Is Basmati Rice Good for Diabetics?

The relationship between diet and diabetes is a critical aspect of managing this prevalent metabolic condition. As individuals seek to make informed choices about their food intake, specific types of rice, such as Basmati, come under scrutiny for their potential impact on blood sugar levels. In this exploration, we delve into the question: Is basmati rice good for diabetics? Unravelling the nutritional profile, glycemic index, and different types of basmati rice can provide valuable insights. We hope this blog will help individuals navigate the complexities of diabetes management and help them choose the food that is best for them.

Basmati Rice and Diabetes

Now let’s answer the question, is basmati rice good for diabetics? The answer is yes; basmati rice in measured amounts is definitely good for diabetes patients. Basmati rice and diabetes have a positive relationship. Firstly, basmati has a lower glycemic index compared to normal rice. According to the Phablecare website, basmati rice glycemic index ranges between 50 and 58. This classified it as a moderate glycemic food and would cause abrupt blood sugar spikes upon consumption.

Secondly, basmati rice contains a higher amount of dietary fiber and fewer carbs. Fiber helps delay absorption of carbs which helps to have a stable blood sugar level. Brown basmati rice has the highest presence of dietary fiber among the categories. Moreover, according to the study published in the National Institute of Health, rice bran helps in blood glucose reduction. Basmati rice has macronutrients that help in controlling diabetes. However, portion control is necessary. These benefits of the basmati rice are only applicable then. Also, diabetes patients with uncontrolled blood sugar should totally avoid rice.

Basmati Rice Varieties

Basmati Rice Varieties

Basmati rice mainly comes in three varieties. First is white basmati rice, second is brown basmati rice, and last is parboiled basmati rice. Below are their detailed descriptions of different basmati rice types.

White Basmati Rice

White basmati is the processed variant of basmati rice which is widely available in the market. In this variant, the rice grain’s outer layer is removed, and then it is polished for a finer texture. The hull, bran and germ layers are all removed reducing its fiber content.

Brown Basmati Rice

Brown basmati is the unprocessed version of the rice. In this type, only the hull layer is removed. This helps in retaining the fibrous bran and germ layers. Thereby increasing its fiber content.

Parboiled Basmati Rice

In parboiled basmati rice, better known as shela basmati, the rice grains are soaked and slowly steamed. The process makes the rice retain more nutrients and makes the scratch content gelatinised.

Read More: South Indian Diet Plan For Diabetes

Nutritional Value in Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a long grain of aromatic rice particularly grown in the regions of South Asia. Basmati rice comes largely in three variants, which are based on the way they are processed. The three versions are white basmati rice, brown basmati and parboiled basmati rice. Now, we will provide you with a tabular comparison of the nutritional value in basmati rice types. All the nutritional data is based on the data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Nutritional Value in Basmati Rice
Nutrients per 100 grams Brown Basmati Rice White Basmati Rice Parboiled Basmati Rice
Calories 370 Kcal 111 Kcal 364 Kcal
Protein 8.7 g 2.56 g 6.67 g
Fat 3.62 g 1.03 g 0 g
Carbs 73.91 g 23.08 g 84.4 g
Fiber 8.7 g 2.1 g 0 g
Sugar 0 g 0.51 g 22.2 g

Benefits of Basmati Rice for Diabetes Patients

Benefits of Basmati Rice for Diabetes Patients

Basmati rice for diabetes patients is primarily attributed to its lower value of glycemic index (GI) compared to other rice varieties. Below are detailed benefits of basmati rice:

Lower Glycemic Index

Basmati rice has a lower GI compared to noraml rice. This suggests basmati rice brings a more gradual and steadier rise in blood glucose. Thereby promoting better blood sugar control.

Complex Carbs

Basmati rice has a presence of a type of carbohydrate known as amylose. Basmati rice carb amylose is digested more slowly, contributing to its lower glycemic response. The slower digestion helps prevent rapid spikes in sugar levels. Thus making it a favourable alternative for those battling diabetes.

Full of Dietary Fiber

In addition to its glycemic properties, basmati rice is a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber plays a very major role in managing blood glucose. Fiber helps in slowing down the rate of absorption of glucose. Furthermore, it also improves insulin sensitivity. This can progress to enhanced overall blood sugar control for diabetics.

Contains Essential Macronutrients

Basmati rice contains essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These micronutrients are important for overall health. These complement a diabetes-friendly diet by providing necessary nutrients without causing significant upsurges in blood sugar.

Read More: Vegetarian Diabetes Diet Plan With Indian Foods

Best Basmati Rice for Diabetes Patients

In the debate about best basmati rice for diabetes patients we find brown basmati rice to be more suitable. Brown Rice has the highest quantity of dietary fiber. According to the USDA website, 100 grams of brown basmati rice contains around 8.7 grams of fiber. Along with this, the glycemic index of brown basmati rice is lower than other basmati varieties. Therefore, diabetes patients should consider opting for brown basmati rice. However, brown basmati rice ok for diabetics only when consumed in measured amounts, like a katori for a meal.

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes?

Basmati Rice Side Effects

While basmati rice may have potential benefits for individuals with diabetes, it’s important to be aware of certain considerations and potential side effects:

Carbohydrate Content

Basmati Rice, like any rice, is a significant source of carbohydrates. Consuming large quantities may lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. It’s crucial for diabetics to manage their carb intake to maintain optimal blood glucose control.

Portion Control

Overeating any type of rice, including basmati, can contribute to elevated sugar levels. Controlling portion sizes is vital with diabetes to avoid excessive carb intake.

Processing and Polishing

Highly processed or polished basmati rice may have a higher glycemic index compared to the less processed varieties. Choosing whole or less processed basmati rice can be a better option for diabetes management.

Blood Sugar Spikes

While basmati rice glycemic index is lower compared to some other rice varieties. Some people may still get sugar spikes. Therefore, careful monitoring is essential to understand one’s unique glycemic response.

Despite these potential benefits, moderation is key. Portion control and incorporating basmati rice into a well-balanced diet are essential. Individual responses to food can vary, and it is advisable for diabetes patients to consult with their diabetologist to tailor their diets.

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?


In conclusion, the question of whether basmati rice is good for individuals with diabetes involves a nuanced consideration of its characteristics and potential impact on blood sugar levels. Basmati rice offers a lower glycemic index and beneficial nutrients. Moderation and mindful portion control remain paramount for diabetes management. Personalised dietary choices, guided by healthcare professionals, should take into account individual responses and preferences. Basmati rice can be part of a well-rounded approach to diabetes-friendly eating. But it’s essential to emphasise a diverse, nutrient-rich diet, considering the broader spectrum of foods that contribute to their overall health and sugar control.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Does basmati rice raise blood sugar?

No basmati rice, when consumed in measured amounts and as a part of a full meal, doesn’t impact blood sugar. Basmati rice contains considerable amounts of carbs therefore, we need to add fiber sources when consuming it. Include dal, vegetables and a plate full of green salad to minimise rice’s glycemic impact.

Which rice has the lowest sugar?

Brown basmati rice has the lowest sugar presence. In 100 grams of brown basmati rice, there is 0 grams of sugar.

What is the best time to consume basmati rice?

Health experts advise consuming basmati rice in lunch. This is because there will be ample for its digestion.

How much rice can a diabetic eat per day?

Nutritionists and diabetologists suggest diabetes patients can have up to 30 grams of uncooked basmati rice in a day.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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