In May of 2008, the FDA finally added brown rice to its list of whole grain products, which allowed it the right to bear the Whole Grain Health Claim. This claim states that the food contains at least 51% whole grains and can specifically say, “Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.”
Since there is no lab test to determine “the whole grain content,” the FDA decided in order to use the whole grain claim the product must be able to prove that the product meets or exceeds the fiber level of wheat. Originally, brown rice could not prove this claim and therefore was delayed from being added to the approved list and could not use the Whole Grain Health Claim.
Now, however, the FDA has clarified, that a compliance test is not necessary for brown rice or other single-ingredient whole grain foods. If the ingredients list shows that a product contains whole grain and nothing but whole grain, then it’s obvious that the package contains 100% whole grain and clearly exceeds the 51% requirement.
There are now numerous brown rice products out on the market, some in which all you have to do is throw it in the microwave. I encourage you to venture out and eat brown rice in place of white rice. You will never know if you like it or not until you try it…and if it’s better for your health then why wouldn’t you give it a taste?