Black Rice vs Red Rice – The Differences & Nutritional Comparison

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Black Rice vs Red Rice

Black Rice vs. Red Rice, have you wondered which is better for you and you should be eating? Search no further. In this article, we will look at: 

  • The differences in red and black rice.
  • The nutritional advantages that each brings.
  • How each affects your blood sugar levels.
  • How long it takes to prepare black and red rice.

black rice and red rice antioxidants

What’s the Difference Between Black Rice and Red Rice?

The most apparent difference between red rice and black rice is the color. Red rice is red and black rice is black. Both come in many varieties, including long-grain, short-grain, glutinous and sticky types.

Black rice is highest in flavonoid anthocyanin, famous for fighting free radicals. Anthocyanin is the compound that gives black rice its color. However, red rice is higher in total antioxidants. 

Both are unmilled or semi-milled and loaded with protein, fiber, and nutrition. Red rice has a slight edge in protein, while black rice has a little more fiber content. These differences, however, depend greatly on the particular varieties being compared. 

In the long and short of things, black rice and red have more similarities than differences. Both have a delicious sweet, nutty flavor that goes well with almost any type of dish. Both are beautiful ways to add nutrition and color to your diet. Both are far superior to white and brown rice in every way. 

Nutrition Table

Per 100g Cooked Black Rice Cooked Red Rice
Calories  145 (7% DV) 109 (5% DV)
Fat 0g 0.8g
Carbohydrates 33.3g 23g
Protein 2.9g 23g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Fiber 0g 1.8g
Sugar 0g 1g
Iron 0mg 1.5mg
Vitamin A 0 0
Vitamin C 0 0
Vitamin B1 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B2 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B5 0 0
Vitamin B12 0 0
Biotin 0 0
Folate 0 0
Vitamin E 0mg 0mg
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin K 0 0
Vitamin K1 0 0

Which is Healthier – Black Rice or Red Rice?

black rice and red rice

Whether black rice or red rice is healthier is essentially a matter of opinion. Both are preferable to white or brown varieties. Both black rice and red rice are high in antioxidants, micro minerals, fiber, protein and offer many health benefits. They are even equal in arabinoxylan and beta-glucan content that contributes to stomach health. 

Across the spectrum of nutritional categories, any minor advantage provided by one is more than balanced by an area where the other has a slight edge.  The best advice would be to consult a health professional about any nutritional deficiencies you might have and choose a variety that best addresses your personal needs.

Glycemic Index 

black rice vs red rice glycemic index

The glycemic index is a scale developed by doctors to aid in controlling diabetes, managing cholesterol problems, and weight loss management. It rates foods according to how they affect blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Foods that cause more drastic shifts in blood glucose levels are assigned higher numbers. Foods that help maintain stable sugar levels have lower ratings.

The scale runs from 0 to 100, with 100 being pure glucose. Foods with a lower glycemic index rating are considered healthier. They cause lower, slower sugar spikes, and the insulin effect that accompanies it is much lighter. 

Insulin spikes have been tied to disorders affecting the nervous system, major organs, and blood vessels. 

Black Rice

Black rice has an average glycemic index of 43. A 43 places it in the low GI category with foods like plain yogurt, apples, lentils, and oats.

Red Rice

Red rice falls at 55 on the glycemic index chart. This is slightly higher than black rice but still in the low category. 

Cooking Time

red rice cooking time

Both black and red rice can be prepared using a variety of methods, including:

  • Absorption method.
  • Pasta method.
  • Pilaf method. 
  • In rice cookers.

Black Rice

Because of the disparities in the amount being cooked, the many unique varieties of black rice, and different preparation methods, the cooking time for black rice has a wide window. Generally, 20 to 50 minutes are needed to prepare family-size portions. 

Red Rice

The structure of red rice is essentially the same as black rice. Both are whole grains with the husk, bran, and germ still intake. Like black rice, red rice comes in an assortment of types, and it can be cooked using precisely the same methods. With all things being equal, the same 20 to 50 minutes of cooking time are needed for red rice.  

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