brown rice vs pasta

Brown Rice vs Pasta – Which is Better? Calories, Protein, Fats, Fiber

While we are all getting accustomed to the new normal brought forth due to the pandemic, one decision almost all of us have made is to stay hale and hearty. And what is the best way to do that while we are all confined to our respective homes? Making necessary changes in our diet to help keep us fit and healthy. 

Though many people believe that carbohydrate-rich foods like rice and pasta are bad for health, they miss out on the fact that these slow-release carbohydrates help refill the energy needs of the body.

But have you ever wondered, what’s the nutritional difference between brown rice and pasta, which is healthier among the two, is easily digested, and overall the better option for your consumption? 

We bring to you a detailed comparison between the two that will help you make an informed decision. So, let’s delve right into it. 

Brown Rice 

We are all aware that brown rice is a relatively healthier option as compared to white rice. Many people have now switched over to brown rice for its nutritional value and less carb content that helps in weight loss. It is also high in fiber, is gluten-free, and contains little amounts of fat and sodium

Studies show that consuming whole grains like brown rice can help reduce the risk of diabetes. Moreover, people with diabetes can consume brown rice daily as it has a low impact on blood sugar

8 Best Brown Rice Recipes | Easy Brown Rice Recipes

Pasta

Pasta is not an Indian staple food but has slowly evolved as one. There is a wide variety of pasta readily available to us, such as spaghetti, macaroni, penne, lasagne, ravioli, and so many more. Pasta contains fewer carbs, is quickly digested and also tastes delicious.

We usually think of pasta with tempting sauces and loads of cheese, making it an unhealthy choice of food. Pasta can be a part of a healthful diet, provided that it is prepared, with minimum use of sauces, which are high in fats and sugar. It is a very versatile component that can be added to your salads and paired with a wide variety of vegetables. 

It is also better to use whole-grain pasta or lentil-based pasta as they have higher nutritional value and contain low calories and carbohydrates as compared to white pasta, which loses many of its nutrients during the production phase. 

Tips to make your pasta healthy and nutrient-dense:

  • Adding lots of vegetables 
  • Making sauces at home instead of buying pre-made sauces
  • Limiting the use of oil
  • Replacing cheese with other healthier options such as paneer/cottage cheese 

Brown Rice vs Pasta

    FatCarbsCaloriesProteinFibre
Brown Rice(Per 100g)0.9 g23 g1122.6 g1.8 g
Pasta (Per 100g)0.7 g32.5 g1605.1 g1.4 g

The calorie content of brown rice is much lower as compared to that of pasta. So, if you are considering losing those extra pounds, brown rice may be the right choice for you. It also contains fewer carbohydrates than pasta, making it an excellent option for you if you wish to consume a low-carb diet. 

A 100 g serving of pasta has more fiber content than that of brown rice. Fiber is an essential component of a healthy digestive system. Pasta also has a higher protein content as compared to brown rice.

Protein helps in making new cells, repairing old ones, and also aids the muscle groups to develop.  If you want your diet to be high in protein, then pasta may be a better choice for you.

Benefits of Brown Rice

  1. It contains antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress.
  1. Because of the high fiber content, brown rice makes you feel full for a longer period and thus reduces the intake of unnecessary calories. Various studies prove that people who consume whole grains like brown rice weigh comparatively less than people who eat food that contains less whole grains. 
  1. It is naturally gluten-free, so people who cannot eat foods that contain gluten can consume it without any worries. 
  1. It has a high glycemic index implying that it takes longer to digest and has little impact on blood sugar levels. Therefore, it reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and helps prevent it. 

Benefits of Pasta

  1. It is high in complex carbohydrates that provide energy to the body in a slow and sustained manner. 
  1. It contains iron and vitamin B and is also free from cholesterol
  1. It has a low glycemic index that keeps the blood sugar level regulated. 
  1. It is low in sodium that prevents your body from heart diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes. 

Which One is Easier To Digest? 

Foods that are low in fiber are easier to digest. Our bodies do not digest fiber. It instead passes through the tract, undigested, ensuring the smooth working of our digestive system. High fiber foods also make the body feel satiated for a longer time.

Brown rice contains more fiber that contributes to varied digestive issues such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas. But since it flows through the digestive tract as it is, it helps in removing toxins from the digestive system and reduces the problems of hemorrhoids and constipation.

This high fiber content helps in lowering the cholesterol levels in the body that makes brown rice a natural remedy for lowering cholesterol

The most widely consumed form of pasta is the refined pasta consisting of a high calorie and low fiber content. It also contains gluten, a form of protein found in wheat. For most people, gluten poses no difficulties, but people who cannot tolerate gluten in their diet may experience digestive issues. 

The healthier option against refined pasta would be whole wheat pasta with the grain kernel intact making it high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins and low in carbs and calories. 

Consuming on a Daily Basis 

Whether you should be consuming brown rice or pasta on a daily basis depends upon your lifestyle and bodily needs. Rice is a dietary staple in Indian households. It goes with a lot of our daily food options. Making a switch from white to brown rice may not pose much of a challenge.

So, if you are looking for a high fiber, low carb option packed with nutrients that are beneficial for you and is also going to help you lose weight, you should opt for brown rice

Pasta, when consumed in moderate portions, is a healthy choice. However, how you make your pasta and what you top it with plays a huge part in determining its effects on your body. It is exceptionally high in carbs, and high carb foods are known to increase blood sugar levels that impact your health negatively.

But, you can find many recipes on the internet that can help you make pasta most healthily according to your needs and choices. 

6 Tasty and Healthy Pasta Recipes – Health Benefits of Homemade Pasta

Basmati Rice Nutrition | Basmati Rice vs Regular Rice

Conclusion 

Being healthy is the need of the hour and one of the many ways in which you can achieve that is by making the right choices regarding what you eat. 

Ultimately it all comes down to ‘you are what you eat’

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