Basmati rice is a kind of long-grain rice. It is the most popular and widely consumed rice in India. In fact, rice in general is one of most popular foods all over the world. While daily consumption of rice is common, there are several disadvantages of eating basmati rice everyday.
Basmati rice is often sought after due to its’ delicious nutty flavor and distinct aroma. Basmati rice comes in both white and brown varieties, although the white seems to be the more popular of the two.
But is it healthy? And why should you consider not eating it every day?
Disadvantages of Eating Basmati Rice Everyday
Let’s have a look at some of the downsides of indulging a little too much in Basmati rice.
1. It Can Be High in Arsenic
It sounds scary to think that such a popular food is often contaminated with arsenic but unfortunately it is true.
Although arsenic is natural, due to pollution created by humans, levels of arsenic have increased and therefore the amount that ends up in food has also increased.
Rice crops absorb the most arsenic from the soil and that makes rice the most common food source that contains this toxic element.
While basmati rice can have less arsenic than other rice varieties of rice, eating it daily may increase your risk of future health issues such as cancer or heart disease.
2. It’s Lacking in Key Vitamins & Minerals
One of the key disadvantages of eating basmati rice everyday is that white rice is highly processed, and therefore has been stripped of some key vitamins and minerals found naturally in brown rice.
Although some nutrients are added back in the processing, if you prefer a healthier version from nature, choose brown basmati instead.
With that in mind, choosing brown rice of any kind would seem to be the better option. That is not to say that white rice is unhealthy, but brown rice of any variety may be healthier.
In general, it is always a good choice to eat whole foods that are the minimally processed.
3. It’s Lower in Fiber Than Other Rice Varieties
Fiber is so very important and sadly is lacking in many diets.
White basmati is a refined grain. The hull, bran and germ are all removed resulting in a lower fiber content then brown basmati and some other types of rice.
Due to the lower fiber content of white basmati rice, if you are looking to increase your fiber intake, why not choose brown basmati rice or another type?
That said, if you prefer white basmati rice, be sure to add other high fiber foods with it. Rice is so versatile; it can easily pair deliciously with any vegetable or variety of legume.
4. It’s an Incomplete Protein Source
Basmati rice does not contain all essential amino acids and thus can not technically be called a complete protein.
But it is easy to complete the protein profile by eating a wide variety of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and greens throughout the day.
If you want to consume basmati rice every day, that is ok. But mix it up by eating both the white and brown varieties. Also, add other whole grains at different meals.
5. It Has a Medium Glycemic Level
Basmati rice has a medium glycemic level and thus can raise glucose levels more than other grains such as barley or bulgur.
Basmati rice is still lower on the glycemic as the regular varieties of white rice but is higher than brown rice and other whole grains.
If eating low on the glycemic scale is something you are interested in doing, there are many other foods to choose from.
6. May Increase Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
Eating large amounts of white rice regularly may increase your risk of Metabolic Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome is characterized by the presence of certain factors such as high blood pressure, a large waistline, lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) or high triglyceride levels (fat in your blood). This can lead to other health conditions such as stroke, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.
If you are at risk or already have any of the factors listed above, this information could be the most important of all the disadvantages of eating basmati rice everyday to consider.
You will want to limit your rice consumption to less often or smaller portions.
While there are disadvantages of eating basmati rice everyday, it can still be a healthy part of your diet. But it would be beneficial to include other rice varieties such as red rice, black rice, or wild rice.
And remember there are many other whole grains to choose from. Stock your pantry with barley, millet, bulgur, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole grain bread, and even popcorn. There is an abundance of whole foods to tantalize you taste buds and support your overall health.