Rice and pasta play a big role in building our body weight. They are known to cause a sudden increase in our blood sugar levels, which may trigger insulin resistance in the future leading to diabetes. To help you out, we’re suggesting some rice and pasta substitutes. These substitutes can help us get healthier and provide added nutrients which is the need of the hour given the current pandemic situation where immunity and maintaining good health is everything!
8 Rice and Pasta Substitutes
- Quinoa: It is gluten free and a good source of protein. It contains nine amino acids, is high in fibre, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. There are three main types of quinoa – red, black and white. You can opt for either one and they are readily available. You can pick up Quinoa from the GOQii Health Store for a discount using your GOQii Cash as well!
- Riced Broccoli: It is a good alternative for people on a low carb diet. It has the same nutrient content as riced cauliflower. It is a good carb, high in fiber – which means it aids digestion, prevents constipation and helps maintain blood sugar levels. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cellular damage and boosts the immune system.
- Bulgur Wheat: This is another healthy substitute for rice. It is similar in size, but whereas pasta is made from wheat flour, Bulgur wheat are small pieces of whole wheat grains. This is used in tabbouleh, which is a Mediterranean salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs. With the amount of vegetable-based alternatives on the list, bulgur wheat is the lowest in calories. It contains 76 calories in ½ cup i.e. 91g, about 25% fewer calories than an equal serving of white rice. It is great for people who are trying to cut calories.
- Barley: It is a grain that is related to wheat and rye. It looks the same as oats and has a chewy texture. It is rich in many nutrients. It reduces hunger and helps you to lose weight. It improves digestion. With about one calorie a half cup – 81g serving as cooked barley gives you the same number of calories as of white rice. Yet, it contains more protein and fibre. It prevents gallstones and reduces your risk of Gallbladder surgery. It may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Whole wheat couscous: It is a type of pasta that is used in Mediterranean and eastern cuisines which is made with small portions of flour. Whole wheat couscous is better than regular varieties, as it is high in fibre and proteins. It is good for weight loss and heart health. It is also good for strong bones and teeth. It improves our memory and our gut health. It lets you have a good night’s sleep. One cup of couscous does not contain more than 200 calories.
- Bajra: Also called Pearl Millet, this grain is rich in magnesium, which helps keep the heart healthy. It has potassium, which dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. This helps reduce overall blood pressure. Bajra also has fiber that helps reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol. It has a nutty flavor, is high in fiber and is an excellent source of iron, protein, folic acid that keeps ailments like anemia, constipation, obesity in check and flushes away all toxins. This is good food for diabetics. Bajra grains are gluten free and ideal for weight loss, good skin and strong bones.
- Shirataki Rice/Noodles: Unlike regular pasta, Shirataki Rice or noodles are made from a root vegetable native from Asia called Konjac or Konnyaku. This fibrous root is gluten free, low carb, and low calorie. It has a good amount of fiber which can help you maintain good gut health and avoid issues such as constipation. It improves general bowel functions, which reduces your risk of hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and colorectal cancer. The fiber in Shirataki noodles is soluble fiber, which acts as a probiotic promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.
- Riced Cauliflower: It is an excellent low carb substitute for rice. It has a mild flavour and texture and looks a lot like cooked rice. Half cup of rice is equal to 57g serving of riced cauliflower, and has only 13 calories, compared to the calories of the same amount of rice. The fibre in cauliflower rice helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, reducing inflammation and promoting digestive health. Studies link fibre rich veggies like cauliflower to lower risk of illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
These Rice and Pasta substitutes like Riced cauliflower, Bajra Roti, Couscous, etc. can add variety to your diet and have fewer calories. Quinoa is gluten free and a complete protein with nine essential amino acids. Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamin C that can boost our immunity. Barley has protein and fibre and Bulgur wheat is the lowest in calories.
If you’re up for experimenting with something healthy, do try these substitutes and let us know your thoughts in the comments below! For more on nutrition, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to classes by expert nutritionists on GOQii Play.
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