Rice is an asian stable. We have known it since we were children and we still serve it now as adults. Rice has been used in various preparations for our meals, wether it is a stand alone bowl or as a mixture of different components of food. But the thing with rice is that it has a relatively high glycemic index. This basically means that rice has a lot of sugar-packed carbohydrates luring into it. And specifically high glycemic index products have a reputation of being quick-burning sugars. Although that might sound great (cause they burn faster, making you gain less weight), in reality : it is not desirable. Fast-burning sugars cause you to eat more because they do not sustain your hunger for long. Therefore, it is not desirable for those who are looking for feeling full for a longer period of time. With all that being said, is it possible to stop eating rice altogether? Yes, it is definitely possible. There just needs to be great effort and discipline on an individual to stop consuming rice. And just like most foods, rice has a bunch of substitutes.
Quinoa has been getting a lot of attention over the past few years with it’s goodness for the health. And here is why. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and contains a bunch of essential amino acids. It is packed with micro-nutrients such as fibre, magnesium, vitamin B, iron, potassium and more. This is way more nutrients that what you can get from rice.
- Cauliflower ‘Rice’
Cauliflower ‘rice’ has also been trending in the past few years. It is a great substitution to rice because it is replacing rice, a carbohydrate, to a fibre and vegetables. Cauliflower rice is made by steaming the cauliflower, blending it into tiny, tiny fragments and draining excess fluid out. It looks very similar to rice but it carries much more nutrients and less calories.
Barley is commonly known as a drink. But barley can be boiled and made as a portion of your eaten meal. Barley is similar to oats in a way that it is rich with fibre. Fibre is crucial for your intestines and proper digestive function. Similar to quinoa, it has beneficial nutrients like phosphorous and copper. Now that might sound scary because they sound like industrial metals but the percentage of these chemicals are low enough to be safe for the body and good for the body as well.
Couscous is more or less a Mediterranean rice. It has similar physical appearances but couscous is finer. Couscous is actually just about the same amount of calories however it does carry a bit more nutrients. Not to mention that due to it’s small size but large beneficial nutrient count : it makes you full easier, it prevents you from overeating and stuffs you with the goodness that you need.
Farro looks like barley. It has an oblong, oval shape and is basically like a fatter oat. But farro is a great source of fibre as well. Just like its counterparts of oat and barley, farro is a great substitution to rice because of the emphasis on fibre as opposed to sugar. It is gluten free and full of wheat protein that helps your body replenish.