by most people as “kin-wah”) is another seedy grass like rice, but its grains are smaller. It has more protein and more fiber than rice. Some people like it more because it’s a novel thing for most people to eat. It takes about the same time as brown rice to cook, about 20 minutes. It’s about twice as expensive as brown rice. HOWEVER, quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids! That means that it’s a complete protein, so that if you eliminated meat and fish from your diet you’d still be healthy.
AMAZING QUINOA FACT: Just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 9 grams of protein! That’s amazing in itself. Think about it: Eat two cups of quinoa and you have as much protein as a Hungry Man Salisbury Steak dinner — and with better nutrition!