What Is the Difference Between Wild Rice and White Rice?

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White rice is brown rice that had been milled and polished to remove the bran; wild rice is not actually a rice at all, but rather a form of wheat grass. On average, wild rice takes twice as much time and water to cook as white rice.

In order for rice of any form to be edible, the husk or hull on the outside of the grain must be removed. When white rice goes through the milling process, the bran and germ are also removed, leaving the consumer with an even more refined product. While this process does change the flavor and nutritional dynamics of white rice, it also extends shelf life, making it less likely to spoil.

Wild rice is significantly higher in nutrients than white rice. In fact, it outdoes both white and brown rice in protein, potassium and zinc, as well as folate and other B vitamins. Additionally, wild rice has higher levels of fiber, phosphorous and magnesium. This wealth of magnesium and potassium makes wild rice a desirable food in advancing heart health, as these two minerals are essential for controlling blood pressure. Furthermore, its higher level of fiber makes wild rice superior to white rice in lowering cholesterol. Finally, wild rice is considered by some to be one of the healthiest rice options for diabetics, along with Basmati, black and sticky rice.