Rice is an important part of many people’s diets. It’s inexpensive, filling, and easy to add to many recipes because it doesn’t have much flavor on its own.
As a bodybuilder or a serious fitness enthusiast, we’re very sure you follow a balanced diet to ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs to perform at its highest level.
Rice has come under attack in recent decades as a result of widespread misconceptions. To begin with, there was the low-carb obsession, which viewed rice as a surefire way to Fatville. When Paleo diet became more popular, it sparked a new wave of rice eaters.
Rice is seen as a symbol of prosperity, beauty, and even fertility in many cultures, which is why it is thrown upon newlyweds. Rice can be a great source of the nutrients an active body needs to perform at its best for those who work out regularly.
Brown rice, according to traditional belief, is preferable to white rice. Basmati rice, which is often used in Indian and Persian cuisine, is an exception to this rule. In fact, some people believe it is superior to brown rice in terms of nutritional value.
Which would you prefer, basmati rice or brown rice? We’ll look at whether or not basmati rice is a healthy addition to your diet in this article.
Is Basmati Rice a Healthy Food Option?
Basmati rice is a long-grain rice with a distinct, nutty flavor and an almost flowery scent. It’s thick and fluffy when cooked, with less starch than other forms of rice. It’s not sticky rice, especially when compared to jasmine rice, a locally popular long white rice.
There are both white and brown kinds of basmati. Brown rice is stiffer and tougher to cook than white rice and requires a longer cooking time. It also contains more fiber and a more distinct, nuttier flavor.
Basmati Rice Nutrient Information
Basmati rice has a wide range of nutrients, including carbs and calories, as well as micronutrients such as folic acid, thiamine, and selenium.
The following nutrients can be found in one cup of cooked white basmati rice:
- Calories: 210
- Protein: 4.4 grams
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Carbs: 45.6 grams
- Fiber: 0.7 grams
- Sodium: 399 mg
- Folate: 24% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Thiamine: 22% of the DV
- Selenium: 22% of the DV
- Niacin: 15% of the DV
- Copper: 12% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Zinc: 7% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
- Magnesium: 5% of the DV
Brown basmati rice, on the other hand, has slightly more calories, carbohydrates, and fiber than white basmati rice. Magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus are also more in this form.
Potential Health Benefits Of Basmati Rice
Basmati rice may provide a number of health benefits.
Low Arsenic Content
Basmati rice is often lower in arsenic, a heavy metal that can impair your health and potentially increase your risk of diabetes, heart issues, and some cancers when compared to other forms of rice.
Arsenic accumulates greater in rice than in other grains, which is especially dangerous for those who consume rice on a daily basis.
However, according to some research, basmati rice from California, India, or Pakistan carries some of the lowest levels of arsenic when compared to other rice kinds.
Furthermore, because arsenic accumulates in the hard outer bran layer of brown rice, it is higher in arsenic than white rice.
It Can Be Enriched
White basmati rice is frequently enhanced, which means that specific nutrients are added throughout the cooking process to help increase the nutritional content.
This can help you satisfy your requirements for a variety of critical vitamins and minerals.
Rice and other grains, in particular, are frequently fortified with iron and B vitamins such as folic acid, thiamine, and niacin.
Comparing Nutritional Values
Looking at the dietary data of basmati rice and brown rice side by side is one approach to compare them.
Many of the nutrients will be relatively similar, with a few notable exceptions.
- Calories: Basmati rice has fewer calories per cup, around 210, whereas brown rice has closer to 220.
- Fat: Basmati rice contains nearly no fat, although brown kinds may have up to half a gram of fat per cup. Brown rice contains higher fat, up to 1.5 grams per cup.
- Sodium: Basmati rice has 1.6 mg less sodium per cup than brown rice. Brown rice contains less than 2mg per cup.
- Potassium: Brown rice provides higher potassium than basmati rice; basmati has 55mg per cup, while brown has 155 mg.
- Fiber: Basmati rice has half a gram of fiber per cup, though brown basmati has more. Brown rice, on the other hand, offers about 3.5 grams of fiber per cup.
- Iron: Surprisingly, basmati rice contains higher iron than brown rice variants. Basmati rice has about 2 mg of iron, whereas brown rice contains only.8 mg of iron.
- Other Minerals: Basmati rice contains somewhat less magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium than brown rice. Brown rice, on the other hand, has slightly less manganese, thiamin, and niacin. They both have nearly the same amount of Vitamin B6, copper, and calcium.
It’s worth noting, though, that a lot of this depends on the precise variety of brown rice you’re eating, and can even vary within the same species if the rice was cultivated in various regions or picked at different times of the season. Some processing procedures can further fortify or cleanse the rice, adding or removing specific minerals. Rather than relying on this information alone, you should check at the precise nutritional details for the brand and variety of rice you’re purchasing.
There’s also the issue of scale to consider. While all of these numbers show differences between rice varieties, they are essentially insignificant. What difference will a half-milligram of a mineral or a 5 calorie difference make? When it comes to macronutrients, there isn’t much of a difference between these two types of rice.
The Glycemic Index Factor
The glycemic index measures how quickly your body turns carbohydrates from a specific source into blood sugar. A higher glycemic index indicates that the food item is turned into blood sugar more quickly, resulting in higher energy levels and energy spikes, but also potential crashes. A lower glycemic index is gentler on the body and hence better for you in general, but it may also linger in your system for longer. In general, low GI foods are preferable, yet there is always room in an exercise schedule for high GI foods to be used as fuel.
In terms of glycemic index, basmati rice is among the lowest, with a low GI range. When it comes to energy, brown rice is higher on the scale, which means that it might offer you a burst of energy sooner, only to fade away more quickly.
Ultimately, which should you choose? What’s better, brown rice or basmati rice, when it comes to increasing muscle mass or losing weight?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter. Differences exist between them, but they are mainly insignificant. Basmati rice is a better choice if you’re concerned about arsenic or want to increase your fiber intake. You can get extra flavor from brown rice if you’re weary of white rice and want something with a little more oomph. And, of course, you can mix and match as you see fit. After workouts, eat white rice and brown rice as part of your meals and tailor your diet to your specific demands. It’s entirely up to you, based on the types of rice you can get your hands on.
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.