Rice, the staple food of Indian cuisine has been one of the most controversial foods because of its starch content and belief of being fattening. But let me correct you, rice is not at all bad if taken in controlled portions. Besides, it is extremely nutritious and helps in losing weight. Eating rice with other foods also helps in reducing the overall glycemic index of a meal. Here are some facts about rice.
Adults need only one cup of cooked rice per meal. If you eat brown rice, do not assume that you can increase your portion size. Brown or white, rice is still an energy providing carbohydrate – and if the intake is high it will be stored in the body as fat.
Another myth about rice is that it is considered bad for diabetics. This is definitely not true, as rice can be included in the diet of a diabetes patient keeping in mind the type and portions.
Include brown rice in your diet to increase your intake of fibre. A cup of cooked brown rice is blessed with 3 grams of fibre.
The following is a list of popular rice varieties with the amount of carbohydrates and glycemic index (ranking of carbohydrates according to how it affects blood pressure levels) for each:
Basmati rice has longer grains or kernels than the other varieties of rice. It is a free-flowing rice that is fluffy rather than sticky. Basmati rice is available in both brown and white varieties. A cup of cooked basmati rice consists of 44 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fibre with a glycemic index of 58.
White Rice is a short-grain Asian rice, which, as its name implies, is sticky and gelatinous. It can have a sweeter taste than the other varieties of rice. A cup of cooked white rice consists of 37 grams of carbohydrates and 1.7 grams of fibre with a glycemic index of 86.
Brown rice containing the bran and germ is a whole grain rice. It has a mild, nutty flavour and is chewier and more nutritious than white rice. A cup of cooked brown rice consists of 24 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fibre with a glycemic index of 55.
These are the general and widely available types of rice. The most preferred and healthy rice, however, is the brown variety because of its high fiber and low GI levels.
Combination and recipes
Rice can make an incredible meal when combined with various vegetables and spices. A humble dal-rice meal is both nutritious and satiating and even aids in weight loss. Other rice recipes could be burrito bowl, Mexican rice, rice casseroles, rice based wok with tofu or stir-fry, sizzlers, etc.
The health benefits of rice make it a great addition to your meal. Rice is a gluten-free grain and is therefore one of the best non-allergic foods. It can be consumed by individuals suffering from celiac disease (Gluten Indigestion). It is also great for people on soft diets like geriatric patients or infants and even for those with lung disorders. The low sodium content in rice makes it an ideal food for high blood pressure patients. Lastly, rice is affordable, easy to prepare and greatly improves your overall health.