Rice is one of the most popular food grains around the world. White rice is especially popular among Asians. There is a whole range of Indian dishes including white rice as the main grain, with biryani and pulao being two of the most loved ones. White rice dishes are comfort food for a lot of us and we pair cooked rice with numerous vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries, including chicken/mutton curry, rajma curry, kadhi (made from curd and gram flour), etc. But unfortunately, white rice is considered one of the unhealthiest carbohydrates out there. They are rich in starch, and hence, may increase blood sugar levels if consumed on a daily basis. White rice is also very high in calories, and hence, is considered unhealthy.
However, if you're watching your weight, but don't want to forgo rice, you must switch to healthier cooking methods. You can significantly reduce the number of calories from your cooked rice by choosing the right cooking method.
A 100 gm portion of cooked white rice contains 130 calories as well as 28 gm of carbohydrates (as per the USDA data). White rice doesn't have much fibre as it is the processed form of rice, where the bran has been removed. Neither does white rice have any significant amount of protein (a 100 gm contains 2.7 gm of protein, as per the USDA data). However, white rice may be fortified with certain B vitamins, due to which it may be healthy to consume. On the other hand, most rice dishes contain excessive salt and oil, especially in the case of dishes like fried rice or pulao. If you're trying to watch your weight, you are better off avoiding consumption of such dishes and should rather stick to consuming boiled or steamed rice.
Cooking rice is extremely easy. All you need is a pressure cooker or any other deep-bottomed utensil that you cover and some water to cook the rice with. It's obviously healthier to cook rice using a method that does not involve the use of oil or grease. Additionally, keep your rice salt-free as chances are that the curry that you are going to eat your rice with already has a lot of salt in it.
Also Read: What Kind of Rice is Best for Weight Loss?
Here are some key points to remember when you're cooking white rice:
1. Steaming or boiling rice is the best way of cooking them, due to the elimination of any high-fat vegetable oils.
2. Team your cooked rice with blanched or stir-fried high-fibre vegetables to make your meal more satiating and healthy.
3. Add some cumin seeds (jeera) to your steamed rice. Cumin has been known to control blood pressure and blood sugar levels and may also add flavour and taste to your rice dish.
4. Add some coconut oil to the water you're going to cook your rice in. Researchers have recently found out that adding coconut oil to white rice while cooking can increase the amount of resistant starch in it and slash the amount of calories in your dish.
5. Add a few cloves (laung) to your pressure cooker while cooking the rice. Clove is also helpful in regulating blood sugar and it also contains antioxidants to fight inflammation.
If you love rice, you don't necessarily have to go stop eating it. Portion control is a key here. You may indulge is a small portion of steamed or boiled rice every once in a while. But if you are suffering from hypertension or diabetes, you must consult your nutritionist before adding to your diet.