Rice lovers, stow the pitchforks: we’re not about to cancel your favorite carb. We also consume cup after steaming cup of these fluffy white grains. But with most things that are comforting and delicious, white rice does come with a few nutritional setbacks. And we wouldn’t be in wellness if we didn’t give them a peek, right?
So, here’s what we know. Unlike whole grains, white rice is a refined carb that’s been stripped of many essential nutrients, including fiber. Because of this, the body processes it much quicker than its brown or red counterparts, making you hungry faster. In other words: you actually end up eating more to make up for it. What a crushing betrayal, huh?
But let’s talk numbers: calorie-wise, long-grain, cooked white rice comes out to about 205 calories per one cup serving. It’s not Big Mac-huge, sure, but it’s still something. Especially when you consider that white rice is, in fact, a nutritional blackhole. Yikes!
WHAT CAN YOU EAT FOR ONE CUP OF RICE?
We’ve talked before about how calorie-counting isn’t the only measure of a healthy diet, but we thought it’d be fun to see what else we could get for the same-ish amount. Of course, we focused on healthier finds to make those calories work a little harder for us. See what we dug up:
1. OVER A BAG OF FRUIT CRISPS
CALORIES: 152 per bag
These sweet crisps by Oh So Healthy are so tasty, you probably would want to reach for another bag. But you’ll be satisfied keeping it at just one, too, we promise. Made from 100% real fruit, these snackables are easy to munch on and they deliver plenty of fiber.
TRY: Oh So Healthy Guava Purple Yam Banana Fruit Crisps, P95, Oh So Healthy Purple Yam Banana Coconut Fruit Crisps, P95
2. TWO SERVINGS OF CEREAL
CALORIES: 107 per one cup serving
If you’re feeling particularly famished in the morning, skip the silogs and reach for cereal instead. Be sure to resist the super sugary stuff and aim for the ones with lots of whole grains and minerals. Not only are they satisfying, you can also eat more of ‘em for fewer calories.
TRY: Fitnesse Cereal (330g), P170
3. OVER A SERVING OF VEGGIE CHIPS
CALORIES: 160 per one cup serving
Still struggling to get your greens in? Kale chips are the best (and crunchiest!) way to get ahead. Plus, if you get the ones covered in flavor dust… well, you won’t be struggling anymore. What better way to have your veggies, right?
TRY: Take Root Kale Chips Sour Kream & Chive Flavor, P220, Take Root Kale Chips Vegan Cheeze Flavor, P220, Take Root Kale Chips Margherita Pizza Flavor, P220
4. ONE SERVING OF SALTED PILI NUTS
CALORIES: 230 cal per 1/3 cup serving
Pili nuts are quickly ascending to superfood status, and we get why. Rich in antioxidants, these local marvels help decrease inflammation and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Seriously, if we’re gonna have to forgo rice, it better be for something this good for us.
TRY: Rains Delicacies Sea Salt Pili Nuts, P125
5. OVER TWO BAGS OF FREEZE-DRIED MANGO
CALORIES: 90 cal per bag
We’re lucky we get our pick of fresh fruit out here, given these tropical climes. But in case storm season gets ugly before we can stock up on our favorite mangoes, there’s always the freeze-dried stuff. These taste exactly like the heart-shaped fruit, and you can have them whenever.
TRY: Just Fruit Just Mango (25g), P170
6. THREE COCONUT WRAPS
CALORIES: 70 per wrap
Some people have to cut back on rice because they need to lessen their carb intake. But then what do you do about the cravings? Here, let us throw these coconut wraps into the ring. They’re the paleo- and keto-friendly alternative to wheat-based wraps (yes, they’re even gluten-free!). No less satiating, though!
TRY: Nuco Turmeric Organic Coconut Wraps, P149, Nuco Cinnamon Organic Coconut Wraps, P149
7. TWO TO THREE COOKED PANCAKES
CALORIES: 84 per pancake
For everyone who likes to overindulge in pillowy pancakes, you’ll be pleased to know they’re not all that sinful. Especially if they’re homemade! You can stack ‘em up and go just a little over 200 calories. So next time your stomach grumbles for these breakfast sweets—give it what it wants. No regrets!
TRY: Pili & Pino Chocolate Pancake Mix (325g), P195, Pili & Pino Ube Pancake Mix (350g), P275
Of course, none of this is meant to fill in for white rice as a Pinoy dining staple. By all means, have at it! We know we will—we’ll just be more careful about exercising moderation. Now, what would you swap out that cup for?
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