Rice can be an excellent addition to a meal, and each type will function differently in your diet.
Total carbs: 52 grams (one cup, cooked rice)
Brown rice is the go-to rice in some health food circles since it’s considered to be more nutritious. Brown rice is a whole grain and has more fiber than white rice. It’s also a great source of magnesium and selenium. Depending on the type, brown rice may taste nutty, aromatic, or sweet.
However, it’s not clear whether swapping white rice for brown rice has the same health-promoting effects. For example,
Across several studies, eating brown rice did not appear to help with controlling blood sugar levels. More research is needed to understand the health effects of brown rice.
Total carbs: 53 grams (one cup, short-grain, cooked)
White rice is the most popular type of rice and might be the one most used. The processing white rice undergoes depletes it of some of its fiber, vitamin, and minerals. But some types of white rice are enriched with additional nutrients. It’s still a popular choice across the board.
One cup of cooked enriched white rice contains nutrients
- Folate: 15% of the daily value (DV)
- Selenium: 14% of the DV
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5): 8% of the DV
- Iron: 8% of the DV
Total carbs: 35 grams (one cup, cooked)
Wild rice is actually the grain of four different species of grass. Though technically it’s not a rice, it’s commonly referred to as one for practical purposes. Its chewy texture has an earthy, nutty flavor that many find appealing. Wild rice is also rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
Total carbs: 34 grams (one cup, cooked)
Black rice has a distinct texture and sometimes turns purple once cooked. It’s full of fiber and contains iron, protein, and antioxidants. It’s often used in dessert dishes since some types are slightly sweet. You can experiment using black rice in a variety of dishes.
Total carbs: 45 grams (one cup, cooked)
Red rice is another nutritious choice that also has a lot of fiber. Many people enjoy its nutty taste and chewy texture. However, the flavor of red rice can be quite complex. You may find its color an aesthetic enhancement to certain dishes.
Different types of rice can be similar in carb content, but quite different in nutrient content. White rice is the least nutritious because the processing it undergoes strips it of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, some of these nutrients are added back to enriched white rice.
Some carbs may contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than others. White rice is a refined carb, which means it’s low in dietary fiber.
Even so, white rice is a popular food that’s central to many cuisines. To eat a balanced diet, it’s not typically necessary to remove white rice from your diet or replace it with brown rice.
Instead, it is important to make sure you are getting plenty of fiber and nutrients from other foods you eat. According to the
The vast majority of people in the United States do not get enough fiber from their diet. Whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables are all good sources of fiber.
The USDA recommends the following daily fiber intake:
- Females under 50: 25 to 28 grams per day
- Males under 50: 31 to 34 grams per day
- Females 51 and older: 22 grams per day
- Males 51 and older: 28 grams per day
These are general recommendations. Talk with your doctor or a dietitian to find out what’s right for you, especially if you have any health conditions.
Carbs are a necessary part of your daily diet, but some carbs are better than others. It’s best to get your daily carbs from fiber-rich sources when possible.
Do you love the texture of rice but want to use a rice substitute with fewer carbs? You can by making rice out of cauliflower or broccoli. You can also use koniac, which is an Asian root vegetable. This is known as Shirataki rice.
While you can purchase the low-carb rice substitutes at some specialty health food stores and grocery stores, you may want to consider making some on your own. Making them is relatively simple:
- Chop the vegetable of your choice to place in a food processor
- Pulse in a food processor until you achieve your desired consistency
- You can put it in the microwave for a few minutes or cook on the stove. You may want to cook it for a shorter time to retain some of the raw crunch.
Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and koniac are good substitutes if you’re looking to replace rice with fewer carbs. You can mimic the texture of rice by chopping these vegetables in a food processor.
As with most things in life, balance and moderation are key. Make it a point to pair rice with nutritious, health-promoting foods. Rice should only make up about a third or quarter of your meal.
Ideally, rice should be paired with vegetables and lean protein. Use it as a side dish or in soups or casseroles.
Because it’s high in fiber, brown rice can help you to feel fuller between meals. However, you can pair white rice with high fiber beans or vegetables to get a similar effect.