9 Types of Rice and Their Nutritional Profiles

Alongside wheat and corn, rice is one of the most consumed grains in the world.

It’s also a staple food for over 50% of the world’s population (1).

There are several different types of rice, each offering a distinct nutritional profile.

This article examines common rice varieties and what they provide nutritionally.

Types of Rice

Different Types of Rice In Bowls.

In alphabetical order, here is a list of nine rice products alongside their basic nutritional values.

Where data is available, this guide will also provide each variety’s key vitamins and minerals.

All nutritional data is per 100 grams and based on raw weight (unless otherwise stated).

Daily values (% DV) have been calculated using the FDA’s published daily values (available here).

1) Arborio Rice

White Italian Arborio Rice In a Container.

Arborio is an Italian type of rice that undergoes less processing than regular white rice.

As a result, it has higher amylose (starch) content relative to its total carbohydrate provision than other rice varieties (2).

Compared to other rice products, Arborio has a chewier and creamier texture.

For this reason, it is often used for making risotto and creamed rice dishes, such as rice pudding.

Based on data from Trustwell, here are the nutritional values for Arborio rice per 100 grams (3):

  • Calories: 356 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 77.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.22 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Fat: 2.22 g
  • Protein: 11.1 g
  • Sodium: 0 g (0% DV)

2) Basmati Rice

Dried basmati rice in a scoop on a wooden table.

Basmati is a type of rice primarily grown in (and exported from) India and Pakistan (4, 5).

Compared to other rice varieties, basmati has a distinct fragrance from its significant content of a compound called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (6, 7).

Basmati rice has a soft, fluffy texture and a mild, nutty flavor with versatile culinary uses. The rice works well mixed into a dish or as a side dish.

Unfortunately, the nutritional values for basmati rice are not available in any major database based on raw weight. However, data for ‘cooked’ basmati rice is available.

Based on data from the NCC Food and Nutrient Database, 100 grams of cooked basmati rice offers the following nutritional values (8):

  • Calories: 115 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 26.25 g
  • Fiber: 0.67
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Fat: 0.15 g
  • Protein: 2.01 g
  • Sodium: 1 mg (<0.1% DV)
  • Manganese: 0.47 mg (20.4% DV)
  • Selenium: 7.5 mcg (13.6% DV)

3) Black Rice

A wooden spoon of black rice on top of a pile of black rice.

Black rice is sometimes confused with a different rice variety called wild rice due to its similar color. However, the two are distinct from each other and are harvested from different plants.

Some other alternate names for black rice are purple rice and ‘forbidden rice.’

The ‘forbidden’ name comes from black rice’s history when it was exclusively reserved as food for the emperor (9).

Black rice has a chewier and thicker texture than white rice, and its color comes from its high anthocyanin content (10).

Anthocyanins are a phytochemical that gives food blue to dark purple/black pigmentation.

Among its other uses, black rice is often an ingredient in paella, rice cakes, fried rice, pancakes, risotto, and cereal (11).

Based on data from the CRON-o-Meter Community Database, here is the nutritional profile for 100 grams of black rice (12):

  • Calories: 347 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 73.60 g
  • Fiber: 2.80 g
  • Sugars: 0.50 g
  • Fat: 2.0 g
  • Protein: 8.90 g
  • Sodium: 6.50 mg (0.3% DV)

4) Brown Rice

A pile of uncooked brown rice.

The main difference between brown and white rice is the former’s lower level of processing.

Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain because it hasn’t been stripped of the bran and germ (13).

The bran and germ contain fiber, protein, fat, and a range of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (14).

In other words, brown rice is more nutrient-rich than white rice.

However, it does have a chewier texture and an earthier, nuttier flavor than white rice. For this reason, some people prefer the milder taste characteristics of white rice, which is also good at absorbing flavors from other ingredients.

In recipes, brown rice is interchangeable with white rice; here are some recipe ideas.

Per 100 grams, brown rice provides the following nutritional values (15):

  • Calories: 366 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 76.7 g
  • Fiber: 3.0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Fat: 3.31 g
  • Protein: 7.25 g
  • Sodium: 2.50 mg (0.1% DV)
  • Manganese: 2.7 mg (117.4% DV)
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1): 0.54 mg (45% DV)
  • Niacin (vitamin B3): 6.49 mg (40.6% DV)

5) Glutinous Rice

A bowl of glutinous sticky rice.

Glutinous rice is a variety of white rice that has a sticky texture.

It features heavily in Japanese and Korean cuisine, and it is the rice that holds sushi together.

In addition to sushi, glutinous rice often features as an accompaniment to soups and stews.

Glutinous rice gets its sticky texture from its high levels of amylopectin and relatively low amylose content.

Amylopectin and amylose are both types of starch; a higher ratio of amylopectin to amylose has been demonstrated to lead to a stickier texture in cooked rice (16).

Per 100 grams, glutinous rice contains (17):

  • Calories: 370 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 81.7 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Fat: 0.55 g
  • Protein: 6.81 g
  • Sodium: 7.0 mg (0.3% DV)
  • Manganese: 0.97 mg (42.2% DV)
  • Selenium: 15.10 mcg (27.5% DV)
  • Copper: 0.17 mg (18.9% DV)

6) Jasmine Rice

A pile of hot jasmine rice.

Jasmine is a famous rice that primarily grows in South Asia. As of 2018, Thailand had a 60% share of global jasmine rice production, followed by Vietnam (23%) and Cambodia (8%) (18).

Like basmati, jasmine rice is another fragrant rice variety due to its content of a compound called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (7).

Jasmine rice can vary in color and has a fluffy, soft texture once cooked.

Jasmine has a slightly more robust earthy flavor than regular white rice. However, it is still relatively mild compared to brown rice and wild rice.

Jasmine rice is a substitute for white rice in recipes, and it is a good ingredient for curries and stir-fries.

According to the CRON-o-Meter nutritional database, here is the nutritional profile for 100 grams of jasmine rice (12).

  • Calories: 356 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 77.8 g
  • Fiber:
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Fat: 0.17 g
  • Protein: 4.44 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg (0% DV)

7) Pilau Rice (Pilaf)

Yellow pilau rice in a bowl.

While not technically a variety of rice from a crop, pilau rice is one of the world’s most popular types of rice.

However, pilau rice refers to rice (typically basmati) cooked with various herbs and spices.

On this note, pilau commonly has a yellow color which comes from being mixed with turmeric during cooking.

Like basmati rice, pilau is a soft and fluffy rice that can be mixed with a variety of ingredients in a recipe. Alternatively, pilau can be served alone as a side dish.

The nutritional composition of pilau rice can significantly vary depending on the rice (typically basmati) used to make it and the added ingredients and seasonings.

8) White Rice

Medium grain white rice in a bowl.

White rice is a refined grain rather than a whole grain (like brown rice) as it goes through a milling process. This process removes the rice grain’s bran, germ, and hull (19).

Perhaps due to this refining process, a systematic review and meta-analysis of twenty-eight cohort (observational) studies found that the highest intake of white rice (compared to the lowest) is associated with an 18% increased risk of type 2 diabetes (20).

In addition to the name white rice, the product is also known as polished rice.

White rice has a soft and slightly chewy texture and minimal flavor. However, many people enjoy the flavor absorption characteristics of white rice; it readily absorbs flavors from foods and sauces served alongside it.

Compared to whole grain rice options like brown, black, and wild rice, white rice contains much lower fiber and fat levels. This is because the (removed) bran and germ contain these nutrients.

USDA data shows that white rice provides the following nutritional values per 100 grams (21):

  • Calories: 360 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 79.3 g
  • Fiber:
  • Sugars:
  • Fat: 0.58 g
  • Protein: 6.61 g
  • Sodium: 1 mg (<0.1% DV)
  • Manganese: 1.10 mg (47.8% DV)
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 1.34 mg (26.8% DV)
  • Phosphorus: 108.0 mg (8.6% DV)

9) Wild Rice

Wild rice in a wooden container.

Wild rice is another type of wholegrain rice, and it has a dark color due to its anthocyanin content (22).

Like brown and black rice, wild rice has a deeper and earthier flavor than white rice.

Per 100 grams of raw weight, wild rice provides the following nutrition profile (23):

  • Calories: 357 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 74.9 g
  • Fiber: 6.2 g
  • Sugars: 2.5 g
  • Fat: 1.08 g
  • Protein: 14.7 g
  • Sodium: 7 mg (0.3% DV)
  • Manganese: 1.33 mg (57.8% DV)
  • Copper: 0.52 mg (57.8% DV)
  • Zinc: 5.96 mg (54.2% DV)

For more information, see this complete nutritional guide to wild rice.

Short, Medium, and Long Grain Rice

Some varieties of rice are available in short, medium, and long grain sizes.

However, it is worth noting that there is little nutritional difference between these differently-sized rice products.

The most significant difference tends to be the texture after cooking, and short-grain rice takes on a moister texture.

In contrast, long-grain rice stays a bit drier and softer after cooking.

Glycemic Index By Type of Rice

Another point worth considering is that different rice varieties have varying glycemic indexes.

The glycemic index predicts a specific food’s effect on blood sugar when eaten alone. A higher number (scored out of 100) means the food will increase blood sugar quickly, while a very low number implies only a modest impact (24).

Based on the available data from scientific studies, here are the glycemic index scores for different types of rice:

  • Arborio rice has a glycemic index of 69, according to the University of Sydney (25).
  • Several studies have tested the glycemic index of different basmati rice products, with results ranging from a score of 50 to 59 (26, 27, 28).
  • A systematic review found that the mean glycemic index of brown rice was 55, and for white rice, it was 64 (29).
  • Glutinous rice has a glycemic index of 75 (30).
  • The University of Sydney’s glycemic index database shows pilau rice has a glycemic index of 60 (31).
  • Jasmine rice had a glycemic index of 68-80 (32).
  • According to the University of Sydney, wild rice has a glycemic index of 58 (33).

Common Questions

To provide further information, here are some answers to common questions about different types of rice.

Which rice is the healthiest?

There are two considerations when discussing the nutritional merits of rice. Firstly, wholegrain rice (such as brown, black, and wild rice) provides greater nutrients than white rice. However, it is also essential to consider the cooking method. In this regard, fried rice typically provides a much higher amount of calories and fat than boiled or steamed rice.

What is the best rice to eat?

If rice is an occasional food, the “best” rice is probably the one that you enjoy the most. However, in the context of rice being a staple food, large systematic reviews of observational studies and randomized controlled trials support wholegrain rice options. For example, brown rice has been demonstrated to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce weight compared to white rice (34, 35).

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Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.