Know Your Rice

Rice is one of those food staples that you can use in just about any recipe to make it a healthier and more nutritional dish. Considered one of the more versatile ingredients around, rice is widely used for cooking in a number of countries because of its many healthy advantages, but you will need to be cognizant of the kind of rice you plan on using to get the most dietary benefit from it. You have a range of choices when it comes to selecting the rice that’s best for your particular culinary needs and nutritional requirements. There are a lot of types of rice out there but don’t worry, this short primer will give you all of the information you need to know to distinguish between white, brown, and wild rice, which ones are healthier and why, and the basic differences that exist in all of the various versions of rice that you can select for your dish. So fire up your rice cooker and let’s get ready to make some rice!


Long, medium, or short grain rice. You’ve probably heard of all of these but might not know that the factors which differentiate them extend further than their size. Long grain rice is the longest and the grains stay separate from one another when cooked. It’s a fluffy rice. Medium is slightly smaller and stays tender when cooked. The grains also tend to stick together more readily than long grain. Then there’s short grain rice, recognizable by its stubby, circular appearance. These grains are often sticky and cling to one another. All of these grains are available in a bunch of different varieties and some are used in specific dishes.

White, Wild, or Brown

These are just some of the more common types of rice and your nutritional benefits vary depending on the type that you prefer to use. White is, perhaps, the most common but it can also be the least nutritional of the three. This type of rice lacks much of the dietary fiber and nutrients that are typically found in the kernel due to the processing and polishing that is necessary to make it white. When the kernel undergoes these processes, the outer bran of the rice kernel that holds all of the major dietary fiber is eliminated. But there are advantages to this rice, it’s a smoother rice that is easier to eat and is often more appetizing to most palates. It also has a much longer shelf life than the other rice varieties due to the refining process. So it’s an easier rice to store for long periods of time.

Wild and brown rice maintain their vitamin and nutrient content include B-complex vitamins, iron and other dietary fiber to promote good digestion. Eating whole grain rice can hold many of the same benefits as consuming whole-grain breads and cereals. These grains offer carbohydrates that not only provide energy but will also make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Wild and brown rices are also good for promoting regular, natural bowel movement.


Different types of rice require different preparation methods when it comes to cooking. Some rice kernels need longer cook times, others require washing before cooking but all of them are basically cooked in a similar fashion. Most rice grain types do well in a rice cooker instead of simply boiling them in water and you can find plenty of them at There are cookers for every budget and you’re bound to find the one that’s right for the amount of cooking you want to accomplish. Once you start exploring all of the many possibilities that exist with rice, you’ll be seeking out loads of recipes. Get creative! Rice can go with just about any dish and there are countless international dishes that feature rice prominently. Enjoy!v