Rice will definitely contribute to weight gain, depending on the amount of consumption throughout the day. In addition to that, the potential impact of rice on body weight also varies according to the type of rice and its respective fibre content. In a nutshell, it is all about calorie intake. One cup of normal plain white rice would serve around 200 calories. For example, if you consume more calories than you burn through daily activities, you will eventually gain weight. The recommended calorie intake varies among women and men, as well as activity level. Depending on the activity level, women should consume around 1,800 calories -2,400 calories daily whereas men should aim to consume around 2,200 to 3,000 calories (Busch, n.d).
Quinoa would be a great substitute to rice as the protein content of quinoa can be 8% to 22% higher than rice (Jancurova et al., 2009). It is also naturally gluten-free and high in fiber. Cauliflower is also a great, low carb alternative to rice. One serving of Cauliflower contains a day worth of Vitamin C. Another great low carb alternative to rice would be Broccoli as it is full of fibre, plant based protein and iron (Gerard, n.d).
Brown rice is also a great alterative to the conventional white rice. It is a great source of fibre, which aids your digestive system to stay on track and keep you feeling full. Besides that, a staple food for centuries, Barley, provides a good serving of dietary fiber and antioxidants (Ames & Rhymer, 2008). Bulgur wheat, also called cracked wheat, is another excellent source of plant-based protein and provides over 25% of your daily fibre needs (Kesseli, 2017).
Every alternative has its own nutrition values and health benefits and it all depends on personal preferences, requirements and health conditions.
Ames, N. P. & Rhymer, C. P. (2008). Issues Surrounding Health Claims for Barley. American Society for Nutrition, 138(6), 12375-12435.
Bailey, C. (2017). Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet?
Busch, S. (n.d). Does Rice Make You Fat? Healthy Eating | SF Gate.
Gerard, J. (n.d). Can Your Vegan Athletes Match Their Meat-eating Competitors?
Jancurová M., Minarovičová L., Dandár A. (2009). Quinoa – a review. Czech Journal of Food Sciences, 27(27), 71-79.
Kesseli, S. (2017). 10 Healthy Alternatives To White Rice
Rogerson, D. (2017). Vegan diets: practical advice for athletes and exercisers. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(36). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0192-9