When going on a Keto diet, this means that you’ll have to keep your carbohydrate intake low. Typically the distribution of macronutrients intake on a daily basis is 5% to 10% carbohydrates, 20% to 25% protein, and 75% to 80% fat. As such, incorporating one of the staples of food, rice, will be difficult due to the high carbohydrates it has. This list will help you find rice alternatives and substitutes (that are often tastier and healthier!) to rice and explanations on why you should consider them. We’ll also give different ways on how to prepare some of these to make sure that every meal isn’t boring and flavorful. Soon enough having rice in every meal will be a distant memory.
Why avoid rice?
Simply put, the popular types of rice just have too many carbohydrates in each serving to incorporate in a Keto diet. A cup of white rice (around 158 grams) contains 45 grams of carbohydrates, 0.40 grams of fat and 4.30 grams of protein. A keto diet will usually have a daily consumption of 50 grams of carbohydrates. Consuming a cup or even just a half cup of rice will at least take up half of your carbohydrate intake for a day.
Brown rice is out of the question as well, though considered a healthier variation of rice due to having lower calories, being gluten-free and high in fiber each cup of brown rice can contain 36 grams of carbohydrates.
Yes! You can still have rice! Just from different sources. These are all low carbohydrates so that feel guilty eating these if avoiding rice each meal is a difficulty for you.
1. Other types of rice
Cauliflower rice is slowly growing as a popular rice alternative due to its low carbs. Every 100 grams of cauliflower is 5 grams of carbohydrates, 0.30 grams of fat, 1.90 grams of protein, and 25 calories. You can buy cauliflower rice at some stores but you can make them yourself as well. You can use a cheese grater to grate the cauliflower into rice, or you can use a food processor and use a grating attachment to turn it into rice. Afterward, you can consume it once done or you can saute it. You can even use it when creating rice dishes such as fried rice.
Russia’s national food is served as rice too! 100 grams of cabbage contains 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.10 grams of fat, 1.3 grams of protein and 25 calories.
Shirataki / Konjac Rice
Also known as “miracle rice”, this type of rice is slowly gaining popularity in the West. The rice is made from the root of the Konjac plant that’s grown in parts of Asia. The main reason why this is hailed as “miracle rice” is because of it’s unbelievable nutrition content, 114 grams of shirataki rice has 0.70 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, and 0 calories. This rice alternative is one of the healthiest you can consume and is a great weight loss aid. If you want to get rid of all rice completely but still want shirataki, it’s also served as noodles!
This might be every child’s bane of food, broccoli rice is a good alternative with every 100 grams of it containing 7 grams of carbohydrates, 0.40 grams of fat, 2.80 grams of protein and 34 calories. Simply use a food processor, a blender, or if you have time, chop it to turn the green vegetable into “rice.”
2. Lettuce leaves
Instead of eating a typical rice meal, consider using lettuce leaves to create Keto friendly tacos/food wraps! Using a 100 grams of lettuce will give you 2.90 grams of carbohydrates, 0.20 grams of fat, and 15 calories.
Turnips are a great rice alternative due to health benefits and it can be prepared in different ways to be a good side dish. Using 100 grams will have 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.10 grams of fat, 0.90 grams of protein and 28 calories. You can have “mashed potato” turnip style by dicing the turnip into cubes, placing it in boiling water for around 12 to 15 minutes, then mash it. If you’re feeling having fries instead, peel then cut the turnips into a fry-like shape, you can then add some oil and a few ingredients then fry it!
Zucchini is one of the more popular rice alternatives for those on a Keto diet due to its versatility as a side dish. You can turn the Zucchini into fries, noodle replacement, casserole, fritters and even rice (yes!). You can also stuff the Zucchini with different food to create a pseudo-sandwich. 100 grams of Zucchini will have 3.10 grams of carbohydrates, 0.30 grams of fat, 1.20 grams of protein and 17 calories. This is also a good source of vitamin C
Tofu has a reputation for being quite bland as food, but with the right ingredients and cooking it can be a great rice alternative due to the supremely low carbohydrates it contains. Be careful however as a serving of tofu has quite the calorie count, so be mindful and avoid eating too much of it to keep yourself within caloric deficit. As such even though tofu is safe to eat in a keto diet is a bit unpopular. Eating 100 grams of tofu will yield you 1.90 grams of carbohydrates, 4.80 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 76 calories.
6. Halloumi fries
One of the more stranger rice alternatives on this list, Halloumi is a cheese often made from different milk sources. Due to its semi-hard state and high melting point, you can fry or grill this cheese and have it as a meal! Be wary of eating too much Halloumi. Though it’s low in carbohydrates it is quite high on calories, so consider eating this as a meal in itself. Using just 80 grams of halloumi cheese will have 1.30 grams of carbohydrates, 19.70 grams of fat, 16.70 grams of protein and (a whopping) 253 calories.
The rice alternatives on this list are just a few of the possible choices you can use. Most of these can also be used as ingredients in some recipes rather than just side dishes so go crazy! The main thing to look out for is keeping the carbohydrates as low as possible to keep yourself in ketogenesis.