So, what goes with that fish dish?
What can replace rice in keto diet plans is one of the most popular questions to ask, especially since it’s a staple for so many dishes.
From stir-frys to chicken and vegetables, rice is a very prevalent ingredient in most family meals.
Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes that you can put to good use that are far more nutritious and delicious than rice.
The Problems With Rice and Keto
It’s easy to question why you can’t have rice, especially since it has nutritious benefits such as containing over 85% of your daily manganese.
Where the issues come into play with keto is explicitly how your body burns fat once you enter ketosis.
During this process, your body will begin burning ketones by relying on your stores of fat to create energy.
If you have excess carbohydrates in your system, your body won’t be able to enter ketosis, and considering rice has carbs, you should avoid it.
Also, note that eating rice while in ketosis can effectively cancel out all of the hard work you have done so far.
As soon as your body digests carbs while in ketosis, it will stop burning your fat stores because your insulin levels will spike quickly.
Even though they’re trying keto, people who continue to eat carbs will notice their bodies will go back to using carbohydrates to create energy.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have carbs forever, as there is a second step after losing the weight you’ve wanted to lose.
The Cyclical Keto Diet is typically used by bodybuilders and athletes who want to continue their keto journey without avoiding carbs forever.
With this alternative diet, you will mainly cycle on and off of keto, so that you can allow some carbs into your diet.
What Can Replace Rice in Keto Diet Plans
There’s nothing that quite explains the satisfying nature of having a side dish with your main meal that compliments the food and veggies.
But finding better keto-friendly comfort foods can help you to succeed with your new diet.
Even though you might not be able to rely on rice to be that ingredient for you, there is an assortment of alternatives.
Interestingly enough, most of these things you can make yourself from scratch.
Others are readily available in the freezer in your local grocery store.
1. Rutabaga Rice (9g of carbs)
Also referred to as turnip in some families, rutabaga is a fantastic ingredient that not only acts as a replacement for rice but also potatoes.
When making potatoes, you can peel and boil the vegetable and then mash it for a great side dish with little carbs.
If you would prefer to turn it into rice, you can peel it and put it in a food processor until it’s shredded.
One cup of rutabaga rice has less than ten grams of net carbs as well as no fat and two grams of protein.
You’ll also find that it contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E, C, and K, iron, calcium, manganese, and zinc.
2. Butternut Squash Rice (12g of carbs)
As an ingredient that initially boomed in popularity as a substitute for pasta noodles, you can also use butternut squash to make fantastic rice dishes.
Fortunately, it’s equally as easy to prepare as rutabaga, as all you have to do is slice it and put it in a food processor.
You’ll want to add small amounts at a time and continue shredding until it looks like rice.
The only disadvantage to butternut squash is that it’s higher in carbs than you think, with 21 grams per serving.
However, if you’re low on carbs, you can treat yourself without compromising your diet as it has a ton of vitamins and minerals.
Butternut squash is known for vitamins B6, C, E, and A, as well as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
3. Cauliflower Rice (5g of carbs)
One thing to be said about cauliflower rice is that most people who have recently transitioned to a healthy eating style have tried it before.
Whether you decide to make it at home or buy it pre-made from your local grocer, you can find it anywhere.
Since cauliflower has a less distinct taste than some of the other ingredients in this list, you can easily pair it with healthy sauces.
Cauliflower is known to be one of the most nutritious vegetables that you can get your hands on.
It comes from the same family as broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts.
If you want to prepare it on your own, the steps are simple.
You can either use a food processor or cut the cauliflower into rice-size pieces on your own.
You can then stir-fry them or bake them either on their own or with other ingredients.
It’s important to note that you can also use cauliflower in an array of other keto-friendly alternatives, such as pizza crust.
4. Cabbage Rice (6g of carbs)
Cabbage is delicious and has a robust flavor that is sure to elevate any dish, especially if you’re a fan of Asian cuisine.
It’s easiest to rely on a food processor to make cabbage rice, but you can also use a cheese grater for a rice-like consistency.
Depending on the recipe you’re using, you could also cut the vegetable into strips to mimic the texture of noodles.
Even though green cabbage is delicious, red cabbage is a more nutritious alternative as it has a ton of vitamin C and vitamin A.
It has the fewest net carbs out of all of the ingredients we’ve explored, as well as two grams of protein per serving.
Broccoli Rice (7g of carbs)
While we’re on the same subject of cruciferous vegetables, broccoli can be an excellent substitute for cauliflower and rice.
The best way to make it is with a food processor, but you should be able to chop the florets to get a rice-like texture.
Like cauliflower, you can also use broccoli to create pizza crusts since it’s a somewhat malleable ingredient that is easy to use.
One of our favorite uses for broccoli rice is stir-fry, as you’ll be bulking the dish with higher fiber and a low amount of carbs.
6. Shirataki Rice (3g of carbs)
If you’re not a fan of creating your rice substitutes, opting for Shirataki rice could be your best option, because it’s store-bought.
This ingredient is made from konnyaku flour, derived from the plant’s root of the same name.
It tastes and feels like rice, and it is calorie-free, which makes it an excellent option for not only keto but also any other diet.
Within Shirataki rice, you’ll find plenty of ingredients that help with your cholesterol levels and digestion.
It also contains iron and soluble fiber to help fight inflammation in your digestive tract.
If you can’t find it at your local grocer, you could always try inquiring about the ingredient at a health food store in your area.
7. Mushrooms (3.3g of carbs)
Not everyone is on the hunt for ingredients that you can chop to look like rice.
You might just be looking for a keto-friendly dish to complement your meals.
Mushrooms are by far one of your best options since they are low-carb and jam-packed with a ton of essential ingredients that your body will love.
The best part is that you can opt to either eat them raw or cook them along with your other ingredients as a phenomenal low-calorie option.
Mushrooms have antioxidants, which protect your body from damage from free radicals.
They are also home to B vitamins, soluble fiber, copper, and potassium.
All of these vitamins are needed by your body to support your immune system and red blood cells.
8. Sauerkraut (4.3g of carbs
You might need a rice substitute to put with a burrito or sausage for the days when you get creative with your keto diet.
Sauerkraut is one of the essential ingredients to have on hand for keto dieters.
It has all of the benefits of cabbage with a tangy taste that is sure to add to the flavors of your dish.
There are minimal carbs per cup, which could make it one of your favorite sides to eat with an assortment of foods, especially red meat.
You could also use sauerkraut to add a little bit of extra flavor to other rice substitutes, such as rutabaga rice or cauliflower rice.
Rice Alternative Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I eat quinoa instead of rice on keto?
Quinoa is a healthy substitute, there’s no doubt about it, but it also has a ton of carbs per serving that are better left alone.
The general rule for keto is that your carbs shouldn’t take up more than five percent of your daily calories. This total could be between 20 and 25 grams of carbs.
Unfortunately, a single serving of quinoa contains up to 39.4 grams of carbs, which doesn’t make it a good substitute.
2. Is brown rice considered keto-friendly?
Some sources suggest that brown rice is no better than white rice when it comes to carbs, but there is a small difference between them.
According to the USDA, brown rice contains approximately 23g of carbohydrates per 100 grams, while white rice contains 28 grams of carbs per 100 grams.
Technically, you could substitute brown rice for white in your keto diet while still staying within the guidelines, but it’s not advisable.
There are far better and healthier alternatives to regular rice. These substitutes are lower and carbs and aren’t going to put you at as much risk for ruining your hard work.
3. Are sweet potatoes good for keto?
Some families suggest using sweet potatoes as an alternative to regular potatoes, but it’s another ingredient to consider avoiding.
Since this diet recommends that you focus on high-fat and low-carb contents of ingredients, sweet potatoes are incredibly carb-rich.
The more carbs you eat, the harder it will be for your body to maintain ketosis, which can set you back a substantial amount.
On average, 100 grams of sweet potato will net 20 grams of carbs.
Fantastic Rice Alternatives
If you’re wondering, what can replace rice in keto diet plans, there are tons of alternatives.
Instead of struggling to find substitutes that taste as delicious, the ingredients in this guide can help you to make an assortment of fantastic meals.