Brown rice is often recommended as a healthier alternative to white rice but this doesn’t mean that it’s suitable for all kinds of diets.
For those on keto diets, their aim is to purposefully avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates – but does this mean that brown rice is okay for keto diets?
Here, we are going to be diving into brown rice and exploring if this staple food is suitable for those on keto diets.
This way, you can better understand what you can and cannot eat on a keto diet and this will help you plan your meals accordingly.
So, check out the information below!
Is Brown Rice Allowed On A Keto Diet?
Brown rice is actually not keto as it’s too high in carbohydrates. However, a surprising amount of people assume that brown rice is keto due to how it is often used as a low-carb substitute for white rice.
White rice does contain more carbohydrates than brown rice but only slightly. On average, a 100g serving of white rice contains around 28g of carbohydrates while a similar portion of brown rice contains 25g of carbohydrates.
A lot of dietitians recommend people switch from white rice to brown rice to help cut back on carbs but the difference is actually pretty minimal.
As a result, both white and brown rice are not keto-friendly.
This is because the whole point of a keto diet is to avoid carbohydrates. By reducing your carbohydrate intake (along with starches and sugars), you can force your body to shift into a mode of ketosis.
This makes your body burn fat instead of glucose to energize your body. Eating too many carbs will cause your body to drop out of ketosis.
As a result, eating brown rice will load your body with carbohydrates and shift it away from ketosis. This makes it not keto-friendly and a food for all those on a keto diet to avoid.
Keto Substitutions For Brown Rice
Brown rice has always been a popular side to serve with plenty of dishes and meals but thankfully, there are also lots of great keto-friendly substitutes you can use instead of brown rice.
Here are some of the best – check them out and pick the substitutions that best work for you!
1. Cauliflower Rice
Not all kinds of rice are banned from the keto diet. One type of rice that is keto-friendly is cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower rice is basically raw cauliflower. It’s chopped so it looks like grains of rice. So, technically, it’s not rice at all – which is why it’s perfect for the keto diet.
There is only 3g of net carbohydrates in each 100g serving of cauliflower rice! This is why it’s the ultimate rice substitute for a keto diet as it’s so low in carbohydrates but looks and tastes almost the same.
2. Wild Rice
Another great rice substitute for brown rice is wild rice.
Wild rice is a dark type of rice made from grass that grows around lakes in North America. It’s also known as water oats and is strong in taste.
It’s also low in carbohydrates compared to other natural kinds of rice as a 100g portion contains just 19g of carbohydrates.
So, if you want to get as close to real rice as possible, wild rice is your best option – although there are other substitutes on this list with lower carbohydrate contents.
3. Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki rice is another great substitute for brown rice but you can also substitute the rice entirely with shirataki noodles instead.
The different textures will help you keep your meals varied and tasty so you don’t get bored eating the same thing time after time.
With only 3g of carbohydrates per serving, shirataki noodles are a keto-friendly substitute not just for rice but for other kinds of pasta and noodles too!
Quinoa is a tricky food to incorporate into keto diets because eating this food too often can results in your body losing its ketosis state.
So, if you want to use quinoa as your go-to brown rice substitute, make sure you are super careful when portioning out your quinoa
5. Broccoli Rice
Finally, we have broccoli rice.
Broccoli rice works in a similar way as cauliflower rice, but it’s not as popular because it’s green and looks like broccoli chopped up into tiny pieces.
Despite this, it’s still super tasty, low in carbohydrates, and works as a good substitute for brown rice.
So, brown rice is not keto-friendly and those on a keto diet need to avoid it otherwise they risk knocking their body out of ketosis.
If you don’t want to miss out on great dishes that use brown rice as a key ingredient or as a side, then worry no longer – there are plenty of great substitutions you can use instead. Check them out in the list above!
We hope this guide has helped you understand the keto diet and help you find some great substitutions for brown rice to meet your dietary needs. Thanks for reading!
Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes, it’s tempting to have a cheat day from our keto diet – but there are still plenty of foods you should avoid otherwise your body may struggle to get back into ketosis.
One food you should still avoid, even on keto cheat days, is rice.
This isn’t exclusive to white rice either; you still should not eat brown rice even on a keto cheat day.
A low-carb diet is very different from a keto diet. Although both seek to cut back on carbs, keto diets are far stricter. This means that a lot of non-keto foods are allowed in low-carb diets – and brown rice is one of them.
So, if you think a low-carb diet is a better option for you than a full-on keto diet, then switching to low-carb will allow you to introduce brown rice to your diet. White rice, however, is still banned.