Which Rice is Best for Diabetes – based on Scientific Research

India is the land where rice is a staple food grain of people. It’s a part of our regular meals for long.

Not only people love to eat rice as such, but they also prepare several other cuisines using the same. Idli from South India is a popular example.

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But we are living in a time when Diabetes is conquering the whole world. Rising blood sugars are a matter of utmost concern.

If not controlled, high blood sugar levels may destroy other body organs as well. Not all rice varieties are good for diabetes, some may support diabetes, and others may worsen it.

The white rice we eat generally is not favorable for diabetics. It can deteriorate the status of blood sugar levels even more.

Therefore, we need to alter our eating habits. You need to find out which rice is best for diabetes and incorporate it into your diet. This replacement is essential.

What’s wrong with the white rice?

Everything is wrong with white rice from a diabetes perspective. The process of milling and polishing robs away all nutritious perks from white rice grain. 

The outermost bran layer is removed for the production of white rice. Not to forget, this is the most nutritious layer of all.

Further, the germ layer also falls off during the grinding process. What is left is just the endosperm with plenty of starch.

There is a final step in which grains are to be polished. This separates the proteinaceous aleurone layer too.

Removal all such layers increase the shelf life of rice but decline it’s nutritional value to a great extent. This rice can only worsen your sugar status, nothing else.

The best variety of rice, particularly for diabetes is whole grain Basmati rice, undoubtedly.

Why Whole Grain Basmati Rice Is The Best For Diabetes? 

Why Whole Grain Basmati Rice Is The Best For Diabetes? 

Brown basmati rice also called whole grain basmati rice seems to be the most promising rice variety for good diabetes management.

It acquires its rich aroma due to substance called 2 acetyl 1 pyrroline, residing inside it naturally. It is this aroma that makes Basmati the most loved and unique rice variety in India.

Whole grains are named so because the whole of their kernels remains intact. All three layers are preserved.

The grains of brown basmati rice has three layers from outside to inside- bran, germ, and endosperm.

The bran layer is abundant in fibers. It is due to this fiber-rich outer cover that makes while grain basmati rice ideal for diabetes purposes.

Fibers have innumerable positive effects on the body. They are the best companions of every individual fighting diabetes for the following reasons:

Besides, this rice variety also contains many vitamins, folates, magnesium, iron, potassium, and copper. Every grain is packed with a plethora of health benefits for you.

According to research, people who ear whole grain rice tend to maintain better blood sugar levels. The risk of heart and cholesterol-related disorders is also minimized.

Henceforth, whole grain basmati rice is worth giving a try.

Glycemic Index Of Whole Grain Basmati Rice

Thankfully, brown Basmati rice has a low glycemic index score. Unlike white rice which ranks high on the glycemic index chart.

Low glycemic index foods are the first choice for diabetes. The reason is that they release sugar from the food slowly into the bloodstream.

Contrary to this, high glycemic index foods release sugars from food at a rapid rate. This, in turn, elevates the blood sugar levels.

And you know, the key to control diabetes is to gain control over blood sugar levels. Foods having a low glycemic index keeps this key working properly.

Following is a marvelous array of benefits you can reap from the consumption of whole-grain Basmati rice.

High Fiber Content

Nature has nourished whole grain basmati rice with an excellent amount of fibers. Fibers are needed to keep a check on rising blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, they improve gut health and digestive functions of the body.

They also assist with weight loss. A high-fiber diet can diminish the risk of developing hearing-related disorders.


Being free from gluten, it serves as the finest alternative for people allergic to the gluten protein.

Gluten can be a problematic element for many people in several ways. Undesired conditions like bloating, fatigue, constipation, or diarrhea arise to the use of rice containing gluten.

Brown Basmati rice has offered you a wonderful antidote for such kinds of ailments.

Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids that the body cannot make are termed essential. You need to obtain them through diet.

Whole grain basmati rice fills up the void for essential amino acids in your body promising you great health. This keeps you away from the number of diseases caused due to amino acid deficiency.

Resistant starch

Whole grain basmati rice preserves a good amount of resistant starch in them. A kind and of starch that increases the count of digestion-friendly bacteria in your gut.

Resistant starch also promotes better diabetic health, satisfies the hunger for longer hours, and enhances immunity.

Antioxidants And Anti-Cancer Properties

The antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic attributes of brown basmati rice confer your vitality and power to fight multifarious diseases.

Whole grain basmati rice has a lower arsenic amount than other varieties. High arsenic content can pave the way for cancer.

Therefore, consuming rice with a lower quantity of arsenic is a safer option.

Together with a wholesome amount of minerals like copper, magnesium, and vitamins, this rice is a potential contributor to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. 

Is Basmati Rice Healthier Than Brown Rice – Whole Grain Basmati VS Brown Rice

Is Basmati Rice Healthier Than Brown Rice - Whole Grain Basmati VS Brown Rice

People often confuse brown basmati rice with brown rice. Though both of them are friendly for diabetes, the difference still exists.

When we talk of brown basmati rice, we are talking of whole-grain variety. Whereas brown rice is just brown. It lacks that distinct aroma and is not a basmati variety.

Brown rice grain can be either long on short, depending upon the type of variety.

For making brown rice, only the outermost husk is separated, keeping all three – bran, germ, and endosperm intact.

 It isn’t processed much as white rice. Brown rice is loaded with good fiber content, essential amino acids like brown basmati rice. It is also free from gluten.

The nutritional profile of both varieties is very much similar.

Every 100 gram of basmati rice contains 

  • Calories – 205
  • Calories from Fat – 4
  • Total Fat – 0.4 g
  • Sodium – 1.6 mg
  • Potassium – 55 mg
  • Total carbs – 45 g
  • Dietary Fiber – 0.6 g
  • Protein – 4.3 g
  • Calcium – 19.5 mg
  • Iron – 1.9 mg
  • Magnesium – 72 mg
  • Phosphorus – 150 mg
  • Copper – 0.2 mg
  • Manganese – 1.9 mg
  • Selenium – 11.8 mcg
  • Thiamin – 0.26 mg
  • Niacin – 3.2 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.4 mg

Similarly, every 100 grams of brown rice comes with

  • Calories – 218
  • Calories from Fat – 14.6
  • Total Fat – 1.6 g
  • Sodium – 2 mg
  • Potassium – 154 mg
  • Total carbs – 46 g
  • Dietary Fiber – 3.6 g
  • Protein – 4.6 g
  • Calcium – 19.5 mg
  • Iron – 0.8 mg
  • Magnesium – 83.9 mg
  • Phosphorus – 162 mg
  • Copper – 0.2 mg
  • Manganese – 1.8 mg
  • Selenium – 19.1 mcg
  • Thiamin – 0.2 mg
  • Niacin – 3.0 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.3 mg

Both share a high degree of similarity but the glycemic index score alienates them from each other.

Brown rice contains greater calories, thereby have greater GI value than brown basmati rice.

Basmati Rice VS Jasmine Rice

Another prominent variety of rice known for its distinguished aroma is Jasmine rice. How good is Jasmine rice for diabetes? 

The grains of jasmine rice is long and brown. They are sold as brown grains or processed further to transform them into white-colored rice grains.

The compound responsible for conferring a delightful aroma is sane in both the varieties.

The major difference to point out here is regarding the glycemic index of jasmine rice which is somewhat higher than brown basmati rice.

Though the nutritional content of both jasmine rice and whole-grain basmati rice is the same, a higher glycemic index of jasmine rice in comparison to its basmati sibling becomes a deciding factor.

After being cooked, jasmine rice becomes shorter, thicker, and stickier. This further increases its GI score.

This is the reason that when it comes to superior rice variety for diabetes, whole grain basmati rice tops the list.

Is It Safe To Consume Whole Grain Basmati Rice every day?

While other kinds of rice may not be a good option for regular eating. Whole grain basmati rice gives you an extra edge.

Being low in carbs, less refined, and super healthy, they can be eaten regularly. They don’t have any negative effects on your physiology.

You can eat them daily as a part of the afternoon meal. Enjoy the rice along with dals, vegetables, and more.

However, few significant drawbacks of consuming whole grain basmati rice daily can be:

  • High fiber can trigger gastric problems in some people
  • It is costlier
  • It may harm you depending upon your overall health

How To Cook Whole Grain Basmati Rice?

How To Cook Whole Grain Basmati Rice

A finely cooked basmati rice is all you need to satisfy your hunger on a healthy note.

A general rule of thumb to cook Basmati rice is – 2 cups of water goes perfectly well with 1 cup of rice.

Wash the rice well with water and get started with these five simple steps.

  1. Pour two cups of water into the pan and let it boil.
  1. Add one cup of rice to water and stir it.
  1. Cover the pan with a lid. Turn flame to medium and let it cool for 30 minutes.
  1. Drain the rice after 30 minutes of steaming and leave it untouched for 5 more minutes.
  1. Your rice is ready to be served on the platter.

Concluding words

Rice with diabetes is a tough combination to put together. One cannot eat common white rice during diabetes.

The high glycemic index score and high calories make white rice a bad choice for type 2 diabetes.

We are so accustomed to eating rice that we cannot completely avoid it. The only option that rules out is finding a favorable alternative.

All the thanks to whole grain basmati rice for being a best-suited replacement and saving our cravings.

We have used the term “whole grain” through the entire text because you might get basmati rice in diverse forms at the market.

There is also white basmati rice widely sold at the local stores. Don’t make a blunder because of the name.

Only prefer brown basmati rice that comes with a goodness of whole grains. This way you neither have to sacrifice your cravings nor compromise with your diabetes management strategy.




Dr Sharon Baisil MD
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