Healthy Food Guide examines which carb is more nutritionally dense: orzo, white rice or brown rice.
Orzo (it’s also called risoni) is small rice-shaped pasta which can be used in many recipes instead of rice. We compared a 2/3 cup serve of cooked orzo, 2/3 cup of cooked brown rice and 1 cup of cooked white basmati rice. As white rice is not as dense, these serves deliver a similar weight of food.
These have a similar carbohydrate content but orzo delivers twice the protein of brown rice and a few more kilojoules. These are all low in fat. Brown rice provides nearly twice the fibre of white rice. When cooled, orzo, like all pasta, produces resistant starch, an important type of fibre.
Vitamins and minerals
Brown rice is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and B6, as well as delivering smaller amounts of iron, zinc and selenium. Orzo is a good source of thiamin and niacin, also providing some B6, folate, iron and zinc. White rice delivers more zinc than the others, but has much smaller amounts of other nutrients.
Winner: Brown rice
All of these fit in a healthy diet, and variety is important, but brown rice wins as a ‘go to’ carb.