At the back of our minds, we all know that white rice isn't the best carb out there. But still, we can also agree that it's hard to quit. Even worse, the most popular alternatives for the white grain are terrible at keeping us full. In fact, they don't even come close. Cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles, for example, have very few calories that our bodies digest way too fast. In two hours, we'll come crawling to the dining table to carb up.
To be clear, we're not recommending cutting out white rice completely. But, we do approve of switching up your carbs sources few times a week. Doing this is great for diversifying the nutrients you get from food! That said, here are six healthier options to get you started. Spoiler: most of them are pretty affordable!
1. Colored Rice
Getting the obvious out of the way, colored rice (brown, red, black) are as satisfying than regular rice. They're also less processed and naturally higher in fiber! So as a healthier option, make them your go-to. Fair warning, however: these do have a heftier price tag than white rice.
Don't underestimate this tiny grain. Switching white rice for this will give you the sudden health boost you didn't know you needed. It's rich in protein, which will keep you full, and it contains all nine essential amino acids our body needs.
Sadly, since it's not a common crop in the country, it can get quite expensive unless you buy it in bulk. If you're on a budget, we suggest having it occasionally and adding it to your salads for a filling boost!
Adlai, or "job's tears" in English, is a fiber-rich grain grown mostly in our Southern provinces. Like white rice, it's free of gluten, but it's also packed with protein and B-vitamins that will keep you going the entire day. It also shows great promise in helping fight cancer and lowering blood sugar levels. And since it's considered a stable crop, it's being promoted by the Department of Agriculture as a good alternative to white rice. Read more about it here!
The crop we typically eat for merienda turns out to be a great white rice substitute, too. Who knew? Its relatively bland taste and higher nutritional value (more protein, dietary fiber) speak foritself. Corn also has a low Glycemix Index, which makes it a good rice alternative for diabetics.
Feel weird about ditching rice for corn? Try making a rice-corn blend while the sensation is new. It'll make for a pretty food snap!
Don't be fooled by how much carbs these spuds have because, unlike white rice, potatoes contain complex carbohydrates that are actually better for your body. Sure, they don't have the same grainy texture, but the good starches in these veggies will fill you right up! And similar to white rice, they're bland enough to be eaten with most viands. The best part? They're totally affordable and can be bought in nearby markets!
Cassavas are very similar to potatoes in terms of price, availability, and the kind of carbs they contain. Switch between the two for some variety!