Types of Rice and their Glycemic Index (GI)

Rice Varieties and Glycemic Index

Rice is a staple food in almost every meal. It pairs well with most foods as a main course and adds fullness and enjoyment to a meal. Most importantly, it is one of the most prevalent sources of carbohydrate to provide us with the energy we require to go through the day. There are many varieties of rice in today’s world. They vary in size, flavour, texture, nutritional value, and cost. This blog discusses the many varieties of rice, the categories into which they are classified, and the accompanying glycemic index (GI).

What is Glycemic Index (GI)?

Glycemic Index (GI) Levels of Food 

Carbohydrate-containing foods have a relative rating known as the glycemic index (GI) level, which assesses the influence of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels; how soon and how much it is elevated on a scale of one to 100 following ingestion. It is classified from low to high as follows:

  • Low: ≤55 
  • Medium: 56–69 
  • High: ≥70  

Refined carbohydrates and foods with more sugar have higher GI values and are absorbed faster. Low GI meals, on the other hand, offer larger quantities of protein, fat, or fibre, which is good for preserving our health.

Food’s GI is further influenced by its ripeness (of fruits), cooking style, what it is matched with during eating, the type of sugar it contains, and how it has been processed. More information on GI may be found here.

Rice and Glycemic Index (GI)

Types of Commonly Consumed Rice  

Telangana Sona Rice

Type: Short grain varieties are available.

Telangana Sona rice results in a slow and consistent rise in sugar levels, followed by a slow and consistent decline, thereby avoiding sharp spikes and falls in blood sugar levels-, the best rice for sugar patients, whilst it also helps in combating other health diseases and works as an Immunity Booster.


GI level: Low


Jasmine rice (aka ‘Thai fragrant rice’) 

Type: Long grain rice 

Jasmine rice has a flowery scent, a fluffy texture, and can be readily incorporated into a number of Asian meals such as fried rice, porridge, and clay pot rice. Because of its cost and adaptability, it is one of the most often utilised rices in households.

GI level: High 


Glutinous rice

Type: Short and long-grain varieties are available.

Glutinous rice, often known as sticky rice or sweet rice, is popular in Thailand and Asia. Its sticky texture when cooked differentiates itself due to the lack of starch amylose. Glutinous rice, on the other hand, is gluten-free. This rice is used in a variety of sweet and savoury recipes, including mango sticky rice and steaming glutinous rice with various toppings (Check out our Golden Lotus Wrapped Glutinous Rice recipe).

GI level: High 

Arborio rice 

Type: A medium grain rice with a distinguishing white dot in the centre.

Arborio rice has a greater starch content and a chewier, stickier texture, giving dishes a creamy flavour when cooked. This rice is ideal for risotto, rice pudding, and soup.

GI level: High moderate

Basmati rice 

Type: Long grain rice has a slender and long form that is popular in Indian and Asian cuisine.

Basmati rice has a lower glycemic index (GI) than other forms of white rice and is high in fibre. When cooked, it becomes drier, lengthier, and more separated. It has a distinct, almost nutty scent and is extremely absorbent, allowing spices to easily infuse flavour into the rice. Excellent for pilaf, biryani, and curry pairings.

GI level: Low

Japanese sushi rice 

Type: Short grain rice that resembles a pearl

Many people enjoy Japanese sushi rice for its sticky, chewy, and bouncy texture, as well as its sweet and nutty flavour. Because of its high starch content, it has a stickier consistency and is great for preparing sushi, bento boxes, and rice balls (onigiri).

GI level: High 

Brown rice 

Type: There are three varieties of rice available: short grain, medium grain, and long grain.

Brown rice is the wholegrain counterpart of white rice. Brown rice is unpolished rice that has just the hull removed; it has a rougher texture since the bran and germ are left intact; as a result, it has more nutrients than white rice. It also has a more nutty flavour.

GI level: Medium

Black rice (aka ‘forbidden rice’) 

Type: Long-grain rice is a kind of brown rice.

Because of its high nutritional value and therapeutic qualities, black rice was known as “forbidden rice” in ancient China. Its intense colour is due to anthocyanins, an antioxidant found in dark purple or red fruits and vegetables. They are abundant in zinc, iron, fibre, and vitamins like B6, which bring several advantages to the body.


After cooking, it develops a rich purple colour with a nutty caramel flavour and a slight crunch in texture. This rice may be eaten on its own or with other foods. It’s also commonly used in local delicacies like ‘pulut hitam.’

GI level: Low

The rice we eat on a daily basis, as well as its GI level, influences our bodies in the long run, since consuming foods high in GI can induce fast increases in blood glucose levels in our bodies. If blood glucose levels remain consistently high, there is an increased chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and a variety of other health concerns. It is helpful to seek lower GI meal choices in order to maintain a better blood glucose level and reduce the risk of health concerns.

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