Rice, rice paradise?
The Health Promotion Board recently targeted white rice in its war against diabetes. TRACY LOW (firstname.lastname@example.org) looks at the nutritional value of five types of rice commonly available in Singapore
The Health Promotion Board recently targeted white rice in its war against diabetes. TNP looks at the nutritional value of five types of rice commonly available in Singapore
What is glycaemic index?
The glycaemic index (GI) refers to the ranking of different types of carbohydrates and how quickly they increase one's blood sugar.
On a scale of 0 to 100, the GI is split into three levels: low (0 to 55), medium (56 to 69) and high (70 to 100).
Low GI food raises blood glucose level more slowly than high GI food.
Also known as sticky rice, this rice is used to make the Thai dessert mango sticky rice and the Chinese dumpling (bak chang).
Glutinous rice requires less water to grow and thus is primarily grown on lowlands and uplands.
Brands available: SongHe, New Moon, Sun Eagle, Jeon Won, PaddyKing
Nutritional information: Glutinous rice is gluten-free and has the highest GI level.
GI level: 86
Originating from California, this medium grain rice can be used to make sushi. The "Cal" in Calrose stands for California.
Agricultural researchers developed the rice after World War II to meet particular conditions for fertilising, pesticides, frugal use of water and mechanical harvesting.
Brands available: Australian Kangaroo and PaddyKing
GI level: 81
Originating from South-east Asia, this long grain rice is probably the most common type of white rice eaten in most households.
It is also known as khao hom mali (Thai for jasmine rice) and is imported mainly from Thailand.
This aromatic rice is commonly used in Asian cuisines.
Brands available: Royal Umbrella, SongHe, Golden Peony, New Moon, Golden Phoenix, Golden Eagle, Double F.K. AAA
Nutritional information: High in starch content, raises blood sugar levels and insulin in blood. People with diabetes should cut down their intake.
GI level: 78
Cultivated in various parts of South-east Asia, brown rice is an excellent source of fibre as it still has its bran and germ.
It is often used as a healthy substitute for white rice and can be eaten with a variety of dishes.
Brands available: Heavenly, Golden Peony, New Moon, SongHe, Golden Phoenix, Origins Healthfood, Naturel, Diamond G
Nutritional information: Good source of vitamins such as magnesium, vitamin B6 and manganese, which contribute to maintaining healthy bone structure and metabolism.
GI level: 65
Considered as the "supergrain" of rice, basmati rice hails from the Himalayas in northern India and Pakistan.
This long grain rice is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Indian and Persian cuisines such as nasi briyani.
Brands available: Kohinoor and Tilda
Nutritional information: High in carbohydrates and vitamins such as iron and B vitamins. It is also free from gluten and cholesterol, and low in fat.
GI level: 64
All of the products mentioned are available online on RedMart.
The glycaemic index levels are provided by the Temasek Polytechnic's Glycemic Index Research Unit.