Many nutritionists say that rice is a empty source of calories and should be avoided while others consider it to be a safe starch, and can be eaten occasionally. Although safe and empty aren’t too reassuring.
Overall, rice is highly controversial in the nutrient food community, which is why we’re doing a quinoa vs rice comparison once and for all to better understand what is quinoa and it’s health benefits.
There is also the old Japanese saying – “they basically eat rice every day of their lives and live a long time”, so it is a bit contradictory and confusing whether or not rice is healthy and should be eaten on a daily basis, but is there a better option for white or brown rice? Are there long term risks or benefits?
And that’s where Quinoa comes in, but sadly most people aren’t aware of the health benefits quinoa brings to ones health, specially when compared to the most eaten grain in the world, in this case rice.
In the last few years quinoa has become a commonplace in a lot of homes all over the world, and though brown rice is a better than white rice, quinoa is a much better choice all around due to it’s higher source of nutrients.
Quinoa vs Rice: Nutritional Value Comparison
The chart below compares the nutrient content of quinoa against white rice.
The data below compares the percentage of carbohydrates, protein, fat, potassium, vitamin a, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Quinoa has a much higher and healthier number of carbs than rice, although they are both a high source of carbohydrate quinoa known as the super-seed has almost 6 times the protein and 10 more fat than rice.
The only issue with quinoa is that higher amount of fat compared to rice, but overall both the fat and protein makes it a healthier source of carbohydrates than rice itself.
Why should you eat quinoa instead of rice?
Before we explain why quinoa should be your main substitute for rice, you must understand what is the glycemic index and glycemic load.
To be abrupt, the glycemic index is a measurement of how fast a food causes a spike in a persons blood glucose while the glycemic load is the total amount of carbohydrate that a food has contributed to the diet.
Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53 and a glycemic load of 13 while rice has a glycemic index of 73 and a glycemic load of 30.
Unlike rice, quinoa is not part of the grass family, it is a pseudo-cereals which are non-grasses and are used exactly like true cereals.
Quinoa wins hands down due to it’s low glycemic index and glycemic load, higher nutritional level, gluten-free health benefits and it contains all essential amino acids.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, were you aware that rice contains anti-nutrients such as phytates which makes it difficult for our body to absorb nutrients from both rice and other foods.
Rice also contains Arsenic which are antioxidant compounds found in whole grains, seeds and even legumes. It can cause major health complications and even poisoning and it is another reason as to why we shouldn’t consume rice often.
All in all, those who are on a high nutrient diet and are physically active should do great with quinoa consumption.
Of all the grains, quinoa is is definitely one of the safest options to be have in your cooking and dieting arsenal.
As far as quinoa vs rice goes, the winner is clearly the delicious and exotic quinoa due to it’s beneficial health contents.