In their quest for healthy, nutritious, foods many people make the switch from white rice to brown rice . This is a smart move because brown rice provides health benefits that you do not get with its white counterpart.
However, when people transition to the keto diet, many wonder whether brown rice is still going to be acceptable on the keto foods list. They know that white rice has definitely got too high a carb count for the keto diet but think (and maybe hope) that the brown version is low enough in carbs to allow it to sneak into their new keto diet eating plan.
So, is brown rice an acceptable keto diet foods option? And, if not, what can you substitute it with? Read on to find the answers?
Is rice a carb?
Many people wonder is rice carbs? The answer is that there are a lot of carbs in rice, so yes, they are carb foods – especially white rice, which is highest of all the types of rice. It causes a huge spike in blood sugar levels. The best low-carb rice is brown rice.
Is it Keto?
No, brown rice is not suitable for the keto diet. While it is a low-carb rice, it is simply too high in carbs. When you go on the ketogenic diet, your main aim is to keep your daily carbohydrate count to below 50 carbs. If you’re really into the ketogenic diet, you will reduce that carb total to less than 20 grams*. That includes everything you eat or drink for the entire 24-hour period.
Half a cup of brown rice has a carb count of about 23 grams of carbs to your system. That is more than a strict keto dieter needs to consume in an entire day – and nearly half of what a 50-gram keto guy is trying to limit himself to over a 24-hour period.
That half a cup of brown rice will also provide you with 2.3 grams of protein and 0.8 grams of fat. It has a total of 109 calories.
Here is a nutritional breakdown for a full cup of brown rice:
- Calories: 204
- Fat: 01.6g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Carbohydrates: 46.2g
- Fiber: 3.3g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 4.6g
Brown Rice Health Benefits
Despite being high in carbs, brown rice is a healthier version of rice than white rice because it is unrefined and unpolished. This is in stark contrast to the white version, which has the outer fiber and bran removed. As a result, brown rice is rich in fiber and includes disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamin B, phytonutrients, along with a number of minerals. The innermost part of the germ contains healthy fats along with such oxidants as Vitamin E.
As an example of the benefits of brown rice over white, a third of a cup of brown rice provides 1.2 grams of fiber, compared with 0.2 grams for white rice. This rich fiber content ensures slow digestion, leading to a sustained release of energy. This, in turn, reduces hunger pangs and unhealthy food cravings.
The high amount of manganese in brown rice helps with the digestive process. It actually helps in the formation of digestive enzymes. The rich fiber content in brown rice helps in the formation of bulk. This, in turn, helps to regulate bowel function and improve digestion.
Brown rice is a powerful helper for diabetics and can help people to lose weight. it is rich in physics acid, along with fiber, polyphenols, and antioxidants. It contains complex carbs which, while not good for people on the keto diet, allows for a sustained release of energy. When you eat it, you will better regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, preventing cravings.
The Perfect Brown Rice Alternatives
So, brown rice is off your keto meal plan. So, what can you eat instead?
That’s easy – Cauliflower!
The once humble cauliflower has quickly risen in prominence to become a legitimate superfood among vegetables – especially for keto lovers. Not only is the cauliflower extremely low in carbs, it also has better nutritional content than brown rice.
Here are a selection of awesome keto approved cauliflower-based recipes that will make you forget all about brown rice . . .
CAULIFLOWER “RICE” Serves 4–6
700 g (1 lb 9 oz/about ½ medium) cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
Working in batches, process the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles fine grains of rice. Now, you have a few options as to how to cook this:
Microwaving: This is the easiest cooking method by far. Place the cauliflower in a heatproof bowl with just 1–2 tablespoons of water, cover tightly with plastic wrap, then microwave on high for about 3 minutes or until tender.
If you don’t own a microwave, cook the cauliflower with 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) water in a tightly covered saucepan over medium heat for about 5–6 minutes or until tender.
Roasting: Spread the “rice” over a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat lightly. Roast at 200°C (400°F) for 15 minutes, stirring it every now and then, or until tender and a little golden.
Stir-frying: Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut, vegetable or coconut oil in a large wok over medium–high heat, add the cauliflower and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until tender. You can cook the cauliflower with chopped chili, garlic or ginger, add some finely sliced green onions (scallions) and/or chopped herbs, such as cilantro, mint, parsley or basil
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/about ½ medium) cauliflower, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons shiro miso
- 1 tablespoon rice bran oil or any neutral-tasting vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mirin
For the miso-glazed cauliflower, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in a baking dish in a single layer.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small food processor and process until smooth. Pour over the cauliflower in the dish and toss to coat well.
Bake for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cauliflower is golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, combine the rice and 560 ml (19¼ fl oz/2¼ cups) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium–low heat for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stand, covered, for 5 minutes for the rice to finish cooking.
Cook the edamame in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes or until tender, then drain well.
Spoon the rice into four bowls, then arrange the edamame, radish, carrot, salmon and pickles around the edge in neat piles. Scatter the nori over the salmon.
Spoon the miso-glazed cauliflower into the middle of each bowl and scatter with sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing and some soy sauce for dipping.
MEAT-LOVERS ’ CAULIFLOWER MAC ’N’ CHEESE Serves 6
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz/about ½ medium) cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1.5 cm (⅝ inch) pieces
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil
- 175 g (6 oz) rindless bacon, chopped
- 60 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) butter
- 60 g (2¼ oz/generous ⅓ cup) almond flour
- 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) milk, heated
- 200 g (7 oz/2 cups) grated cheddar cheese
- 200 g (7 oz/1¼ cups) macaroni 100 g (3½ oz) thinly sliced pepperoni
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Place the cauliflower in a large, deep ovenproof frying pan 35 cm (14 inches) wide and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes until light golden, then scatter with the bacon. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until a thick, smooth paste forms. Stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps forming, add the milk, 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) or so at a time, bringing the mixture to a simmer before adding any more.
Once all the milk is added, cook over low heat for 6–7 minutes, whisking occasionally to prevent lumps. Season to taste and stir in half the cheese.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 minutes, or according to packet directions, until al dente.
Drain well. Combine the macaroni with the cauliflower mixture in the pan and then pour over the sauce. Scatter with the remaining cheese then place the pepperoni slices over the top in neat rows. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Eat immediately.
Find more awesome keto approved cauliflower recipes here.
Brown rice is definitely not keto-friendly. It has simply got too many carbs for keto. But don’ despair – simply eat super healthy cauliflower rice and you’ll be good to go.
- Before starting on an ultra low-carb diet, you should seek medical advice.