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The best substitutes for white rice

What is white rice?

Rice is a staple in many people’s diets. Besides being cheap and easy to prepare, it has a mild flavor, ideal to accompany various dishes.

However, rice, especially white rice, may not be the most suitable food to meet nutritional needs. For example, those trying to eat fewer carbohydrates or calories may want a lighter alternative, such as chopped cauliflower.

Healthy alternatives to replace white rice

Also, replacing rice with healthier alternatives, like whole grains, can add variety to your everyday menu. Here are 11 nutritious alternatives for you to choose from:

Quinoa

Although it has a taste and texture similar to rice after cooking, quinoa is a seed. Gluten-free, it has much more protein than grain. A 1/2 cup (92-gram) serving of quinoa provides 4 grams of protein – twice the amount found in the same serving of white rice. This makes it a great source of protein for vegetarians.

It is also rich in vital minerals like magnesium and copper, which play an important role in energy metabolism and bone health.

Cauliflower rice

Finely chopped cauliflower is an excellent alternative with low amounts of carbohydrates and calories. It has a mild flavor and texture and appearance similar to boiled rice. A 1/2 cup (57 gram) serving of chopped cauliflower has only 13 calories compared to 100 calories for the same serving of white rice.

Broccoli

Like cauliflower, broccoli is a smart choice for people on low-carb or low-calorie diets. In 1/2 cup of the vegetable (57 grams), you can find about 15 calories and 2 grams of fiber.

Chopped broccoli is also a source of vitamin C, which acts as a powerful antioxidant, preventing cell damage and improving immune health.

Whole-wheat couscous

Whole wheat couscous is a healthier version than regular varieties because it is rich in fiber and protein. Couscous grains are much smaller than rice grains, thus adding a unique texture to the foods they are served with.

Chopped cabbage

The vegetable is low in calories and carbohydrates, with a mild flavor that complements many different dishes. It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, with a 1/2 cup (75 gram) serving to provide 31% and 68% of the daily recommendations, respectively.

Barley

Barley is similar to oatmeal and has an earthy flavor. An 81 gram serving of boiled barley provides about 100 calories, the same amount as an equal serving of white rice. However, it does contain slightly more protein and fiber, as well as a variety of nutrients such as niacin, zinc, and selenium.

What do you think?

Written by Facundo Martinez

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