The Basmati Rice diet is an extension of the Rice Diet program. The Rice Diet program is based on a 1939 North Carolina study, in which subjects were monitored on the diet. According to RiceDietProgram.com, it may help prevent or treat obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other health problems. The diet consists of eliminating excess sodium and simple sugars from your diet. Instead, you consume healthy carbohydrates such as Basmati rice in your meals. Your diet also consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean proteins. Basmati rice can be part of a sensible diet plan because it provides you with beneficial vitamins, minerals and protein.
During the course of this diet plan, you are allowed to eat starches such as Basmati rice as your body’s main source of energy. Basmati rice is aromatic rice grown in India and Pakistan. It has a nut-like texture and a buttery flavor. It is considered long-grain white rice and is lower in starch than other varieties. According to The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, this means that Basmati rice does not raise blood sugar quickly for those concerned with diabetes. Basmati rice is usually soaked for 30 minutes up to two hours before cooking. It can be cooked in low-sodium broth, fresh fruit or tomato juice.
Significance of Sodium
A main component of the Rice Diet program is to significantly decrease your intake of sodium. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends no more than 2,400 mg of sodium in your diet. However, the Rice Diet suggests limiting yourself to 500 mg per day. According to author Kitty Rosati, excess sodium or salt in your diet is linked to high blood pressure, water retention and weight gain. Basmati rice is aromatic rice and does not need to be enhanced with salt. If you want to add flavor, squeeze some lemon juice, herbs and spices over your rice.
Considerations for Fiber
Basmati is refined white rice that has been stripped of its bran layer. In The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Dr. Jonny Bowden says that stripping the grain of its bran removes essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dr. Bowden suggests using brown rice because it has not had its bran layer removed and retains its nutrients.
In The Fiber35 Diet, author Brenda Watson says that fiber found in brown rice protects against various types of cancer, lowers cholesterol levels and prevents heart disease. Serve Basmati rice mixed with brown rice to get the benefits of fiber into your diet. Other fiber-rich foods consumed during the Rice Diet include fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds.
Effects on B-Vitamins
Basmati rice provides you with key nutrients such as iron, manganese and B-vitamins such as niacin and thiamin. Niacin and thiamin play a role in the breakdown and utilization of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. According to the University of California at Berkeley, the B-vitamins are depleted through the processing, preparation and cooking of Basmati rice.
As a preliminary step to cooking, Basmati rice is soaked before cooking, which may increase the loss of water-soluble B-vitamins. To ensure you are getting an adequate amount of B-vitamins in your diet, include other acceptable food sources such as sunflower seeds, peanuts, whole-grains, mushrooms and oily fish.
Considerations for Protein
According to FatSecret.com, a 3/4-cup serving of Basmati rice provides about 3 g of protein. In The Food Bible, author Judith Wills says that protein is essential in your diet for growth and development. Protein contains different amino acids that are used in your body for different purposes. Essential amino acids are those that your body cannot produce on its own and must obtain from food.
Foods that contain all essential amino acids are considered “complete proteins.” Basmati rice lacks certain amino acids and needs to be combined with other forms of protein that contain the missing amino acids. You can mix Basmati rice with legumes, nuts or seeds to form a complete protein in your diet plan.
One serving of basmati rice contains 35 grams of carbs, most of which is found in the starchy white grain inside the bran. While you should definitely watch your intake of carbs, especially if you’re not an active person, basmati rice is composed of complex carbohydrates, meaning it’s digested easily and made available as an energy source for the body fairly quickly. Basmati rice also contains a little less than 1 g of fiber per serving. As far as carbs go, rice is a better choice over something like bread.
As stated previously, rice is a low fat, low cholesterol food. Most of its very minimal fat content located in the grain’s germ, which is stripped away during the milling process for white rice. Brown rice maintains its germ, and has a very slightly higher fat content.
Most of your concern regarding fat consumption should come from how you prepare your rice dish; whether or not you use a lot of butter or oil while it’s in the rice cooker, and what kind of toppings you’re putting on it. Plain basmati rice itself is very low in fat, with about 1 g per serving.