- By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
- Published: 21:00 June 22, 2014
Dubai: Rice is one of the richest sources of carbohydrates and the second most popular grain-based food item in the world after wheat.
Rice is a staple diet in most of Asia, while it is popular with Arabs and other nationalities, who make a variety of delicacies with this.
Though rice is a good source of nutrition and energy, if taken in large quantities, it can turn into fat.
“Rice has a high amount of complex carbohydrates or starch which, if taken in large quantity and not burnt through physical labour, will automatically turn into fat, resulting in weight gain,” said Dr Mohammad Anas, a Dubai-based physician
He added that Basmati variety of rice, which is mainly used in popular dishes like biryani, mandi and madhbi, has lower nutritional value when compared to US or Thai style parboiled rice.
Most of the rice varieties, including Basmati, are polished, which has lower nutritional value, when compared to parboiled rice, which is more popular in South Indian communities as well as in Egypt, South-East Asia and in the US.
He said that grains constitute the most important part of our diet, are a source of complex carbohydrates, and need to be taken in moderation, due to the lifestyle most people follow in the UAE.
According to a popular chef, rice has become a major part of the food culture in the GCC countries, particularly because of the huge Asian population.
“There are several varieties of rice but Basmati is the most popular among Asians as well as Arabs in the UAE. It has now become part of the local culture. But Egyptian rice is also popular with people from the Levant region,” said Chef Osama Al Sayed, CEO of Good Taste Consultancy
He added that jasmine rice is more popular with Japanese, Korean and other South-East Asians, which is used to make sushi.