By Dr. Shikha Sharma
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What is Healthier, Rice or Roti?

Rice vs wheat flour chapati is a very common and controversial topic as both of these grains are the staple food in many parts of the globe. People blame rice for causing obesity, diabetes and other related conditions, but is it true?

As we most commonly use polished or white rice, which looks white due to the removal of fiber-rich outer covering called husk or bran. During this process, most of the micro-nutrients like (vitamins and minerals) are washed away. Thus, white rice is devoid of B-complex vitamins, iron, calcium etc.

Whole wheat flour unless sieved is the main ingredient in chapatis and it is high in fibre, protein and minerals like iron, calcium, selenium, potassium and magnesium. Thus, nutrient content-wise, chapatis are healthier than white rice. Brown or unpolished rice could be a good replacement for white one which retains almost all micro-nutrients.

Comparison of Rice or Chapati



1 Bowl (30 gm)

Chapati(Whole wheat roti)

1 Medium (30g flour)

Carbohydrates (grams)



Proteins (grams)



Fats (grams)



Fibers (grams)



Iron (mg)



Calcium (mg)



Energy (Kcal)



Other basic consideration regarding chapati and rice:

  • For people who have diabetes, eating whole wheat chapati is a better alternative. White rice has a higher glycemic index than chapati, which means, it increases the blood sugar more rapidly. Thus chapati is always a preferred option for diabetic individuals.
  • For those who are overweight or obese, chapati is a better choice as it contains more fibre. Eating rice more often, more in quantity and especially at dinner can lead to weight and fat gain.
  • Wheat flour chapati provides our body with Vitamins and minerals like Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Calcium and Iron.
  • Chapati also contains Zinc and other minerals which are good for your skin. This is one of the benefits of a chapati.
  • As the chapati is loaded with iron it is good for the haemoglobin levels of your blood.
  • The fibre content, as well as the Selenium content in roti, are said to minimise the risk of certain types of cancers.


There are some limitations to wheat consumption as well. If you are susceptible to allergic reaction with whole wheat consumption such as hives, itching, skin rash, and eczema, it is advisable not to consume it. Whole wheat contains oxalates, which are naturally-occurring substances in animals, plants, and human beings. However, too much oxalate in bodily fluids can lead to crystallisation, thereby causing health issues like gallstones, kidney stones, and gout.

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