Update a single field vs Inserting the whole document again

Which one is more costly operation? Suppose I have 50 fields per document in an index.

  1. Updating a single field in a document
  2. Re-inserting the complete whole document with that changed field.

Basically _update vs normal insert. What exactly happens when we update a single field?

The whole document is reindexed so there is little difference between the two options.

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