5 Healthy Rice Substitutes At UR.Life Café

Rice, particularly white rice, may not be suitable for everyone's dietary needs. Here are five healthy dishes at UR.Life to substitute rice.

By URLife Team
29 Apr 2023

Rice is a versatile, and economical food that is a staple in various diets around the world. Rice contains a lot of carbs, the body's primary fuel source, which boosts energy levels, and supports physical activity. However, people may want to substitute other ingredients for rice due to their dietary plans or if they’re choosing to restrict carbohydrates. 

While rice is a great staple food, in a world full of carb-heavy meals, rice substitutes can help enhance your protein and fibre intake. There are numerous affordable, nutritious, and flavorful rice substitutes that can compensate for the lack of rice in your diet. Whether someone is allergic to rice or seeking to eat fewer carbs, there are some excellent dishes that can work as rice alternatives. They include barley, broccoli, quinoa, cauliflower etc. Keep reading to understand how rice impacts your body, and the healthy alternatives you can find at UR.Life Cafe to enhance your diet. 


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Does rice make you gain weight?

Rice does not make you fat. Every food group is an essential part of your weight-loss journey. Cutting out a food group to achieve your fitness goals is not the best way to lose weight. Rice or roti are not the reason behind your weight gain. Overeating rice is the main wrongdoing that can make you gain weight.

It is true that anything in excess can cause issues, whereas nutrients consumed in moderation benefit you. When it comes to weight loss, the difficulty is overeating and not remaining within your daily calorie requirements. Several studies have found that eating too much rice might lead to weight gain. It is not the only component that contributes to weight growth, but it does play a significant role in making you gain excess weight.

According to a 2019 study by the Journal of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (USA), creating a calorie deficit may aid in weight loss. A calorie deficit can be created by consuming fewer calories per day or week than is required to maintain one's present weight. This calorie decrease may potentially lead to healthy weight loss.

In another 2020 study by the National Library of Medicine (USA), reducing the size of the rice bowl reduces calorie intake, body weight, and blood sugar levels. Therefore, less intake of rice can be weight-loss-friendly or calorie-dense, depending on the serving size. Any food can lead to overeating if the intake amount is not managed. 

Here are two reasons why white rice might not be ideal for your weight loss goals:

  • Stripped of Fibre And Nutrients: White and brown rice are the most common forms of rice, and their origins are similar. Brown rice is simply the full unprocessed grain of rice. It has fibre-rich bran, nutrient-dense seed, and carbohydrate-dense composition. White rice, on the other hand, is stripped of its bran and richness, leaving only the carbs. It is then processed to improve the taste, lengthen the shelf life, and improve cooking qualities. White rice is considered empty carbs and devoid of micronutrients. 
  • Higher Glycemic Index Score May Be Linked to Increased Diabetes Risk: According to a 2012 study by the National Library of Medicine (USA), in a review of studies of over 3,50,000 people, researchers found that those who ate the most white rice had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least. What’s more, each serving of rice eaten per day raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 per cent. Similarly, a 2010 US-based study by the Harvard School of Public Health, showed that higher intakes of white rice were linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas higher intakes of brown rice were linked to a significantly lower risk.


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Is Brown Rice Healthier Than White Rice?

Brown rice is higher in calories, protein, fat, and fibre per cup when it is cooked. Additionally, there are certain vitamin and mineral variances, with brown rice outperforming white rice in terms of phosphorus and B vitamins. The inclusion of bran and germ in brown rice accounts for these marginally higher figures.

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Indians recommend that half of the grains we consume should be whole grains. This is  to increase our intake of fibre and other beneficial nutrients and lower our risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. However, it doesn’t mean you have to cut rice out completely. When white rice is combined with other nutritious foods, such as a healthy protein source, vegetables, and healthy fats, the differences between white rice and brown rice are insignificant. 

  • Brown rice is rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants are beneficial to your health because they aid in the fight against free radicals. This frees up your immune system to deal with larger problems. Furthermore, antioxidants have been linked to the prevention of certain types of cancer. As a result, they are quite beneficial to you. Brown rice is high in antioxidants, particularly when compared to white rice.
  • Brown rice prevents obesity: Many people who want to lose weight substitute brown rice for white rice in their diet. This is due to its high manganese content, which aids in the synthesis of body fats. It can assist you in lowering your BMI (body mass index) and fat. Furthermore, brown rice aids in the increase of HDL cholesterol in your body, which is beneficial. It has potent anti-obesity properties.
  • Good for digestion: Brown rice contains a lot of fibre, which helps to bulk up your stool and transport it down your digestive tract. This is significant because it promotes regular and healthy bowel movements in people. Furthermore, brown rice has an extra layer of bran on the surface that prevents excessive acid absorption. As a result, texture retention throughout digestion is significantly improved.  


Healthy Rice Alternatives at UR.Life Cafe

At UR.Life Café, we believe that good food is the foundation for a healthy body and mind. While most of our carefully curated recipes are low-calorie, they are still wholesome and delicious. Our head nutritionist at UR.Life, Dr. Lakshmi Kilaru, provides insights on how our menu is curated:

“Our vision at UR.Life is to provide wholesome calorie-based nutrition without compromising on the taste. Our menu is meticulously designed by a team of nutritionists, and we spoil you with choices be it vegan, gluten-free, or low-fat and carb diet. You do not have to watch what you eat; we watch it for you. Our menu contains a variety of nutrition packages that we can curate for you based on your diet history and carbs intake. It has a variety of choices that includes both vegetarian, and non-vegetarian food, pre, and post-workout food options according to your needs.”

With ethically sourced farm-fresh ingredients, plenty of vegan options, and almost an entirely gluten-free menu—this is the ultimate destination for conscious, hearty cuisine. Here are the top five dishes at UR.Life Café:


1. Quinoa Idli

Kcal:271, C:47, P:14, F:4, Fib:8.

Quinoa is often referred to as a complete protein source. This is because it contains all nine essential amino acids that our body cannot make on its own. Our delicious quinoa idli is filled with mixed veggies and served with homemade coconut chutney.


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2. Biryani (Veg - brown rice), (Chicken - brown rice / quinoa / millet)

Brown rice veg biryani - Kcal:500, C:72, P:22, F:12, Fib:5, 

Brown rice chicken biryani - Kcal:443, C:29, P:32, F:24, Fib:1


Biryani is a nutritious dish, which can be made using a variety of ingredients. By using whole grain brown rice or alternating with grains like quinoa or millet, it becomes a high-fibre and low-fat  dish. Chicken is a great source of protein, while vegetables and spices provide a wide range of nutrients and antioxidants.  


3. Millet & Mix Vegetable Palak Khichdi 

Kcal:319, C:56, P:17, F:4, Fib:10

Millet, mixed lentils, green peas, onions. Topped with cilantro.

Millet and Mixed Vegetable Palak Khichdi is a nutritious dish that provides a balanced combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. The dish is made from millet, mixed lentils, green peas, onions, and cilantro, and is topped with nutritious spices. The dish is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy to the body. Millet is a gluten-free grain that is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, and fiber, which help in reducing inflammation and maintaining good digestive health.


4. Keema cauliflower rice

Kcal: 313, C:5, P:24, F:12, Fib:0

Bolognese style mutton keema with cauliflower rice.

Keema Cauliflower Rice is a delicious and healthy dish that is a low-carb, high-protein alternative to traditional rice-based meals. The dish is made with bolognese-style mutton keema and served with cauliflower rice. The dish is low in carbohydrates and high in fat, making it a good option for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. The fat in the dish comes from healthy sources like mutton and olive oil, which are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help in reducing cholesterol levels.


5. Quinoa Upma

Kcal:352, C:36, P:9, F:17, Fib:11

Served with homemade coconut chutney.

Quinoa is a good source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is also gluten-free and has a low glycemic index, which makes it a good option for those with celiac disease or diabetes.

The dish is also rich in vegetables like carrots, onions, and peas, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The homemade coconut chutney served with the dish is a flavorful and nutritious condiment that is made with coconut, coriander leaves, and spices. Coconut is a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and minerals like iron and potassium. It is a good option for those looking for a gluten-free and vegan meal that is packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients.


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Visit UR.Life Cafe

Apollo Hospitals, Road No. 92, Film Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500033


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