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Number Crunch: Big Grains

Quinoa vs. Brown Rice
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(½ Cup) Calories 313 Protein 12g Carbs 55g Fat 5g Fiber 6g Extras Calcium

Brown Rice

(½ Cup) Calories 342 Protein 7g Carbs 71g Fat 3g Fiber 3g Extras Selenium

We tend to spend more time thinking about our protein sources than we do our carbs. From chicken to fish to red meat and everything in between, the protein we choose often takes center plate. The carbs? They’re on the side—an afterthought. And all too often, we settle for brown rice. But consider quinoa; technically a seed, the “gold of the Incas” contains more protein, less carbs, and fewer calories than brown rice and comes complete with all nine essential amino acids. “As a complete protein that is higher in fiber, quinoa is a healthy alternative to brown rice,” says Jim White, R.D., A.C.S.M., H.F.I., spokesman for the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics. “And with the recent study pertaining to the rising level of arsenic in brown rice, quinoa might be the safer option as well.” Quinoa is also a great source of free radical–fighting antioxidants and dietary fiber, and it’s loaded with energy-boosting B vitamins and magnesium, which support healthy muscle function.

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