Is Basmati Rice Good For Diabetes?

  When you talk about Indian cuisine, one of the first things that come to mind is the delicate, aromatic and fluffy basmati rice along with a steaming bowl of spicy curry. So is that all basmati rice is about? Is basmati rice good for diabetes as numerous dieticians and physicians are keen to assert? What are the nutrition benefits of it that make it almost indispensable in various households?

Diabetes - types and causes

Diabetes is a chronic condition occurring due to your pancreas's inability to process the hormone insulin that is produced by the body. It is also causes when your pancreas is unable to produce sufficient insulin for your body. Any imbalance in the insulin content causes a problem to the body because it renders it impossible to control blood sugar. As per data released by World Health Organization, in 2014 alone, more than 2 million people died of diabetes worldwide.

There are mainly two types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2. The symptoms are almost the same, but the treatment is entirely different due to its distinct effects on the human body.

Basmati rice is known to be effective in curing diabetes because of its high fiber content which in turns helps the body regulate the production of insulin. This is where the connection between basmati rice and blood sugar comes to the forefront.

How can they tackle the problem of diabetes?

To begin with, there are few other staple diets that are as rich in fibre content as basmati rice is. This is one reason why Indians have attached great importance to this rice variety. Everyone from WHO to your local dietician will stress the importance of fibre content in your food. Lack of proper fibre intake can result in a host of issues which can exacerbate mild diabetes in the long run.

Although, there are too many varieties of them available today; they can broadly be classified into two from a nutritious point of view- white and brown varieties. The brown rice is known all across the globe for its rich bran and fibre content. According to Ayurveda, brown rice does not have its outer bran layer removed, hence the brown colour. It is unprocessed; hence all its nutrients are retained. So the next time someone asks 'Is brown basmati rice healthy?' you can reply by stating the correlation between brown basmati rice and diabetes.

White basmati rice is relatively less nutritious when compared to its brown counterpart, but Ayurveda recommends the white variety for those people who are recuperating from an illness. It is easier to digest and doesn't alter the inner digestive enzymes.

A diet rich in fibre alone won't do the trick. As with any health problem, a balanced diet has to be combined with regular physical exercises for best results. Now, physical exercises don't mean that you have to work out for hours at a stretch day after day. According to a recent study conducted by American Diabetes Association (ADA), mild physical activities such as a 20 minute walk daily is sufficient to keep your diabetes levels under control. Hence, combine physical exercises with Basmati Rice to be healthy

Rice is a valuable food source all over the world and forms an important part of our staple diet. It is popular because it contains many valuable nutrients and is affordable to most people. Notably white rice is the most common parboiled rice in the world but basmati is also widely used. If they are both a type of rice then what is it that distinguishes the two?

The size and appearance. Basmati rice and parboiled rice can be clearly distinguished from each other. Basmati rice appears to be a smaller but longer grain than its counterpart and it cooks a lot faster. Be sure not to leave basmati rice to boil for a long period as this will soften it to a point that it will become soppy. Parboiled rice also cooks quickly but if you leave it on the stove for too long it will become mushy.

The flavour. Parboiled rice does not have any added flavour. It is plain and can be paired with practically any dish. It will not take away the flavour from the main dish. Basmati has a more delicate and exotic flavour which means that it can only be paired with certain dishes. It is best paired with Indian or oriental dishes, such as curries or biryani.

The fragrance. Basmati rice has a wonderful aroma while cooking. The delicious fragrance will fill your kitchen with a mouth-watering flavour that you could bite out of the air. Parboiled rice does not have a fragrance and simply cooks in the water until it is ready to be removed from the stove. This quality makes it more versatile because it has no aroma it will complement any dish you pair with it.

The texture. Basmati rice, which is quicker to boil, retains its shape and form once cooked and does not stick to each other. This makes it the ideal rice for biryani dishes, which are purely rice dishes. Parboiled rice grains have a tendency to stick to each other much easier. This makes it an ideal rice for desserts as well, such rice pudding.

There you have it; the differences between basmati rice and parboiled white rice. White rice is a versatile ingredient that is soft, fragrance-free, can be paired with any dish or even used to make a dessert. Basmati is a long grain that is filled with aroma and flavour which is best served with certain dishes only, such as curries Although these two types of rice are vastly different, they each have their applications in the kitchen. I dare you to try both types so that you can decide for yourself.

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