While meal prepping burrito bowls a few weeks ago, I cooked rice for the first time. I was shocked that it took 45 minutes to make brown rice, and I was disappointed when it came out on the gummy side. I was thinking Man, I should have just done instant rice. 

However, I was worried that maybe instant rice was not as healthy. Which lead me to think, is instant rice healthy for you?

What Makes Rice Healthy?

risotto, cereal, rice
Jocelyn Hsu

Rice in its plant form includes three parts. From the outside in, the plant consists of the hull, rice bran, and the piece of rice. The hull is not edible, but it has a high level of silica which makes it good for industrial use.

The next part is the bran. The bran is very healthy for humans given its fiber content as well as many other vitamins and minerals.

Finally there is the rice. What we want out of rice is to get whole grains. According to the USDA, we need to get 6 servings of whole grains a day or more.

Instant Rice vs. Other Rice

vegetable, salt, risotto, cereal, rice
Kristine Mahan

According to the Whole Grain Council, the all being grain gods that decide whether or not a food is a good source of whole grains, state that instant rice can provide a consumer with 100% serving of whole grains.

On this list, they have given Uncle Ben's and Minute Rice (two of the most commonly purchased instant rices) the 100% sticker. With that being said, instant or precooked rice is not bad for you compared to normal rice.

Why Do Whole Grains Matter?

chocolate, rice
Spoon University

Looking for the Whole Grain Council's stamp of approval is very important, because whole grains give us many health benefits. Whole grains reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. They also are known to provide antioxidants that are not in fruits and veggies.

Whole grains give us vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron, and fiber.  This cool af information is important because it means that you can enjoy whole grain carbs.

With this information we can now answer the question of "Is instant rice healthy for you?" When we take it down, both instant rice and other rices provide the same amount of whole grain if the Whole Grain Council's seal of approval is on the package.

Instant rice can save you time when it comes to meal prepping and making dinner after a long day at work and  will still give you that whole grain boost. If you want to get another punch of healthy out of your instant rice, try swapping brown rice for white rice.