Before getting deep into the top 3 lowest-carb rice options, we must cover some bases. There are some different types of rice, and each one has a different amount of carbohydrates. Here is a list of the main types of rice and their carb count along with some basic information about the rice.
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Carbs: Between 50-55 grams per cup
White rice is the most common rice in the world, or at least it is the most eaten in the western world. White rice is actually not very good food, nutritionally speaking. To make white rice it needs to be processed which takes out many of its good nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber content. To make up for this stripping of nutrients, some major brands of white rice add extra nutrients after the initial processing. Even with the addition of nutrients after the processing, it is still less nutritious than some other options.
Carbs: Between 50-54 grams per cup
Brown rice is less processed than white rice and it is more nutritious. It has much more fiber and it is a great source of some important minerals like selenium and magnesium. Brown rice can help lower cholesterol as well, so it is much better for you than white rice. There are many varieties of brown rice, but all of them have more to offer to you nutritionally than white rice. Sadly, it is not really any less starchy than white rice, but it gives you more nutrition along with those carbs.
Carbs: 32-36 grams per cup
This is not nearly as common or popular as white rice or brown rice, but it is much more nutritious than both of them. It has lots of fiber which has been shown to lower cholesterol. It has significantly less carbohydrates than white or brown rice as well. When black rice is cooked sometimes it will appear purple, and some types will have a sweet flavor. It has 2x the protein of white rice, too.
Carbs: 43-48 grams per cup
Another lesser-known kind of rice, red rice is also a healthier option than white rice. It has more fiber and other minerals as well. Red rice can be chewy and have a slightly nutty flavor, which some people love, and others hate. It is not as popular here in the west as the brown or white rice, but it is more common abroad.
Carbs: 33-38 grams per cup
Along with black rice, wild rice has the least carbs. This is not really rice, but it is called wild rice because it resembles rice in shape and flavor. Wild rice is truly a grain of a handful of different grasses. It is full of minerals and antioxidants and has a good amount of fiber too. It has an earthy taste that many people love. Wild rice is the most flavorful of all the rice types and has the most to offer nutritionally with the lowest carb count (it is nearly tied with black rice).
So, as you can clearly see the 3 lowest-carb types of rice are:
- Black Rice
- Wild Rice
- Red Rice
Having low Carbohydrates is important for keeping your blood sugar under control and minding your weight, but along with lower carbohydrates, these 3 kinds of rice have other benefits you won’t see in white rice.
Black Rice- Other Nutritional Benefits
Black rice is also called forbidden or purple rice. It gets its coloring from something called anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant. It contains high amounts of iron, which is a necessary mineral your body needs to stay healthy. In ¼ cup of black rice, you will get a full gram of fiber, which is much more than brown or white rice contains.
Black rice has the most overall antioxidant content compared to all other rice. As you know it has anthocyanin, but that is not the only helpful antioxidant it contains. It has 23 additional plant compounds rich in antioxidants.
Wild Rice- Other Nutritional Benefits
Wild rice has lots of healthy fiber. In just one cooked cup, it contains a full 3 grams of fiber. It is also a good source of protein, containing 7 grams of protein per cooked cup. It has a lower glycemic index than other grains as well, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar too much. There are still studies happening now that look to be hopeful that wild rice also lowers cholesterol, which helps lower your risk of cardiac problems. This has not been proven yet, but the studies are leaning this way.
Like black rice, wild rice also contains some antioxidants. One of the most powerful antioxidants it contains is apigenin, which may be beneficial in fighting cancer. This is not a fact yet, but it does show promising early results in the clinical testing phase.
Red Rice- Other Nutritional Benefits
Like black rice, red rice is high in anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant. Red rice has the potential to help lower blood pressure, prevent the onset of diabetes, reduce the occurrence of cancer cells, and improve vision.
It also has a high amount of fiber which is good for your digestion and helps keep the carbohydrate count lower. In addition to having fiber and antioxidants, it also contains vitamins B1 and B2. These are essential vitamins to maintain a healthy body. Of course, it also contains a fair amount of iron and calcium which are both good for your bones and blood. It is quite similar nutritionally to black rice just has a bit of a different flavor and color.
Best Black Rice Brand- Lundeberg Family Farms Organic Black Pearl Rice
If you have not had black rice before and you want to try some out, check out Lundberg Family Farms Organic Black Pearl Rice. It comes in a 16oz bag, with a purple label on the front. It is a gluten-free food so if you have gluten sensitivity, this will not aggravate your stomach. It has a smooth floral aroma and flavor that most people really like.
- High in Antioxidants- It contains anthocyanin antioxidants which are quite effective and keep your body healthy. Paired with more healthy food, this is a great addition to a healthy meal.
- Use in Place of White Rice- You can use it instead of white rice for any dish that normally calls for white rice. Stir fry, or side dishes, vegetable dishes, any kind of meal. It will add more flavor and interesting color to your meals.
- Non-GMO- It is a verified non-GMO product as well as USDA organic as well as Kosher food. It is prepared with great care to be free of GMOs or other impurities.
- Family Tradition- This company is a family business that has been making rice for over 40 years. This helps to keep the quality control in place and shows that they really care about their output.
- 100% Whole Grain- This rice is a whole grain, which means they do not strip off any part of it, and the most nutrition-dense part of the rice is used in its production.
- Environmentally friendly- the production practices are safe for the earth.
- Organic- There are no toxic fertilizers used in the production of this rice.
- Tasty- Smooth, floral flavor will enhance any dish where you use white rice.
- Value for money- You know you are getting your money’s worth when you consider all the safety and organic protocols, they use to produce this food.
- Healthy- This black rice is extremely good for you and has fewer carbs than white or brown rice, and many more other health benefits too.
- May take a bit of getting used to because white rice has no flavor, and this does.
If you are considering giving black rice a try, this is a great product to start with. It is not overly expensive, and it is environmentally safe, organic, non-GMO, and nutritious. If you are not used to black rice, it may be weird at first to actually taste your rice, but once you try it you may never go back to white rice. Of all the brands of black rice available online, this is the best. Give it a try, they even offer free returns if you don’t like it.
Best Wild Rice Brand- Thousand Lakes Minnesota Grown Wild Rice – 3 pounds (48 ounces) – Bulk Pouch | 100% Wild Rice | All Natural
When you shop around for wild rice, you need to be careful because there are so many brands that call their products wild rice, when in fact they are just long grain rice with some wild rice thrown in there. To get truly wild rice, none of it should be white. Thousand Lakes Minnesota Wild Rice is actually wild rice, and it is all-natural with no added salt or other additives. It comes in a resealable pouch, which is nice, so you don’t have to immediately pour it into a zip bag as soon as you open it. It is a blue pouch that really stands out on the shelves or online next to all the other white rice containers. The rice is naturally free of gluten, but it is not labeled gluten-free because the company does not independently test it for cross-contamination. It is, however, Kosher certified.
- Contains Nutritious Outer Hull- This brand of rice contains the entire grain including the nutritious outer hull. This is notable since many mass-producers of wild rice will strip the outer hull to lower the cooking time. This is convenient, but it robs you of the best part of the rice.
- 100% Natural- There is nothing in the package but wild rice. There are no preservatives, or extra flavors added. It is just pure wild rice grown in Minnesota. It is high in fiber, low in fat, and has fewer carbs than white or brown rice.
- Delicious- Wild rice has a distinctive nutty flavor that enhances any dish. It goes especially well with ham, beef, chicken, turkey, and fish. It also pairs well with many vegetable dishes.
- Gluten-Free- There is no gluten in the rice, but if you have an allergy you need to still be careful because they do not independently verify this and there may be some small amount of gluten that gets in the bag.
- Flavorful- The flavor of wild rice is quite nice. It makes any dish you eat taste better. It also has a unique and pleasant aroma that helps increase your appetite.
- Healthy- Much better than white or brown rice, wild rice has more protein and more healthy vitamins and minerals. If you can substitute wild rice in a meal, it will help keep the carbs down and the nutrients up.
- Economical- One bag is 3 pounds of uncooked rice which will make a lot of cooked rice. It costs less than you may think for that much rice. Considering that it goes with nearly any dish, this will get used often in the kitchen, so it is a great deal.
- Natural- Many mass-produced rice brands add extra seasonings or salt, or unhealthy preservatives that make it taste different or cook faster. While this may seem helpful with cooking times or initial taste, these preservatives and additives are not healthy. This rice has none of that.
- While lower in carbs than brown and white rice, it is still a lot of carbs, so portions are key.
Wild rice is one of the most unique and flavorful kinds of rice out there. Thousand Lakes Minnesota Wild Rice is the best of the true wild rice. Do not be fooled by products calling themselves wild rice that is just white rice, this is the real deal. The rice has a nutty, pleasing taste that will make anything you cook a little bit better. You will get a good deal of nutrition per serving too, but it is still a lot of carbs. If you are looking for good wild rice without any additives or white rice thrown in, try this one out.
Best Red Rice Brand- Lundberg Family Farms – Organic Red Rice, Gourmet Whole Grain Red Rice, Non-Sticky, Pantry Staple, Great for Cooking, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, USDA Certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher (16 oz)
Lundberg Family Farms shows up again! They have excelled at making high-quality organic rice for decades. Much like their black rice product, the red rice is also quite popular and well-loved by the customers. It comes in a 16oz bag with a red label that you can’t miss. The bag is resealable as well which is convenient for storage when you don’t use the whole bag at once.
- Aromatic- This red is not exactly red but does have some pink colorings when it is uncooked. It has a unique aroma that many people say resembles the smell of popcorn. It has a nutty taste that will go well with any meal.
- Taco Meat Substitute- This red rice is a great replacement for taco meat. For vegetarians and vegans, this can add the protein and flavor that meat would normally provide, without using any animal products.
- Non-GMO- Again, like the black rice this rice is non-GMO, certified organic, Kosher, gluten-free, and a 100% whole grain. All the good stuff and none of the bad stuff.
- Healthy- More nutritional value than other rice like white or brown.
- Tasty- The nutty rich flavor is a great alternative to meat in dishes where ground beef is normally used.
- Environmentally friendly- It is farmed and sourced ethically, without harming animals or the planet.
- Economical- You get over a pound of red rice for a great price. This will make lots of cups of rice for very little money.
- Not everyone will like the flavor of red rice.
Red rice is an acquired taste, but once you love it, you will wonder how you lived without it. This is the best brand of red rice you can find online, and you get over a pound of it for very little money. It is ethically sourced, non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, and all the other qualifications you are looking for. Give red rice a try if you are looking for a new healthier flavorful alternative to that boring, starch-filled white rice.