There are a LOT of different types of rice available in this world. Hundreds. White rice, brown rice, red rice, gold rice, long grain rice varieties, as well as medium and short grain. These strains of rice vary in terms of the complexity of the carbohydrates therein, as well as in flavor or complexity. Some, like brown and red rice are more complex carbohydrates, while white and gold rice varieties tend to be more simple starches.

Here are some different kinds of rice:

White Rice: A simple starch, rice that has been converted from its natural brown or gold complexion to white rice loses 80% of its vitamin B1, 67% of its B3, 90% of its vitamin B6, and half of the manganese, iron and phosphorous found in the rice. So not only will white rice help you gain weight, but it also has fewer vitamins and minerals! What a draw!

Brown Rice: With brown rice, only the outer layer—the hull—is removed. Besides that non-nutritive piece of the grain, the whole grain is left intact, leaving nutrients available to be consumed.

Jasmine and Basmati Rice: These two varieties of rice are both white in color, but should not be confused with white rice that has been converted to white from another color. If it says jasmine or basmati, you’re getting rice that was grown white that you can eat white. It’s still a simple carbohydrate, but in moderation can absolutely be incorporated into a healthy diet.

Long Grain Rice: The length of long grain rice is 4-5 times its width. That’s about the long and short of it.

Medium Grain Rice: Medium grain rice is 2 or 3 times longer than its width.

Short Grain Rice: Short grain rice is roughly round and is really tasty! Like couscous!

Red Rice: This is among the most underrated varieties of rice. Rich in antioxidants, low glycemic level, combats cholesterol and heart disease, and also containing a ton of fiber per serving. A cup of rice contains 8 grams of fiber. It’s tasty too!

Organic vs. Conventional Rice

One of the drawbacks of rice is that it almost always contains trace amounts of arsenic. But before you get worried that you’re eating rat poison every time you pick up the chopsticks, know that the amounts are generally so low as to be negligible. The reason I bring this up is because organic rice is likely to contain less arsenic because, typically, rice farms use more than FORTY different pesticides to protect the crops.

The primary difference between rice that is organic and rice that is not is that organic rice doesn’t use pesticides. Many damaging chemicals can be avoided by making the switch to organic rice. Brands like Lundberg Farms recommend themselves well to this switch and are definitely worth trying!


Chad Weisman—CEO, Golden Strands Communication; ‘creative type’; surfer on the amber waves of grain; avid concert attendee.