We live for unli-rice deals when we’re eating out, but white rice isn’t as innocent as its color seems to say. It’s got a lot of carbs and calories, making it a diet-killer for those wanting to lose weight. Also, since white rice is refined grain, eating the stuff can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar, increasing your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Yikes!
Fortunately, we’ve got lots of white rice alternatives to choose from to satisfy all our energy needs. We know ditching the stuff could be hard, but it just takes a little bit of willpower and you could potentially be on your way to a healthier you. Besides, it's not as if these alternatives taste bad, quite the contrary, actually.
Anyway, enough talk. Learn about them below!
First, let's talk about the other kinds of rice (it's as diverse as our skin color, fellas!)...
1) RED RICE
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Red rice is an excellent source of fiber, and it packs a lot of iron to add to your daily intake. It’s also whole grain, so eating it regularly can lower your risk of getting heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. And it’s fat-free!
2) BROWN RICE
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Brown rice packs a lot of benefits, with less calories and less carbohydrates than its white counterpart. It’s also got more fiber, which is good news for your digestive system, as well as more magnesium. The only downside? It’s got a bit more fat compared to its paler cousin. Still, it’s not so bad!
3) BLACK RICE
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Black rice (which isn’t really black as its color is closer to dark violet) has less calories and carbohydrates, and has a lot more protein than brown rice. It’s also a better source of antioxidants thanks to Anthocyanin, the stuff that gives it its dark hue.
4) JASMINE RICE
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Not only does jasmine rice smell better than ordinary white rice, it’s also a good source of niacin, thiamine, iron, and selenium. That and it also contains vitamins B1 and D. Get the brown variant for even more nutrients!
And now, for the non-rice substitutes...
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If you’re a diabetic or at risk of having the disease, you’re better off chowing down corn instead of white rice. Corn has a lower glycemic index, which can lessen your risk by slowly releasing glucose into your blood stream. It also has more protein, fiber, minerals, and anti-oxidants, and that’s always good news!
6) SWEET POTATOES
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The humble kamote has less calories, less carbohydrates, and absolutely zero fat, making it an excellent choice for weight watchers. It also has a lot more sodium, potassion, and fiber than white rice, and a whopping amount of vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C. It’s basically a superfood!
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Oatmeal’s a great way to start your day! It has less calories and cholesterol than white rice, and it’s got a whopping 433 IU of Vitamin A (white rice has exactly zero), 26 mg of magnesium, 49 mg of sodium, 61 mg of potassium, and 80 mg of calcium. Plus, it tastes great with milk or chocolate!
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Barley, one of the top ingredients in beer, is also an excellent rice alternative. If you’re not counting your calories (a cup has 354 calories as compared to only 130 in white rice), it’s a more nutritious substitute for plain rice, with 452 mg of potassium, 12 mg of sodium, 17 g of fiber, 22 IU of Vitamin A, 33 mg of calcium, and 133 mg of magnesium.
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Yep, this chopsuey staple actually makes for a great rice substitute! A cup of cauliflower florets provide a tenth of the carbohydrates found in the same amount of white rice. Since most of those carbs are fiber, the actual carb content is actually lower. That same cup of florets will also give you 176 mg of potassium, 55 mg of Vitamin C, 2.2 g of protein, and half a gram of fat!
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Fitness buffs from all over the globe are falling head over heels for quinoa, and for good reason: the stuff’s brimming with manganese, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, folate, vitamin B-6, thiamine, and riboflavin. That’s a looot of nutrients, so if you could afford its hefty price tag, go get it!