Basmati rice is a variety of rice notable for its long grains and fragrance, and perhaps popularly tagged the friendliest variety to weight loss. There seems to be a consensus among people trying to lose weight that it is the healthiest variety available. Some even believe that the reason for this is that it is not as high in its caloric content as other varieties of rice meal.
Is this really so?
Now, you may have heard that it is best rcommended for individuals with a particular genotype. While that cannot be said to be entirely wrong, it will be besides our focus. We shall discuss nutrition and genotype in a subsequent post.
The fact remains though, that basmati rice is recommended based on glyceamic index considerations. What this means is that dietitians and nutritionists recommend basmati rice primarily because it is long grain and has a low glycemic index rate than regular rice. For this reason only, many people subscribe to the belief that it is the best variety of rice to diet with in order to achieve glucose control or lose weight appropriately.
However, basmati rice is low in fibre; and that makes it less filling. This results in frequent hunger pangs that may eventually lead to overeating. Local Nigerian rice on the other hand may be short grained. But they are high in their fibre content. This makes them a lot more filling than basmati rice and thus, more likely to sustain an individual who is on a weight loss journey for a longer period of time..
This explains why a person may get hungry 2 hours after eating 2 cups of basmati rice, whereas the same person remains full 2 hours after eating the same quantity of regular Nigerian rice.
You can take a few days’ test to observe for yourself. Eat basmati rice for about a day or two. Then eat local, short grained Nigerian rice afterwards for another day or two. While at it, pay attention to the hunger intervals between each meal. You will observe that over the course of eating both varieties, you will be likelier to feel hungry a short while after eating basmati rice.
So there you go! Granted, basmati rice may be healthy in that it does not raise your blood sugar level, but it tends to promote overeating because due to its low fibre content, it is not filling. In a short while after eating basmati rice you will most likely be pressed to eat again. What is the point of having preference for a food variety if it keeps your sugar level at a healthy rate but negates that by making you overeat?
We recommend eating regular unpolished, local rice — whether ofada, Benue rice, Abakiliki rice, or shinkafa — which are in fact more nutritious and higher in their fibre content than Basmati.