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April 23, 2024
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Basmati rice, renowned for its aromatic fragrance and distinct long grains, holds a unique place in the culinary world. While often praised for its delightful taste and versatility, an essential aspect that deserves attention is its glycemic index (GI) and its potential impact on blood sugar levels. 

We aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of how basmati rice fits into a balanced diet, especially for individuals managing conditions like diabetes.

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Glycemic Index Table

Basmati rice, when analyzed in a standard serving size of 100g, offers valuable insights into its nutritional impact. The glycemic index (GI) of basmati rice, a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels, is approximately 50-58.¹  With a carbohydrate content of around 77.24g per 100g serving, the Glycemic Load (GL), calculated by multiplying the GI by the carbohydrate content and dividing by 100, ranges between 44.8 and 53.5.²

Understanding the glycemic index is crucial, as it helps assess how quickly carbohydrates from a particular food are converted into glucose in the bloodstream. Factors such as cooking methods and the presence of accompanying foods can influence the glycemic index of basmati rice; for instance, allowing the rice to cool before consumption may reduce its glycemic impact.³

Glycemic Index

54

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

77.2 g

GL per Serving

44.80

Nutritional Facts

Basmati rice, a popular long-grain variety, is not only celebrated for its aromatic flavor but also offers nutritional benefits. In a 100g serving, it typically contains around 77.24g of carbohydrates, 8.1g of protein, and minimal fat, contributing to its status as a healthy source of energy.² 

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of basmati rice.²

Calories

354 kcal

Carbs

81.2 g

Protein

8.33 g

Fiber

0 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

-

Sodium

0 mg

Total Fat

0 g

Is Basmati Rice Good for Weight Loss?

Basmati rice can be a supportive component of a weight loss diet when consumed mindfully. With a moderate glycemic index (GI) and lower calorie content compared to some other rice varieties, basmati rice may contribute to satiety and assist in weight management when included as part of a balanced, calorie-controlled diet.¹ It is crucial to focus on portion control and pair basmati rice with nutrient-dense foods to enhance its role in a weight loss plan. Competitors often highlight the general health benefits of basmati rice but may not provide specific insights into its role in weight loss.

Is Basmati Rice Good for People Living with Diabetes?

Basmati rice, with its unique characteristics and moderate glycemic index (GI), can be a suitable option for individuals with diabetes when consumed in moderation. Its lower GI compared to some other rice varieties suggests a slower impact on blood sugar levels.¹ However, it is essential to consider portion control and pair basmati rice with a balanced diet rich in fiber, proteins, and vegetables to help mitigate blood sugar spikes.² 

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Allergies

While basmati rice is generally well-tolerated, it's essential to acknowledge the possibility of rice allergies, albeit rare. Allergic reactions to rice may manifest as skin rashes, digestive issues, or respiratory symptoms. It's crucial to consult medical professionals if such symptoms arise.

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FAQs

What is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.

Does Basmati Rice Spike Insulin?

No, Basmati rice does not spike insulin levels. Basmati rice has a low glycemic index, which means it is digested and absorbed slowly, resulting in a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. This slow release helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent insulin spikes. Therefore, Basmati rice can be a suitable option for individuals looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

Is Basmati Rice Low Glycemic?

Yes, Basmati rice is considered to be low glycemic. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI value (55 or less) are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Basmati rice has a low GI value, typically ranging from 50 to 58, making it a suitable choice for individuals who are concerned about managing their blood sugar levels. Its low glycemic nature can help promote stable energy levels and prevent spikes in blood sugar, making it a healthier option compared to other types of rice.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Basmati Rice?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat basmati rice. Basmati rice has a lower glycemic index compared to other types of rice, which means it causes a slower rise in blood sugar levels. This makes it a better option for individuals with diabetes who need to manage their blood sugar levels. However, portion control is still important, as consuming large quantities of any type of rice can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice on managing diabetes and incorporating basmati rice into a balanced diet.

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References

  1. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI Newshttps://glycemicindex.com/
  2. USDA FoodData Central. (2022, December 22). Food Details - Basmati rice, basmati. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2429932/nutrients 
  3. Sonia, S., Witjaksono, F., & Ridwan, R. (2015). Effect of cooling of cooked white rice on resistant starch content and glycemic response. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 24(4), 620–625. https://doi.org/10.6133/apjcn.2015.24.4.13

About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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