Carbohydrates, often referred to as carbs, suffer somewhat of a dubious reputation in the sphere of diets and healthy living as people fear their contribution to weight gain, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. However, carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for the body to operate well. The key is to make sure you choose your carbohydrates wisely.
There are three main forms of carbohydrates, which are categorized as simple or complex:
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, which is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk, and other dairy products. Types of sugar include fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (common table sugar) and lactose (dairy sugar).
Starch is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it consists of several units of sugar which have been bonded together. Starch is a natural occurrence in vegetables, grains, and cooked beans.
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked beans as well as peas.
One of the main dangers of carbs is their ability to raise blood sugar levels and the glycaemic index was developed in order to measure this. The glycaemic index measures a food’s impact on blood sugar levels, with higher ratings having a higher impact. Foods with higher glycaemic index ratings include potatoes, white bread and processed foods that include added and refined sugars. Legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables tend to rank lower on the glycemic index.
Apart from concern about raising blood sugar levels, carbohydrates come with many benefits. These include:
Carbohydrates provide the body with an efficient source of energy. During the digestive process, simple and complex sugars are converted to glucose to be absorbed into the bloodstream and it is carried into the body’s cells with the help of insulin to provide energy for the body. Any excess glucose is stored in the body’s muscles, liver, and cells to be used at a later point and if it isn’t, it is transformed into fat. Therefore, it is important not to overconsume carbohydrates while at the same time ensure you have enough to keep the body sufficiently fueled. In fact, the acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDR) set out by the American Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommend that people get 45%-65% of their daily calories from carbs.
Protection against Disease:
Many studies have pointed towards the potential for whole grains and fiber from whole foods to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. Research has also indicated that fiber could aid towards preventing obesity, colon and rectal cancers and Type 2 Diabetes. It also supports overall digestive health.
Contrary to popular belief, if consumed within recommended guidelines, carbohydrates can help prevent weight loss as the bulk and fiber found in fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help people feel full for longer and avoid over-eating.
In light of this basic nutritional understanding, it is easy to see why Basmati rice is a particularly healthy choice when it comes to carbs. Karan A. Chanana, the chairman of Amira Nature Foods, which is one of the world’s foremost providers of Basmati rice, has highlighted its health benefits in past interviews, some of which are listed below.
Health Benefits of Basmati Rice:
-It is gluten free (unlike other sources of whole grains such as bread and glutinous rice varieties that are used for risotto and sushi).
-It contains no cholesterol.
-It is rich in fibre.
-With the outer layer of the grain left intact, brown Basmati rice is an especially good source of fiber and contains 20% more fiber than other types of brown rice.
Low Glycaemic Index Rating
Brown rice has a GI score of 55 whereas Basmati rice has been found to have a GI score as low as 50, and therefore helps the body release energy at a steady pace and keep blood sugar levels more stable.
Aside from its health benefits, Basmati rice is a light and aromatic complex carbohydrate that makes the perfect accompaniment for summer meals at a time of year when people naturally want a lighter diet. Karan A. Chanana and his professional team of culinary experts at Amira have created some delicious Basmati rice-based recipes, which are particularly suited to summer dining. Inspired by local flavors from different countries, which Basmati rice compliments so well, these recipes include Tunisian Tomato Rice with Chemoula Fish, Vietnamese Rice and Prawn Cucumber Salad and Italian Rice Cakes with Parma Ham, Basil and Mozzarella.
Karan A. Chanana has previously described Basmati rice as an “affordable super grain” and that he views Basmati rice as a nutritious staple. However, these recipes from Amira are sure to elevate this healthy whole grain from a versatile staple accompaniment to something of a delicacy whose unique light and fragrant qualities can be enjoyed by families and friends dining tables around the world this summer.
Disclaimer: This is a company release. No HT journalist is involved in the creation of this content.