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Is Basmati Rice Good for Diabetes? Plus the 3 Benefits
Diabetes

Is Basmati Rice Good for Diabetes? Plus the 3 Benefits

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 29
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5 min

Rice is one of the foods that don’t really stabilize blood sugar levels. So, should you eat it at all? We explain if basmati rice is good for diabetes management and provide 3 health benefits of eating it.

Is basmati rice good for diabetes
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There are certain types of rice that can raise blood glucose levels.

You should always eat foods that have a low glycemic index and don’t threaten your diabetes-friendly diet. High-carb products like rice may not be a regular occurrence in your meals. This is because it contains too many carbs for regulating blood sugar levels.

Basmati rice is a popular option to have with a range of delicious recipes. Whole-wheat versions could actually provide many benefits to your overall health. You might be wondering – what type of rice is the best? Can it trigger any hyperglycemia symptoms?

In this article, you’ll discover if basmati rice is good for managing diabetes.

Is Basmati Rice Good for Diabetes?

Yes, basmati rice can be good for diabetes, but only in moderate amounts. Too much rice may raise the sugar content in your bloodstream, leading to hyperglycemia symptoms. Opt for whole-grain basmati rice or brown rice when pairing it with your meals.

Rice is one of those products that may not be good for everyone. Even though it doesn’t score high on the glycemic index scale, it can still mess with your blood sugar levels. The great number of carbohydrates may encourage the body to produce insulin and eventually resist it.

You can still eat rice for diabetes, but don’t go overboard with this food product. Aim to have brown basmati rice over any type of white rice. This is because white grains usually contain more fat, carbs, and sugars that can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Some people also eat brown basmati rice for weight loss. If you have diabetes, it might be worth going for brown rice options that contain magnesium, manganese, and selenium. Magnesium especially regulates blood glucose and helps your body have better long-term glycemic control.

Does Basmati Rice Raise Blood Sugar?

White basmati rice can potentially raise your blood sugar levels. Most types of white rice are processed and contain high amounts of saturated fat. You should try to avoid this food product and incorporate brown basmati rice into your diabetes-friendly diet. 

Basmati rice has the chance to disrupt diabetes management. The refined grains have been stripped of important nutrients like fiber, protein, and healthy fats. You need lots of dietary fiber in your diet to keep blood sugar low and maintain blood glucose levels after meals.

Find brown or wild rice that contains fiber and resistant starch. Some people don’t realize that resistant starch actually improves insulin sensitivity by managing blood glucose concentrations. White basmati rice may not have these benefits, so it’s best to avoid it on your balanced diet. 

Nutritional Value of Basmati Rice

There are certain important nutrients in rice for both weight loss and diabetes management. The more nutrients and vitamins you get, the more likely you’ll have normal blood pressure. You can learn more about the nutritional worth of basmati rice and how it may benefit your health.

Below, you’ll find the nutritional value of basmati rice per 100 grams:

Net CarbsTotal CarbsFatsProtein
27.6g28g0.28g2.67g
CaloriesFiberSugarsGlycemic Index
1290.4g0.05g50–58

Glycemic Index of Basmati Rice

The glycemic index of basmati rice is 50–58, depending on the type of rice and how you prepare it. For example, cooked white basmati rice may have a higher GI score due to the refined starch. This is the same for fried rice that has been cooked with fat-based oils.

Glycemic index (GI) refers to the measurement of specific foods on your blood sugar. A product that scores above 55 usually isn’t good for people with diabetes. This might be potatoes or white bread, as they contain too many carbohydrates that will raise blood cholesterol levels.

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If you want to eat brown or whole-grain rice on a diabetes-friendly diet, steam or boil it for your meals. These methods can preserve the nutrients, including fiber that improves the digestive tract

How to Eat Basmati Rice if You Have Diabetes

You should choose rice with a low or medium GI score before planning your meals. This can help you prepare basmati rice without worrying about the fat or high-carb content. Just make sure to boil or steam the food product to retain the important nutrients. 

The first step before you cook basmati rice is to measure the ingredients. You should have half a cup of rice with each meal, preferably once or twice a week. Simply add the chosen rice into a saucepan and include one cup of water to help boil the rice (if you don’t want to steam). 

Bring the rice to a boil without using a lid to cover the saucepan. This process should take around 10 minutes. Once that step is completed, add the cover and let the rice simmer for 20 minutes. You can add herbs and seasonings when it’s simmering to enhance any flavors. 

3 Benefits of Basmati Rice for Diabetes

Rice has many benefits that can improve your diabetes-friendly diet. The important nutrients help prevent heart disease and strengthen bowel function. If you have type 2 diabetes, aim to have rice once per week to avoid exceeding your daily carb amount. 

Let’s take a look at the 3 benefits of basmati rice:

#1 Rich in fiber

Basmati rice is full of fiber that can support people with diabetes. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar in your system, which prevents horrible blood sugar spikes. Those who regularly experience severe constipation should also incorporate more fiber into their diet.

A high-fiber diet is also important for regulating bowel health. It can lubricate the gastrointestinal tract and decrease the risk of bowel cancer in the future. Just make sure not to eat too much rice, as this might trigger bloating, temporary weight gain, loose stools, and back pain

#2 Might help lower blood pressure

Eating rice is great for maintaining normal blood pressure levels. A diet rich in whole grains may relax blood vessels and ease the blood flow traveling to your heart. Lower blood pressure means a reduced risk of heart disease, including unstable angina and cardiomyopathy.

Keeping your heart healthy is especially important for those with type 2 diabetes. Rice is a low to medium glycemic food that will support your cardiovascular system. If you need more guidance on heart-friendly foods, speak to a dietitian about other great products to eat.

#3 Weight management

Even though rice contains a fair amount of calories, it can still benefit your weight management journey. The best types of rice for weight loss include brown, black, red, and wild rice. Always monitor your daily rice consumption and consume other low-calorie foods to maintain health. 

FAQs

Is basmati rice the healthiest?

Basmati rice isn’t the healthiest option, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad food. You should try to eat more whole grains that offer more amazing health benefits. White basmati rice is probably the worst type, so opt for brown versions that contain valuable nutrients and vitamins.

Which is healthier: basmati or brown rice?

Brown rice is healthier because it has more B vitamins, fiber, zinc, and phosphorus. These important minerals work to improve your overall health. White rice doesn’t really have the essential amino acids that boost immune functions or sustain normal digestive processes.

Can you consume rice if you have diabetes?

Yes, you can consume rice if you have diabetes, but only in small amounts. Going overboard with this food may raise blood sugar after your meals. Always look at the GI score of each rice product to determine if it will encourage diabetes-related symptoms or reduce them.

A Word From Our MD

Basmati is a type of rice that improves bowel function and supports weight management. Those who opt for brown or whole-grain options may notice a difference in their sugar content. White versions of rice aren’t that healthy, as they hold refined starch and other forms of saturated fats.

You don’t have to consume rice with every single meal. This might trigger hyperglycemia symptoms like shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea, weakness, and dry mouth. Aim to have this food at least once a week to maintain optimal health in the long term.

One thing to note is that you should speak to a medical professional about managing diabetes. They can advise people on the best food to eat, especially if they suffer from hypertension as well. Just make sure to discuss clinical nutrition when it comes to lowering sugar in the blood.

Conclusion

So, is basmati rice really good for managing diabetes?

Rice is okay for those with diabetes, but you should only eat it in moderate amounts. One serving (half a cup) is plenty to have with the occasional rice-based meal. You can also mix non-starchy vegetables with rice to get more important nutrients for your diabetes diet.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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