You’ve made the choice to switch to a keto diet. While this presents some challenges, you know it will be worth it!
Nonetheless, you’re now unable to eat traditional rice. Don’t fear, there are some low-carb keto rice alternatives that pack a ton of flavor and added health benefits.
How Many Carbs Will Break Ketosis?
When you go on a keto diet, you’re putting your body in a state of ketosis and replacing carbs with fat. When your body is in ketosis, it uses fats instead of carbs for energy.
On a typical ketogenic diet, your intake is 70% fat and just 10% carbohydrates. Compare that to a traditional diet where 50% or more of a person’s intake is made up of carbs.
To maintain ketosis, a person needs to keep their net carb intake under 20 grams per day. Note that net carbs are different than total carbs.
Net carbs are digestible carbs, and you can calculate their quantity by subtracting the fiber content from the total carb content.
For example, if a serving of keto rice has 25 grams of total carbs and 13 grams of fiber, the net carbs would be 12 grams, meaning you’ll stay in ketosis.
Is White Rice Keto?
Unfortunately, white rice is not keto.
Per half-cup of white rice, there are 28 grams of net carbs. One-half cup of rice is a typical serving, and considering you need to stay below 20 grams of net carbs to maintain ketosis, white rice won’t cut it.
Other forms of white rice, such as Basmati rice and low glycemic index (GI) rice, won’t work, either. Basmati rice has 32 grams of net carbs per half-cup serving, where low GI rice has 33 grams of net carbs per 125 grams.
Another favorite, Jasmine rice, boasts 19 grams of net carbs per half-cup serving.
White rice of any kind won’t work for a ketogenic diet. Just one serving of these rices puts you at or above your 20-gram net carb limit.
What About Brown Rice?
You may be wondering, “is brown rice keto?”
A cooked 100 grams of long-grain brown rice has 21 grams of net carbs.
A half-cup serving of cooked Black rice has 33 grams of net carbs.
Argh! Is there any way to eat rice on keto? Luckily, yes!
Keto Rice You Can Eat
Shirataki rice comes from konjac root. Referred to as “miracle rice,” this substitute is free of soy, gluten, calories and contains a mere 1-3 grams of carbs per serving.
Shirataki rice is packed with fiber, a crucial staple in any diet. It also contains calcium and a bit of iron.
While miracle rice is flavorless on its own, it does well when mixed into dishes full of flavor. It’s commonly used in Asian dishes, as the konjac root comes from Asia.
On a typical shirataki rice package, the ingredients should be purified water, konnyaku flour, and calcium hydroxide. Shirataki rice is 97% water and 3% fiber. Simple!
Cauliflower is a popular low-carb substitute for vegetables on a ketogenic diet, but did you know about cauliflower rice?
You can purchase pre-made cauliflower rice at the store, but it’s also effortless to make at home. Pulse fresh, uncooked cauliflower in a blender or food processor, and you’re done!
Per one-cup serving, cauliflower rice has 3 grams of net carbs.
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Using finely chopped mushrooms, you can recreate the feeling of rice. Mushroom is fairly flavorless on its own, so adding it in as a rice substitute means it takes on the flavor of the dish.
Sauté one or two cups of finely diced mushrooms with some butter to add in fats and make it flavorful. You can also combine diced mushrooms with other low-carb substitutes for some flavor variety.
Per 50 grams cooked, mushroom rice contains 1.5 grams of net carbs.
Alternatives to Keto Rice
It’s possible to find keto-friendly carb substitutes that aren’t rice. Keto rice is a wonderful alternative, but options are limited, and you may be craving a change of pace.
Per 50 grams cooked, lentils contain 6.1 grams of net carbs.
Lentils are perfect as a base for many dishes and do well on the side or sprinkled on top. They’re packed with health benefits, including fiber, folate, iron, potassium, and other nutrients.
Skinny pasta is also made from konjac root, but some people complain about konjac noodles smelling terrible, like fish.
If that’s the case for you and you’d like to avoid miracle rice, skinny pasta is a great alternative. This pasta and rice alternative is sugar-free, gluten-free, fat-free, packed with fiber, and cholesterol-free.
To add fats to this pasta, throw in some ghee or coconut aminos.
Per 50 grams cooked, quinoa packs 9.3 grams of carbs.
Quinoa is a bit on the higher side of carbs, so it’s best to use it only once or twice per week to substitute for other kinds of keto rice. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber, and gluten-free.
This rice comes from grass, but it has fewer calories and 40 percent more protein. Wild rice is packed with antioxidants, magnesium, fiber, potassium, and zinc.
Wild rice contains all nine essential amino acids, meaning it’s a complete protein. This means it substitutes for meat.
Per 50 grams cooked, wild rice has 9.8 grams of carbs. Like quinoa, this is a bit on the higher side, so consider making large batches at a time and using it slowly, a couple of times per week. You can freeze any extra.
Related: Sugar: The Sweet Seduction
Being on keto doesn’t mean sacrificing carbs. Keto rice and other alternatives are an excellent way to add delicious carbs into your diet that don’t put you out of ketosis.
MCM Nutrition carries a variety of products that help you achieve your goals and maintain ketosis. Learn more today!