What’s the Difference Between Jasmine Rice and White Rice?
Rice is a major energy source for millions of people around the world.
It comes in many varieties — with jasmine and white rice being some of the most popular.
Though these two types of rice are quite similar, they have several notable differences.
This article reviews the main similarities and differences between jasmine and white rice.
Similar nutritional profiles
All white rice is processed, which means that the husk (hard protective shell), bran (outer layer), and germ (inner core) have been removed.
This strips white rice of fiber and many nutrients.
White jasmine rice is made this way and falls under the category of white rice.
While there are many different types of white rice, including basmati, arborio, jasmine, and originario, they are all very similar nutritionally.
The following table compares the nutrients in a 1-cup (140-gram) serving of cooked long-grain white rice and jasmine rice:
|Long-grain white rice||Jasmine rice|
|Protein||4 grams||4 grams|
|Fat||0 grams||1 gram|
|Carbs||36 grams||39 grams|
|Fiber||1 gram||1 gram|
|Calcium||2% of the Daily Value (DV)||2% of the DV|
|Iron||0% of the DV||2% of the DV|
Additionally, some white rice naturally contains small amounts of zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, and B vitamins.
However, due to a loss of nutrients during processing, iron, thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), and folate are often added to white rice.
Long-grain white rice and white jasmine rice contain very similar amounts of calories, carbs, protein, and fiber.
Jasmine rice also comes in healthier, whole-grain varieties
Brown jasmine rice is less processed than white rice.
Like all whole grains, it has only had the outer husk removed — not the bran and germ. This ensures that fiber and many nutrients remain in the final product.
A 1/3 cup (50 grams) of uncooked brown jasmine rice contains:
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 1.5 grams
- Carbs: 38 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Iron: 2% of the DV
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 10% of the DV
- Niacin (vitamin B3): 15% of the DV
Due to its fiber content, brown jasmine rice tends to be lower in calories and carbs than white rice. It also offers calcium, iron, and potassium.
Furthermore, red, purple, and black varieties of whole-grain jasmine rice contain varying amounts of beneficial phytonutrients. These plant compounds have antioxidant properties that help support and protect your cells from damage.
There are several types of whole-grain jasmine rice. Brown jasmine rice contains fiber and is a source of some vitamins and minerals.
They may look and smell differently
White rice can have a short, medium, or long grain.
Jasmine rice has a long grain and primarily grows in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand.
Due to its fluffiness and slightly sticky texture when cooked, it’s considered to have an excellent cooking quality.
Meanwhile, the consistency of white rice can vary greatly. For example, glutinous rice, which is commonly used in Asian desserts, is very sticky.
In regards to color, white rice is always white, but jasmine rice can be white, brown, red, purple, or black.
Jasmine rice is also known as Thai fragrant rice, given its pleasant popcorn-like smell. This is due to the presence of a molecule called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.
In comparison, most types of white rice lack a distinct smell.
Jasmine rice is a long-grain, fragrant rice that varies in color. On the other hand, white rice varies in size and texture but is always white.
Which one is healthier?
Both white rice and white jasmine rice are refined grains, as their fibrous and nutritious parts have been removed.
This makes them nearly equivalent nutritionally.
Due to their lack of fiber and protein, your body digests them easily, potentially leading to blood sugar spikes.
One large study in over 197,000 people found that swapping 1/3 cup (50 grams) of white rice with the same amount of brown rice each day was associated with a 16% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, people with type 2 diabetes may experience improved blood vessel function by switching from white to brown rice.
That may be because unrefined, whole-grain rice like brown jasmine rice contains fiber, which can help slow the absorption of sugar and minimize its accumulation in your bloodstream.
Brown rice also contains phytonutrients, such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, and phenolics. These compounds have a broad range of beneficial properties that can support your heart and immune system.
As a result, whole-grain jasmine rice is a healthier alternative than white rice or white jasmine rice.
Whole-grain or brown jasmine rice may be a healthier choice than white or white jasmine rice.
The bottom line
White jasmine rice is a type of white rice.
Like all white rice, it’s highly processed, which results in the loss of fiber and many nutrients.
However, whole-grain varieties of jasmine rice, which range in color from brown to red to black, may be a healthier option than white rice.
That’s because they contain more fiber, nutrients, and beneficial plant compounds.
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