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A Guide to Rice: How to Pick the One That’s Right for You

Rice is the most popular and important food crop of the developing world, feeding almost half of the world’s population. There are many palatable recipes made from rice. This versatile food grain can get along with Indian curries like rajma, palak paneer, shahi paneer, kadhi, dal, and more with ease.  This makes rice a staple food grain in every Indian household.

But there are many varieties of rice. Do you know them?

Well, there are roughly 40,000 varieties of rice, making it hard for you to find the right rice. Similarly, their qualities vary — from variety to variety.

Well, to help you out, we have come up with a handy guide. So keep reading to select the best rice grain for your home, restaurant, hotel, or Dhaba.

Have a look at the different rice varieties

Brown vs. white

There is a long debate on brown vs. white rice, similar to whole wheat vs. white bread. While brown rice is a whole grain, white rice is refined. Compared to white rice, brown rice has more vitamins, fibers, and other nutrients. When the outer bran layer is remained intact, it comes out as brown rice, but when it gets removed, it becomes white rice.

Long grain and short-grain rice

Short grain rice looks round and is sticky and soft when cooked. On the other hand, long-grain rice has a slender texture, and it features less starch than short-grain rice. So it turns out light and fluffy when cooked. Therefore, you should pick long-grain rice when you need to cook pulao or any other dish that needs the rice to look fluffier.

Sella basmati rice

Sella basmati rice is partially boiled rice. It is parboiled while it is in its husk and then milled. After parboiling, the rice turns yellow; hence it is also called golden sella basmati rice. It is different from its counterparts and contains more nutrients.

Although the parboiled rice takes longer to cook, its grains do not stick, forming a fluffy and firm texture, after cooking.

Wild rice

Wild rice is a unique rice variety featuring a chewy taste. As compared to regular rice, wild rice is high in protein. It also contains several other nutrients. Eating it regularly may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve your heart health. Because wild rice is rich in antioxidants, including it in your diet helps you fight the signs of aging too.

Rice varieties and nutrient counts

White rice

  • 1 cup contains:
  • 204 calories
  • 1 gram fiber
  •  4-gram protein
  • Glycemic Index — 72, can go up to 89 (High)
  • Other vitamins & minerals — negligible

Parboiled white rice

  • White rice parboiled
  • 1 cup contains:
  • 194 calories,
  •  1 gram fiber
  •  4 gram protein
  • Glycemic Index — 38 (Low)
  • Other vitamins & minerals — Calcium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc

Basmati rice

  • 1 cup contains:
  • 191 calories
  •  1 gram fiber
  • 6 gram protein (depending on the brand)
  • Glycemic Index: 56, can go up to 69 (Medium)
  • Other vitamins & minerals: Calcium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc

Thai glutinous rice

  • 1 cup contains:
  • 169 calories
  • 2 gram fiber
  •  4 gram protein
  • Glycemic Index: 98 (High)
  • Other vitamins & minerals: negligible

Brown rice

  • 1 cup contains:
  •  216 calories
  •  4 gram fiber
  • 5 gram protein
  • Glycemic Index: 50 (Low)
  • Other vitamins & minerals: Iron, Vitamin B1, B3 & B6, Manganese, and Phosphorus

Wild rice

  • 1 cup contains:
  • 166 calories
  • 3 gram fiber
  •  7 gram protein
  • Glycemic Index: 87 (High)
  • Other vitamins & minerals: Calcium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc


Rice with less processing is better for your health. Choose the rice variety with a lower GI or Glycemic Index, as it will help you feel fuller and maintain your blood glucose level. Switch to brown rice instead of white rice. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't include white rice in your diet. As it is rich in carbohydrates, keep the portion size smaller and get a balanced diet.