low carb rice substitute

Top 6 Low Carb Rice Alternatives for Keto Diet You Can Try

Rice is a grain that is easy to prepare and incorporate into many different diets and dishes. It goes well with meat or with veggies, it goes well by itself and it also goes well when it is sweet.

Rice is one of the most variable foods out there, and that is what makes it so easy to cook with and hard to replace.


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Unfortunately, for a keto diet or a low carb diet, rice has way too many carbs and can prevent ketosis or kick you out of it. And while rice is hard to replace, it is still possible to find rice substitutes. 

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In the list below, there are 6 low carb rice substitutes and their nutritional information that you can use. 

#1. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is one of the most popular rice alternatives that are out there, especially in the keto and low-carb communities, as it contains minimal amounts of carbs that can easily fit into a low-carb or keto diet.

cooked cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice nutritional facts

In the table below, we have the nutritional information on 100 grams of boiled cauliflower that can be riced. (*)

Calories 23 kcal
Protein1.84 grams
Fat0.45 grams
Total Carbs4.11 grams
Fiber2.3 grams
Net Carbs1.81 grams

Basic cauliflower rice is very simple and easy to make by finely grading it or just putting the cauliflower into a food processor until it is finely chopped. With both techniques, you are aiming towards rice-size cauliflower pieces. 

You can use both fresh cauliflower or cauliflower that has been frozen. When using frozen cauliflower, you can either let it thaw at room temperature or you can microwave it for a few minutes until it is soft enough to grate finely. 

From then on, you can eat it raw or you can cook it by boiling it, sauteeing it, steaming it or frying it, all depending on your liking. You can add it to stir-fries, or salads and other dishes to add bulk and flavor to your dishes. You can cook many Keto Chinese dishes using this riced cauliflower.

It also comes with many health benefits and research to support them. It is high in fiber, which is promoting digestive health and can aid weight loss, it has high amounts of choline and is rich in antioxidants that can help reduce oxidative stress to the body and prevent cell injury. (*) (*) (*)

#2. Shirataki Rice

Shirataki rice, often called miracle rice or konjac rice is composed of 97% water and 3% fiber from the konjac plant, meaning it has very little nutritional value.

Konjac rice is commonly used as rice substitution in the keto and low-carb communities because of its low nutritional value. If you are familiar with shirataki noodles, it is basically the same thing, but cut into small rice-sized pieces. 

Shirataki rice nutritional facts

As said above, shirataki rice is made with 97% water, and 3% fiber. Its nutritional information shows that in 100 grams of shirataki rice there are 9 calories and 2.7 grams of fiber and no net carbs, fat, or protein. 

This makes it a great low carb alternative to rice for keto diet without adding the carbs or calories. The shirataki rice is an amazing substitute for rice, as it is tasteless by itself and it absorbs the flavor from sauces and seasonings really well- similarly to rice. 

Shirataki rice is basically made of just fiber, which means that it has many health benefits such as promoting gut health, helping with weight loss and suppressing appetite, which is why it is good when adding bulk to meals. It also helps lower the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and obesity. (*)

#3. Broccoli Rice

Broccoli rice is just broccoli florets that have been graded finely or processed in a food processor to a size of a rice grain, in a similar way as cauliflower rice. Broccoli rice is a great way to add greens to your meals, as well as add bulk and flavor without adding the carbs and calories.

Broccoli rice nutritional facts

Here is the nutritional information on 100 grams of broccoli that can be graded to broccoli rice (*)

Calories35 kcal
Protein2.88 grams
Fat0.32 grams
Total Carbs6.73 grams
Fiber1 grams
Net Carbs5.73 grams

Along with being one of the most flavorful, low-carb vegetables and rice substitutes out there, it is also very versatile. Just like cauliflower rice, it can be prepared and consumed in many different ways. You can eat it raw or cooked- you can stir fry it with other vegetables and/or meat, you can boil it and eat it by itself with some salt and spices or you can serve it as a side dish to your meal. 

Broccoli is also one of the healthiest vegetables that you can choose as a rice substitute, as it has many nutrients beneficial for your health, backed up by research. 

However, researchers also concluded that how you cook the broccoli changes its nutrient composition, particularly its soluble protein content and vitamin C content. The research found that steaming the broccoli is the best way to get as much of its nutritional value as possible. (*)

Broccoli is high in antioxidants and chemical compounds that can convert into antioxidants that can prevent oxidative stress to cells by binding to free radicals in the body. 

The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, are present in broccoli and they are known to promote eye health. It also contains a chemical compound called glucoraphanin, which is later converted into an antioxidant called sulforaphane, which has numerous health benefits such as reducing oxidative stress and chronic disease development, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. (*) (*)

#4. Riced Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a great way to add a little flavor to your meals and avoid adding carbs. They are a great low carb option to substitute rice with because they are like sponges, while they don’t have much of a taste by themselves, they can absorb flavor very well. You can choose mushrooms to your liking, as there are numerous kinds of edible mushrooms.

Riced mushrooms nutritional facts

In the table below is the nutritional information of 100 grams of raw mushrooms that can be cut into rice mushrooms. (*)

Calories22 kcal
Protein3.09 grams
Fat0.34 grams
Total Carbs3.26 grams
Fiber1 gram
Net Carbs2.26 grams

Mushrooms tend to lose a lot of their water when they are cooked and they shrink. That’s why cutting them too small may make them more of a paste-like consistency, than rice-size pieces. If you want them to be the size of rice, cut them into a little bigger pieces before cooking them to adjust to the shrinkage.

Mushrooms are also very healthy and nutritious food. They are a good source of plant-based protein, as well as a good source of antioxidants. They are rich in polyphenols, ergothioneine, glutathione, polysaccharides, selenium, and vitamin C, which are all powerful antioxidants that may help prevent some forms of cancer and other chronic diseases. (*)

They are also a possible plant-based source of dietary vitamin D because of their exposure to the sun while they are growing. They may potentially help lower blood cholesterol and lower blood sugar and improve insulin resistance, as well as improve gut health. (*) (*) (*)

#5. Riced Cabbage

Similarly to the examples above, riced cabbage is just cabbage that has been graded, cut, or processed in a food processor to the size of a rice grain. 

Riced cabbage nutritional facts

Here is the nutritional information on 100 grams of raw cabbage that can be made into riced cabbage. (*)

Calories25 kcal
Protein1.28 grams
Fat0.1 gram
Total Carbs5.8 grams
Fiber2.5 grams
Net Carbs3.3 grams

Riced cabbage is a great way to add some crunch to your keto or low-carb dish if you like it raw. You can also cook it to make it softer and add spices to make it more flavorful. It can go well with meat or you can eat it like a salad by itself.

Cabbage has numerous health benefits along with its low calorie and carb count. It is rich in antioxidants, particularly a group of antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols have been linked to lowering the risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular diseases, they also have anti-inflammatory properties and can cause a decrease in HDL-cholesterol. (*)

#6. Rutabaga Rice

Rutabaga rice is low-carb rice that is made from a root vegetable called rutabaga. Rutabaga is sometimes used by low-carb and keto dieters as a substitute to potatoes, but grading it or processing it into smaller rice-sized pieces makes it an equally good rice substitute. 

Rutabaga rice nutritional facts

In the table below, are the nutritional information of 100 grams of raw rutabaga that can be riced. (*)

Calories37 kcal
Protein1.08 grams
Fat0.16 grams
Total Carbs8.62 grams
Fiber2.3 grams
Net Carbs6.32 grams

Rutabaga rice is rich in many nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins E and C, as well as a considerable amount of folate. Folate is a vitamin in the B group that is important in the process of DNA replication, metabolism, and synthesis of proteins. (*)

It is also rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and E that can help prevent and combat oxidative stress and prevent cell injury. (*), (*)

Bottom Line

Is cauliflower rice keto-friendly?

Yes, cauliflower rice is keto-friendly with 2.8 grams of net carbs per 100 grams serving. 

Is shirataki rice 0 net carbs?

Yes, shirataki rice is composed of only water and fiber and therefore it has 0 net carbs.

Conclusion

Eating keto or low carb means that you will have to give up foods that you enjoy and love, and it might seem like they are irreplaceable. Rice is one of those foods that many might think are impossible to replace, but fortunately, we have shown you that yes, rice can be substituted and with tasty options too!

You cannot eat rice on a keto diet because of the carbohydrates, but the rice replacements provided above can be incorporated into a keto diet or a low-carb diet without taking too many of your daily carbs.

Photo by depositphotos.com/lichaoshu

Top 6 Low Carb Rice Alternatives for Keto Diet You Can Try

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