Is Basmati Rice Healthy For Weight Loss? Not all Carbs = Bad

by Josh | Last Updated:  September 5, 2020
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Basmati Rice is a tremendous delicacy in the Indian subcontinent and the places they are exported to. Their distinct aroma makes it easy to distinguish them from other rice varieties and truly sets them apart. Basmati rice is used in nearly every traditional Indian and Pakistani dish, but they can just as well go along with the western style of gourmet.

Is basmati rice healthy for weight loss? With a Glycemic Index of 52 which is 20+ points lower than standard white rice the impact on your blood sugar is better. Basmati rice also contains less calories in the same size servings than its white rice cousin and is low in cholesterol and gluten-free making it ideal for people with gluten intolerances.

The individual grain of the basmati rice is the longest and has an addictive taste to it. The unique characteristics of basmati rice are not merely confined to their taste and aroma; they also have certain health benefits!

Basmati is a SuperGrain; it is low in cholesterol, gluten-free with a low amount of Tran’s fats and sodium, and contains many amino acids. It is also rich in fiber and antioxidants.

Even though the glycemic index of Basmati rice is 52 and foods with low glycemic index tend to take longer to digest, however, the grain of basmati rice is considered very healthy when its benefits are considered.

The benefits of Basmati Rice are plenty; weight loss is one of them. Doctors and trainers, in general, recommend basmati rice to aid in weight loss and treating certain heart diseases and even diabetes.

A great percentage of your muscle-building lies in your diet; basmati rice is also a great food for bodybuilders. So the short answer is yes, you should choose this Indian delicacy if you are looking for food which helps you lose your weight.

A bowl of perfectly cooked, plain Basmati rice, in an Asian style bowl, with a garnish of Thai Basil. - Is Basmati Rice Healthy For Weight Loss
A bowl of perfectly cooked, plain Basmati rice with a garnish of Thai Basil

How Can Basmati Help You Lose Weight?

Basmati rice is a great choice for losing weight, as discussed above, but how does it exactly help you lose weight? Basmati rice grains are lower in calories; its lack of calories can be easily balanced out by adding chicken or vegetables if you want more protein; however, it’s an excellent choice for people to lose their weight.

It’s a great choice and more beneficial compared to other long-grain rice diets.

The low glycemic index further aids weight loss by making you feel full throughout your day until the grain is adequately digested. Minus and minus equal to a plus! You might wonder how a food which takes a longer time to digest helps promote fitness.

The grain of Basmati helps to curb your hunger and makes you feel full after you have eaten adequate amounts, thus preventing you from eating more of it.

Contrast this with foods with a higher glycemic index such as white rice (An estimated GI for white rice is 79), it can lead to obesity and overweight as when you keep eating it despite having adequate amounts.

Basmati rice is famous in the Indian subcontinent, and obesity is not an issue there. Basmati Rice is simply one of the best rice grains for weight loss.

How Should You Be Using Basmati Rice to Lose Weight?

A particular grocery item can yield great benefits if used appropriately; one needs to make sure that a particular meal is cooked correctly to achieve greater results.

To harness rice’s fat-burning qualities, you should pair it with certain other healthy foods such as fish, chicken, and certain vegetables; we shall discuss what foods are optimal to couple with basmati rice.

Pay attention to your serving size and make sure it’s according to your needs. Below we shall provide some general tips to cook and serve basmati rice to yield its beneficial qualities.

  1. Though, in principle, you can cook any great rice dish from basmati rice; however, if you want to burn fat, you should use plain boiled or steamed rice.
  2. As discussed above, although basmati rice is an excellent meal with extraordinary qualities, however just like other rice, it’s incomplete and can’t be complete without the use of some other foods such as lentils, chicken, vegetables, and fish.
  3. Another thing to keep in mind is to remember to soak the rice before you cook it along with washing it 3-4 times so you can remove the starchy materials from rice. Be sure to boil the rice as well.
  4. To enhance the taste, you like to add condiments such as spices. You can cook rice in coconut water as well to enhance the flavor.

What Foods Can You Eat Along with Basmati Rice?

You can pair many animal-based or plant protein-based foods with your basmati rice to maximize its fiber richness and fat burning qualities!

The floral, delicate, and fluffy nature of basmati rice goes along well with many foods. Here is a brief list of all those foods which you can add to your rice diet for a wholesome meal.

Lentils

Lentils go along with rice so well it’s almost as if they were made for each other. In the traditional Indian and Pakistani dishes, lentils are common with rice and are known as Daal Chawal (literally meaning lentils and rice).

Lentils and rice combo make up for a great fiber-rich meal and is sufficient to supplement you with the energy to perform all your daily tasks. The protein content of a half cup of lentils and rice is 9 grams, which are more than an egg. There are brown, green, and red lentils.

Chicken

Chicken and rice also go together very well; chicken is eaten with rice by many bodybuilders as it’s a wholesome meal. The different textures of chicken and rice greatly complement each other.

The combination is very healthy for you if you remember to remove the skin of the chicken and use an oven-baked or roasted chicken instead of a fried one.

Add a minimum amount of seasoning with salt, season with many herbs that you like. And of course, use basmati rice instead of the white or brown one.

Fish

Fish and Rice combo is an especially popular delicacy in Japan. Fish, when served with rice, provides a delicious and healthy meal.

Fish is packed with essential nutrients, and just like rice, it lowers your risk of heart diseases. The omega-3 fatty acid is very healthy fish oil and is linked with promoting heart health and fitness.

Eating fishes can improve your eyesight in your old age as well. To put briefly, fishes are the healthiest meals you can consume. Combining fish with basmati rice greatly maximizes both foods’ qualities and makes up for a wholesome and healthy meal.

Just add a roasted or oven-baked fish in your basmati rice and season it with black pepper and cheese (if you like cheese). You can make the dish even more extravagant by adding steamed carrots, onions, and peas.

Pudding

This, while not something which you can eat with basmati rice; however, it’s what you can turn your rice into if you are craving sweet, healthy food. You can make rice pudding by mixing rice with milk, putting the mixture in a saucepan, and stirring the combination as you heat the pan.

When you get a thick texture, put the pudding into bowls and serve it with toppings like blueberries and raspberries or crackers. In the Indian subcontinent, pudding (known in the Indian subcontinent as Kheer) is very popular, and it’s a focus of many festivals.

Basmati Rice Vs. White Rice: Which One’s Better

Basmati rice has more calories and carbohydrates than White rice, which makes it great for energy supplementation and equips you with the necessary stamina to perform your daily activities.

Both basmati rice and white rice are not whole grains; therefore, they have less fiber compared to whole grain rice. Both are gluten-free.

The answer to the question “is basmati rice better than white rice” really depends on the context the question is asked in. It depends on what you are looking for.

Brown basmati rice still has the bran and the germ intact hence providing more dietary fiber and fatty acids. Bran is the outer covering of the grain. The germ is the seed that is responsible for the plant to grow.

Brown Basmati rice is generally considered healthier because of its richness in dietary fibers and fatty acids; brown Basmati is also firmer in texture than the white one. In any form, Basmati rice has the longest grain and is known for its ability to lengthen and become fluffier upon cooking.

What also distinguishes basmati rice from other rice is its ability to remain separated from other grains rather than being clumped when cooked and served.

Basmati rice is aged for nearly two years before being exported, which is the cause of its fluffy and firm texture and the distinct aroma. If you are looking to recreate traditional Indian dishes like biryani or p, then Basmati is the rice you should go for.

Final Thoughts on Is Basmati Rice Healthy For Weight Loss

While the qualities of basmati rice in weight loss and other aspects are exceptional, you should not focus your diet completely on rice; having a diet means adding diversity to your meal plans and alternating what you eat to make sure you get all kinds of necessary components for your body.

There is definitely something to be said that many people on many continents can eat rice and maintain a more lithe body. Basmati rice is a perfect choice due to many of the underlying healthier aspects like the low GI score and help in filling your stomach.

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