Millet vs Rice - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Millet is a type of crop that was harvested since the beginning of agricultural societies. It originates from the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. The plant has a particular property that allows this plant to grow in arid regions, contrary to rice which needs wet soil. This provides arid regions that water isn’t highly accessible to have grain-based foods in their diets. African countries are the highest consumers of millet. Multiple types of millets are harvested nowadays. Each having different properties in cooking and preparations. Millet is used as a breakfast ingredient for pudding, an alternative to rice in pilaf preparation next to stir fry vegetables or proteins. They are also used in baking and alcohol drink preparations.
On the other hand, Rice is a grain that comes in a variety of sizes, forms, and colors. We'll be talking about long, white, normal, enriched rice in this article. It is important to remember that draining the rice and discarding the boiled water is not recommended when using enriched rice. A lot of the enriched elements are washed away with the drained water. Rice was first harvested in China nearly 9000 years ago. Rice is now the third most harvested agricultural commodity, after sugarcane and maize. This data demonstrates how dependent the planet is on rice. It is now used in a variety of culinary cultures around the world, including Asian cuisine, Arab cuisine, Eurasian cuisine, Mexican cuisine, and so on.
In this article, we are going to compare the difference between millet and rice focusing on their difference based on nutritional content, weight loss and diets, and health impacts.
Nutritional data comparison
Millet has a higher glycemic index compared to rice. Millet is classified as a high glycemic index food with a GI of 71. Whereas, rice is classified as a medium glycemic index with a GI of 60.
Millet is 3 times higher in calories compared to rice. 100g of millet has 378 calories compared to 100g of rice which contains 130 calories. The difference in calories is remarkable and has to be taken into consideration.
Millet is composed of 2.5 more carbohydrates compared to rice. Millet contains 73g of carbohydrates which fills 24% of the daily recommended value. On the other hand, rice contains 28g of carbohydrates which fills 9% of the daily recommended value. When it comes to comparing the fiber content of each food, millet has a richer fiber content compared to rice. Millet fulfills 36% of the daily recommended value whereas rice contains negligible amounts of fibers.
Rice has negligible amounts of fats. Millet is relatively higher in fats. Millet contains 4g of fats, 6% of the RDV.
Millet is richer in protein than rice. Millet contains 11g of protein compared to rice which contains 2.7g.
In this section, the comparison is based on 300g of each food.
Millet is richer in phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc. The amounts of copper, phosphorus, and iron satisfy and surpass the daily requirement of these minerals. Thus we can conclude that millet is packed with minerals.
Millet has a richer vitamin profile compared to rice. Millet is richer in vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate. All of these satisfy at least 50% of the daily requirement of vitamins.
Diet and weight loss
Millet is higher in calories and higher in carbs however they are also rich in fibers which promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract and feeling satiated for longer. They are usually part of weight loss diet regimens as an alternative filler food than rice because they are richer in fibers, vitamins, and minerals.
Rice, associated with a well-balanced meal, will help you lose weight if you're on a calorie-restricted diet or encourage a well-balanced diet. This works because eating rice makes you feel fuller than eating the actual meal. Rice is widely eaten in Asian cuisines, but it is associated with nutritious meals and thus promotes good health.
Vegans are allowed to eat rice and millet without restriction.
Vegans may use rice milk as an alternative to dairy milk. Rice milk is sweeter than other non-dairy milk and is also fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Millet milk is vegan alternative milk that has several advantages, including reducing bloating, ingestion, and gas.
Both millet and rice are excluded from the keto diet due to their high carbohydrate content.
Millet also is categorized as a high glycemic index food, causing a spike in blood insulin levels.
The rice diet is a calorie-restricted weight-loss plan. At first, the daily calorie intake is set at 800. (which is also called the detox period).
The calorie count is then increased to 1000 a day before the desired weight is achieved. This diet allows for the consumption of grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Experts, however, argue that this diet is not as healthy as it appears; it emphasizes a high carbohydrate intake with a medium glycemic index. Furthermore, protein, fat, and other vitamins are not eaten, which may result in malnutrition if achieved for a long period (weeks). As a result, the rice diet is not suitable for long-term consumption.
It's important to remember that in a standard healthy diet, the minimum calorie intake is 1600.
This diet is not recommended in the long term for people who are involved in their daily lives, such as work or exercise, and want to lose weight. Since it is a low-fat, low-sodium diet, it is effective in hypertensive patients. However, nowadays drugs are available to treat hypertension.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease
Millet and rice can be consumed in gluten intolerance and celiac disease because they do not contain any gluten.
Millet contains phytochemicals that have protective characteristics against cardiovascular diseases and the property of controlling serum lipid levels. (1)
It's important to note that moderate consumption of white rice has no connection to the development of cardiovascular disease. (2)
Millet contains tannins that have anti-obesity properties in turn reducing risks of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. (3)
Millet consumption has a beneficial impact on gut microflora, owing to its high fiber content, which has several benefits for optimal health. (4)
There is no relation between rice consumption and the development of cancer. (5)
Research shows that the phytonutrients and antioxidants present in millet have anti-carcinogenic properties. (6)
According to this study, there was no relation between rice consumption and the development of cardiovascular disease. It does, however, imply that there is a chance of developing metabolic syndrome. If left unchecked, this can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Obesity is one of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. (7)
According to a study, there is a relation between white rice consumption and the development of type 2 diabetes. (8)
Millet is rich in fiber, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate. They are a better alternative when it comes to diets. Millet is cheaper than rice.Rice has a lower glycemic index. Millet is a better option for overall health.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values