How Much Brown Rice is per Person

In this brief article, we will answer the question of how much brown rice is per person, along with its nutritional profile, health benefits, and interesting ways to consume it.

How Much Brown Rice is per Person?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, when using a cup, it is recommended that you estimate half a cup per person – that’s about 100 grams of cooked rice per person.

How much rice per person depends on the appetite of the people eating it, plus what it is being served with. 

As a rule of thumb, rice doubles in size when cooked. So that implies that for every one cup of uncooked rice, there are two cups of cooked rice.

However, brown rice expands more than white rice because it is higher in fiber, hence one cup of uncooked brown rice equals three cups of cooked rice. Brown rich has a longer cooking time than white rice (2).

What Makes Brown Rice Healthier Than White Rice?

The two outer layers of brown rice known as bran and germ contain copious amounts of minerals and vitamins. These layers are removed when manufacturers process the grain to produce white rice. These layers contain dietary fiber, which comprises highly complex substances that can be defined as any nondigestible carbohydrate and lignin not degraded in the upper gut (3). 

Hence, brown rice is a healthier choice than processed white rice.

What are the Benefits of Brown Rice?

Brown rice contains iron, zinc, thiamine, niacin, vitamin E, dietary fiber, protein and carbohydrates. Furthermore, bioactive constituents such as γ-oryzanols, tocotrienols, polyphenols (2).

For diabetics, brown rice is a much healthier substitute to refined white rice. This is because brown rice contains a much higher fiber content and has a moderate glycemic index. The American Diabetes Association recommends that fiber intake in patients with diabetes should match the recommendations for the general population, to increase intake to 14 g fiber/1000 kcal daily, or about 25 g/d for women and 38 g/d for men. Studies clearly indicate that diets high in insoluble cereal dietary fiber and whole grains might significantly reduce diabetes risk (3). 

According to the University of Maryland, Medical Center diabetics should ideally consume 50 grams of fiber per day along with a cup of brown rice for attaining 3.5 grams of fiber per day. 

Moreover, brown rice can help manage weight since it is extremely filling and satisfying with high fiber content and relatively low calories.


How Much Brown Rice Should You Eat Every Day?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,  a minimum of 50 percent of our daily grain allowance must come from whole grains. The relative amount of whole grain in the food can be inferred by the placement of the grain in the ingredients list. The whole grain should be the first ingredient (1).

However, how much brown rice you should eat per day depends on your daily caloric requirements and general food preferences. 

People who are dieting and limiting their caloric intake to 1,200 per day require only four ounces of grains, i.e. two cups of cooked brown rice. Those consuming the standard 2,000 calories per day require six ounces of grain (1).

What is the Nutrition Profile of Half Cup Brown Rice?

According to the US Department of Agriculture Food Data, a half-cup serving of long-grain brown rice contains, 100 g:

Water                                               70.3   g

Energy                                            123 kcal

Energy                                            514 kJ

Protein                                           2.74   g

Total lipid (fat)                           0.97   g

Ash                                                    0.44   g

Carbohydrate                              25.6   g

Fiber                                                1.6  g

Sugars                                             0.24   g

Sucrose                                          0.24   g

Starch                                             24.8   g

Calcium, Ca                                  3      mg

Iron, Fe                                           0.56   mg

Magnesium, Mg                          39   mg

Phosphorus, P                            103 mg

Potassium, K                               86   mg

Sodium, Na                                  4      mg

Zinc, Zn                                          0.71   mg

Copper, Cu                                   0.106 mg

Manganese, Mn                          0.974 mg

Selenium, Se                               5.8  µg

Thiamin                                          0.178 mg

Riboflavin                                      0.069 mg

Niacin                                              2.56   mg

Pantothenic acid                       0.38   mg

Vitamin B-6                                  0.123 mg

Folate, total                                 9      µg

Folate, food                                 9      µg

Folate, DFE                                   9      µg

Choline, total                              9.2  mg

Brown rice is also rich in flavonoids and phenols, two antioxidants that help fight cell damage and reduce the risk of premature aging (2). The rice protein quality has been proved to be better in comparison to wheat and corn protein quality and has higher amounts of lysine, and essential amino acid, in comparison to other cereals and milled rice (2).

How Do You Prepare Brown Rice?

Here’s how you can prepare a delicious serving of brown rice:

  1. Rinse brown rice in cool water to remove dust and drain extra starch.
  2. Add the rice in a pot along with one and a half cups of water for each cup of dry brown rice. Place on high heat.
  3. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and place the lid on the pot.
  4. Allow the rice to simmer for at least 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Let the rice sit and steam for about 10 minutes before serving.

Some people prefer to use a rice cooker to make things easier and quicker. Once the rice is heated till done, the cooker will automatically switch to warming mode. Just remember to:

  1. Use the same ratio of water-to-washed and rinsed dry brown rice.
  2. Let the rice rest in the warming mode for five to 10 minutes, otherwise, it will get sticky.


Some Additional Tips to Incorporate Brown Rice in Your Meals

  • If you require five ounces of grains per day, consume two ounces (one cup) from brown rice, and the rest from grains like oats, cereal, oats, popcorn, whole wheat bread, or quinoa.
  • If cooking long-grain brown rice for 45 minutes seems challenging, and you don’t own a rice cooker, you can buy quick-cooking brown rice. Also, you could cook a large batch at a time and freeze it in one-cup servings.


How Can You Serve Brown Rice?

Brown rice can either be eaten as a base ingredient or served as a healthy side dish for various recipes. 

Here are some ways you can improvise and eat brown rice:

  • Add them to soups for additional carbohydrates.
  • Serve along with stir-fry vegetables, meat, and tofu.
  • Mix some brown rice with a bowl of salsa, beans, and green vegetables as a healthy snack.
  • Combine brown rice with spices and ground beef and use this mixture to stuff tomatoes or bell peppers.
  • Combine brown rice with some sugar, milk, and eggs to make healthy rice pudding.


In this brief article, we answered the question of how much brown rice is per person, along with its nutritional profile, health benefits, and interesting ways to consume it.

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015. .
  2. Upadhyay, Atul, and Sanjeev Kumar Karn. Brown rice: Nutritional composition and health benefits. J Food Sci Technol Nepal, 2018, 10, 47-52.
  3. Weickert, Martin O., and Andreas FH Pfeiffer. Impact of dietary fiber consumption on insulin resistance and the prevention of type 2 diabetes.J nutr, 2018, 148, 7-12.