It’s an undeniable fact that Filipinos love to eat rice. It’s evident in the popularity of restaurants and food establishments that offer unlimited rice promos and boodle fight sets that have mounds of rice in the middle of all the delicious ulam. But we also know that eating too much rice, white rice specifically, can have health implications such as increased blood sugar and weight gain.
That’s why some are trying to become healthier, especially with the pandemic, and trying to lose weight and avoid food that can make them gain weight, just like rice. But as Filipinos, we sometimes still have the urge to pair our favorite dishes with rice because that’s how we grew up! (Read: Amid Issues on Rice Trade, How Do We Support Filipino Farmers?)
The good thing is there are alternatives to white rice that you can use to satisfy your craving for rice, without ingesting all the carbs and extra sugar it has. Here are some of them.
White Rice Alternatives: Red Rice
Red rice is similar to brown rice in that it is un-hulled and nutritious. Both also get their color from anthocyanins— an antioxidant that can also be found in red and purple fruits and vegetables. While it doesn’t actually taste like white rice (it may taste a little more earthy!), it’s still a great option for those looking to eat healthier this year!
White Rice Alternatives: Adlay
Adlay is a type of grain that is native to Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines which has anti-inflammatory properties. it is also filled with protein, dietary fiber, and minerals. While it has a higher caloric content than rice, the calories in Adlay are clean and good! Plus, it can provide thrice the energy white rice could— something we all definitely need. (Read: Diet Plans for Weight Loss? A Nutritionist-Dietician Gave Us Tips!)
White Rice Alternatives: Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower isn’t just an ingredient in the vegetable dishes we cook— it can also be our substitute for white rice! And it’s also a healthier substitute not just because it comes from vegetables, but because it only has 25 calories per cup— compared to white rice’s 206. Kids will also enjoy this substitute because it’s chewy and tasty, and doesn’t taste like vegetables!