Whether you're trying to lose weight or make healthier dietary choices, you might be wondering about basmati rice vs. white rice nutrition facts. Even though all varieties of rice are considered a carbohydrate, there are some slight differences in the nutritional value of the different types of rice.
Basmati Rice Benefits
Other than tasting delicious, the list of basmati rice benefits is longer than other varieties of rice. Basmati rice is a long-grain rice that is frequently served with curries. Basmati comes in both white and brown varieties, with the brown version being healthier.
If you include rice at several meals each week, you might be wondering if there are any disadvantages of eating basmati rice every day. The good news? Grains have a place in your daily diet. What makes the difference in terms of advantages and disadvantages is the type of basmati rice you choose.
To get the most health benefits, stick with brown basmati rice. That said, you can still eat white basmati rice. But, it's important to point out the white version is produced by removing the bran, and it's the bran that contains the most nutrients, including fiber.
Compared to 1 cup of white rice, which has 205 calories and 0.6 grams of fiber, 1 cup of basmati rice has 210 calories, but it also has close to 1 gram of fiber and slightly more protein than white rice, according to the USDA. Similar to basmati rice is jasmine rice, which has 210 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 0.994 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving.
Basmati rice is also lower on the glycemic index than regular rice, which may make it a better choice when you're trying to lose weight or manage blood sugar levels, according to Harvard Health.
Foundation of a Healthy Diet
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which establishes healthy dietary recommendations, says a healthy eating pattern includes, a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains (at least half being whole grains), fat-free or low-fat dairy, variety of proteins, and oils. Additionally, the guidelines recommend limiting saturated fats, trans fats, sugar and sodium.
Read more: How to Lose Weight by Eating Rice
Basmati rice falls under the grains food group, which the guidelines recommend choosing whole grains, such as brown basmati rice, over refined grains like white rice. In addition to brown basmati rice, other examples of unprocessed whole grains include barley, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oats, rye, quinoa, teff and amaranth.
Whole grains contain the entire kernel, which is the bran, germ and endosperm. According to the Mayo Clinic, whole grains are a better source of fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium, compared to other grains, especially refined grains.
Plus, the components of whole grains have various positive effects on your body including, helping to lower cholesterol, maintaining a steady blood sugar, removing waste in the digestive tract, lowering the risk of heart disease and strokes, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
When choosing quality sources of carbohydrates, the American Diabetes Association recommends getting the most bang for your buck in terms of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Which means, avoiding processed foods, and instead, opting for carbs that contain higher amounts of fiber. With that in mind, it makes sense that basmati wins when it comes to basmati rice vs. white rice nutrition facts.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for 100+ Foods"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Basmati Rice"
- USDA FoodData Central: "White Rice"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Jasmine Rice"
- American Diabetes Association: "Get to Know Carbs"
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans"
- Mayo Clinic: "Whole Grains: Hearty Options for a Healthy Diet"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Whole Grains"