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 basmati rice nutrition benefits 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 basmati rice 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 basmati rice available today; they can broadly be classified into two from a nutritious point of view- white and brown varieties.  The brown basmati rice is known all across the globe for its rich bran and fibre content. According to Ayurveda, brown basmati 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.

– Written by Jaga Salai, a food technologist, working as Production Manager in Alobha Exim

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