Milling is the process that turns brown rice into white rice by removing the outer layer known as the bran layer - this alters the nutritional value of the rice. The complete milling process that creates white rice from brown rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. In short, brown rice is a fiber-rich whole grain whereas white rice is simply a refined and nutritionally depleted processed food.
In March of 2006, research reported in the journal Agricultural Research, Nancy Keim and a team at the USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Center studied 10 women age 20-45 who ate a whole grain diet for three days, then ate the same foods but with refined grains in place of whole grains. Blood samples at the end of each 3-day period showed that the refined grains diet caused a significant increase in triglycerides and a worrisome protein called "apolipoprotein CIII" (apoCIII), both of which have been associated with increased risk of heart disease.
At the University of Utah, in a study of over 2000 people, a team led by Dr. Martha Slattery found that high intakes of whole grains, such as brown rice, reduced the risk of rectal cancer 31%. They also found that a high-fiber diet, 34 grams or more of fiber per day, reduced rectal cancer by an impressive 66%. The findings were published in the February 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In a Study presented at American Heart Association Conference, March 2006, overweight children, age 9-15, spent two weeks on an all-you-can-eat diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein, while exercising 2.5 hours each day. University of California researchers led by Dr. James Barnard reported that in just two weeks the children's cholesterol levels dropped an average of 21%, while insulin levels fell 30%.
We encourage parents everywhere to consider guiding themselves and their children down a healthier path by replacing processed and refined grains with healthy, natural whole grains such as brown rice. The healthy habits that your children learn from you while young will stay with them and be passed on for generations to come.