Food N Travel

Is Eating White Polished Rice healthy

Rice is one of the most consumed staples worldwide, and why wouldn’t it be?

It is easy to cook, faster to consume, and much easier to carry.

These days we rarely see the traditional direct farm rice. But from the past decade or two, the rice we get in the local market is mostly polished rice. But is Eating White Polished Rice healthy? 

Let’s check that out in this article !!

What is Polished Rice?

Polished White Rice
Polished White Rice

Polished Rice or White Rice is nothing but after the result of milling a traditional Paddy Rice whose upper husk with bran is removed and then polished for colour, texture, and taste.

How is Rice Polished?

Industrial Method of Polishing Rice

Industrial Method of Polishing Rice
Industrial Method of Polishing Rice (Image Credits- 3D Animation by EFFE)
  1. The Rice paddy is weighed and then transported to the Rice Mill.
  2. This paddy is placed in a Grain Pit for pre-processing storage.
  3. Later on, the stored grains are moved to a large weighing machine through conveyors to Determine the Weight of the Raw material. It also helps in assessing the quantity loss in transportation.
  4. After weighing, the rice paddy is cleaned, the waste product is removed, and further weighing is carried out.
  5. The cleaned rice paddy is further moved to a large boiling container for partial boiling to make it softer. Again the weighing process is completed.
  6. It is then conveyed to a Heated Silo Storage for further moisturizing and dry heating.
  7. The paddy is again shifted from the Storage Silo to weight to know them before and after moisturizing and drying weight of the paddy grain.
  8. Rice paddy is then moved to the Milling Machine. Here, at the very first step, the paddy is passed from the “Destoner” for removal of husk and then the Sheller for cutting the upper bran layer of the Rice paddy.
  9. Further, the product is then passed through a “Whitener and Polisher” section, where the rice is polished to change its pale texture to shiny and white.
  10. Again the product is weighed.
  11. Now the rice is passed through Grader, which grades the rice according to the size.
  12. Now the full-size Rice and Broken Rice are collected separately and weighed.
  13. The broken rice and full-size rice is then stored in the Hopper section. Further, they are packed separately in bags with predefined weight.
  14. Finally, the shiny Polished White Rice is transported to the market dealers and later to the consumers.

Note: The removed husk in the processing is used for animal feeding. Whereas the powdered bran removed is also very useful like it is used for feeding fishes etc.

Small Scale Method of Polishing Rice / Domestic Method

  1. At a small scale, Race is polished and processed using “Rice Polisher Machine”.
  2. These machines use abrasion techniques to remove the husk from already steamed and dried rice paddy, and then side chopping is carried out to remove the upper bran coating.
  3. Further, it also has a section called “Whitener and Polisher”, where the rice is polished for smooth texture and white colour.
  4. Nowadays, multicoloured rice is also processed from these machines.

Difference Between Polished Rice and Unpolished Rice

White Polished rice Vs Brown Unpolished rice
White Polished Rice Vs Brown Unpolished Rice
S.I.Polished RiceUnpolished Rice
1.It is shiny and in general White in colour.Unpolished rice is traditionally Brown coloured.
2.It has a smooth texture.Unpolished RIce is uneven.
3.Rice Kennel is mostly devoid of upper bran coatings.Upper Bran layer of rice is retained on the whole even after the processing.
4.Fiber quotient is very low in Polished white rice.Fiber is higher in unpolished rice ( whole grain ) as compared to White Rice.
5.Polished white Rice is Easy to cook and takes less time.It takes longer to cook unpolished rice.
6.It is Devoid of nutritional values on a large perspective due to excessive processing.Unpolished rice Contains higher Nutritional value such as Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium etc.
7.It Can lead to bloating, gastritis etc.It is good for the bowel system.
Table – Polished rice vs Unpolished Rice

Nutritional Value in Polished Rice ( per 100g )

NutritionPolished Rice
Protein2.7 g
Carbohydrates75 g
Calcium8 mg
Saturated Fat0.1 g
Total Fat0.5 g
Trans Fat0
Sodium1 mg
Iron1 mg
Zinc1 mg
Potassium110 mg
Water Content12 g
Calories/ Energy 108 Kcal

**The nutritional value may vary to some extent from manufacturer to manufacturer. Please check the package for real values. The above data has been roughly approximated using Indian and US recommendations for adults.

Source: NIN and USDA FoodData Central.

What is Single Polished Rice?

Single Polished Rice
Single Polished Rice

Well, you must have heard of single polished rice too. 

In Single Polished Rice, only the uppermost thin layer of bran is removed along with the paddy husk rather than the whole chunk of bran from the rice kennel. 

Thus, they retain a large chunk of fiber and nutritional value. You can think it to be better than Polished Rice and less nutritional than Unpolished Brown Rice. 

What is Parboiled Rice?

Parboiled rice
Parboiled rice

One more type of rice processing is present, which is known as Parboiled Rice.

In this process, the rice paddy is soaked for a few hours and boiled partially along with the husk. Later they dried completely. This makes the upper shaft of the husk loosen up. Thus, it becomes easier to remove the upper husk without even hampering the top nutritional layer of bran.

Although this gives a rigid, translucent texture to the rice.

They contain more minerals and nutrition than the “Polished rice” and “Single polished rice”. 

Also Read,

How to cook Polished White Rice

Since polished white rice is low in fiber, cooking them is easy and takes a lesser duration than brown rice.

Steps to cook polished white rice in the cooker

How to cook Polished White Rice in Cooker
How to cook Polished White Rice in Cooker
  1. Measure the quantity of rice you want to cook. Normally 80 g is more than sufficient per person.
  2. Wash the rice and rinse it properly.
  3. Place the cooker and measure water exactly twice the quantity of rice.
  4. Put one-fourth of salt.
  5. Add a tablespoon of oil and close the lid of the cooker.
  6. Light the gas burner on high flame and let the cooker whistle once.
  7. Then turn the flame to medium, and just before the whistle, turn the gas off.
  8. Let it escape the vapour on its own, and Voila, your rice is ready to serve and eat !!

Steps to cook rice in the Utensil

How to cook Polished White Rice in Utensils
How to cook Polished White Rice in Utensils
  1. Measure the rice, clean and rinse it properly as explained above.
  2. Take enough water in the Utensil and place it over the cooktop, and heat it to boil at full flame.
  3. Take out a bowl of hot water from the container. This you can use i9n later stage if you feel you need to add extra water while cooking.
  4. Add one-fourth tablespoon of salt to the water.
  5. Now add the rinsed rice into the Utensil and boil it at medium-low flame for around 15-20 minutes.
  6. Periodically check if the rice is cooked as per your need/understanding.
  7. Use a strainer to rinse the water, and you get very fine rice left inside the container, which is ready to serve and eat.

Is Eating White Polished Rice healthy

While processing the Polished white Rice, the essential bran minerals, nutrients, and fiber gets removed. So, the end processed product has very low nutritional value and is rich in starch.

Also, at the stage of polishing and whitening- several powdered elements are used like talc, bran powder, glucose etc.

Thus, if we compare it with unpolished brown Rice, Polished shiny Rice is way less healthy.

Consuming Polished Rice can also lead to gastritis. Also, since they are less in fiber, regularly consuming them in high proportions leads to bad bowel movements.

Since polished White Rice has a Glycemic Index of approximately 70, it can spike sugar levels in the body. So, people who have diabetes should avoid having Polished white Rice.

It is to note that brown sugar, although it dissolves slower, can also lead to a rise in sugar level in the body. They, too, should be consumed by a diabetic person only on the doctors/nutritionist advice.

Also, if you are more concerned about your diet and health, it’s always better to take advice from a dietitian.


Polished Rice Vs Non Polished Rice
Polished Rice Vs Non Polished Rice

Polished rice is very finely textured, looks very clean and white. On the other hand, unpolished rice looks very pale and brown. But for better nutritional value, one should always prefer Brown Unpolished rice over Polished white Rice.


Q.) Why is polished rice bad?

A.) Polished rice is not good for health as a large chunk of nutritional value is removed in the processing.

Q.) Is unpolished rice better than polished?

A.) Since Unpolished Brown rice incorporates all the minerals and nutrition (like iron, calcium, zinc etc. ), they are far superior to polished rice without enough nutrition quotient.

Q.) Which is the Best Rice for daily use?

A.) For daily consumption, if possible, one should try to have unpolished brown Rice or parboiled Rice. They are quite nourishing and healthy.

Q.) Do Indians eat lots of rice?

A.) Yes, India is just second to China in the production and consumption of rice in the world.

Q.) Why should we not eat polished white rice at night?

A.) It’s because eating rice at night can lead to an instant spike in blood sugar levels due to a high Glycemic Index ( 70 ).

Q.) How is rice polished?

A.) Rice is polished with the help of the Rice Polishing Machine.

Q.) What Does a Rice Polishing Machine Do?

A.) Rice Polishing machines remove the husk and upper bran layer of the rice kernel. Further, it whitens/polishes the rice grain.

Q.) How can you tell if rice is polished?

A.) Polished rice can be distinguished through its smooth texture and shiny whitish colour.


Hello guys! my name is Abhi, a blogger by profession, tech enthusiast by heart and an entertainment freak. I have experience in blogging for over 5 years and it has been a tremendous journey. Blogging has helped me find my inner self.

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