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Five Healthy Alternatives to Rice

Rice – white rice in particular – is an integral part of Indian cuisine. Our palates are deeply captivated by the subtle taste of rice in our immensely flavourful dishes. Rice is seldom ignored and finds a nook on our plates, whether it is an occasion or a regular meal. Although it is a very prevalent and dominant addition, rice does not contribute too much when it comes to nutrients.

Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates, which makes it a clear no for people who are trying to cut on carbs and shed a few inches off their waist. It lacks multiple essential nutrients making it a borderline unhealthy choice for people who are trying to adopt a balanced diet. But as they say, there’s always an option, an alternative door. Here are five healthy alternatives to rice that you can add to your diet.


Quinoa is one of the best alternatives to rice. It contains all the nine essential amino acids that the body requires and is a great source of protein, making it an incredible option for vegetarians and vegans. In addition, Quinoa is completely gluten-free.


Something that is found in almost every Indian household, Dalia or bulgur wheat, is another great alternative. It is generally consumed as khichdi, upma, or porridge. Apart from being light in calories, Dalia is a rich source of magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, Vitamin B6, and fibre.

Riced Cauliflower

Riced cauliflower is mildly flavoured and has the same texture as that of cooked rice, making it the perfect alternative to white rice. It can be easily mixed with your curries without tampering with the profound experience of the collection of condiments that is your dish. As compared to the 100 calories that half a cup of white rice provides, riced cauliflower only has 13.


Offering a chewy and earthy taste, Barley is another common and healthy alternative to white rice. Packing nutrients such as niacin, selenium, and zinc, Barley also has an increased amount of protein and fibre, as compared to rice.


Ragi, also known as Finger Millet, is another common crop easily available in India and is equally easily replaceable with white rice. Ragi is a rich source of protein and also has anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that help fight oxidative stress.

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