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White rice vs Mung Beans: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between white rice and mung beans, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the white rice vs mung beans comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on February 22, 2023.

Although white rice and mung beans belong to different food groups, while white rice belong is a grain, and mung beans belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares white rice and mung beans, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how white rice and mung beans compare specifically.

White rice

White rice (Oryza sativa) has had its husk, bran, and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This process, called milling, makes the rice less nutritious but increases its shelf life and gives it a lighter color and texture.

White rice is a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein, and fiber. It is gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

White rice is a staple food in many cultures and is often used as a side dish, in soups and stews, and as an ingredient in salads and sushi. It is also considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

White rice is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based products, making it a good option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, brown rice and other types of whole grains are less nutritious than brown rice, as it has had its bran and germ removed.

White rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Mung Beans

Mung beans (Vigna radiata), also known as green gram or moong bean, are a type of legume native to India and Southeast Asia.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content, as well as their delicate, nutty flavor.

Mung beans are also a good source of several important nutrients, including potassium, iron, and B vitamins.

They can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, such as mung bean soup, sprouts, and curry.

In addition to being a nutritious food, mung beans have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control and may also help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Mung Beans are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.

White rice vs Mung Beans Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing white rice vs mung beans.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of white rice and mung beans and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

White riceMung Beans
Energy360 kcal347 kcal
Carbs79.3 g62.6 g
Sugar1.88 g6.6 g
Fiber3.3 g16.3 g
Protein6.61 g23.9 g
Fat0.58 g1.15 g
Saturated Fat0.158 g0.348 g

White rice vs Mung Beans Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing mung beans vs white rice for weight loss, mung beans are slightly lower in calories, with 347 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of white rice.

However, both white rice and mung beans can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

White rice vs Mung Beans Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including white rice and mung beans, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Mung Beans offer around 72% more protein than white rice.

Mung Beans have 23.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, while white rice has 6.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.

White rice vs Mung Beans Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in white rice and mung beans.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 21% higher in white rice than in mung beans. It have 79.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 62.6 grams in mung beans.

There’s less sugar in white rice than in mung beans, 72% precisely.

One handful of white rice (28 grams) contains 0.5 grams of sugar, while the same amount of mung beans contains 1.8 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in white rice and mung beans.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 4.6 grams of fiber per portion, mung beans are a better source of fiber than white rice which offer 0.9 grams per portion.

White rice vs Mung Beans Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, white rice and mung beans are low in fat.

Fats in white rice and mung beans are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in white rice and mung beans:

  • White rice: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Mung Beans: 1.2 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, white rice is 33% lower in saturated fats.

White rice and mung beans contain 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

White rice vs Mung Beans Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of white rice and mung beans.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

White rice has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

White rice and mung beans contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins white rice and mung beans contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

White riceMung Beans
Vitamin A62 IU114 IU
Vitamin C04.8 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.07 mg0.621 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.048 mg0.233 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.6 mg2.25 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.34 mg1.91 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.145 mg0.382 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)9 µg625 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.37 mg0.51 mg
Vitamin K0.5 µg9 µg

White rice vs Mung Beans Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the white rice and mung beans comparison focuses on their mineral content.

White rice is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than mung beans.

On the other hand, mung beans are a higher amount of manganese, and selenium.

Check out the table below to learn how white rice and mung beans compare when it comes to mineral content.

White riceMung Beans
Calcium9 mg132 mg
Copper0.11 mg0.941 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron0.8 mg6.74 mg
Magnesium35 mg189 mg
Manganese1.1 mg1.04 mg
Phosphorus108 mg367 mg
Potassium86 mg1250 mg
Selenium78.8 µg8.2 µg
Sodium1 mg15 mg
Zinc1.16 mg2.68 mg

The Final Word

White rice and mung beans are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both white rice and mung beans are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in grains and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes and grains are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.

Sources

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