When it comes to healthy carbs, here’s one thing I want to say – eat less white rice! Every time when I come across the weight loss friendly recipes but using white rice as the main ingredient, I cringed. According to Harvard Health Publishing, white rice is one of the high GI food (87) that is processed and contain less fiber when compared to brown rice.
Either you want to lose weight, adopt a healthier meal plan, or trying to maintain your blood sugar levels as part of a diabetes treatment plan, we should always opt for the food with low GI. In other words, when we consume low GI good, there won’t contribute to a large increases in blood sugar levels. The diet is effective to lose weight and prevent chronic diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So now you know what to replace for your healthy lunch or dinner! Here are 30 amazing carbs that have lower GI than white rice! Enjoy!
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1. Instant Oat (GI: 83)
Instant Oats are definitely not the healthiest choice for breakfast. Right, oats can be the healthiest carbs in the world. But for instant oats, it’s all processed and added with artificial sugar and colouring. This is probably why they have a range of different favours.
So ladies, even instant oats have a lower GI then white rice, I suggest you change to roll oats! In my opinion, they are even more fulfilling to eat!
About different kinds of oats:
- Steel-cut oats = oat groats cut into pieces.
- Rolled oats = the same thing as longer cooking oats but are steamed longer and rolled a bit thinner.
- Instant oatmeal = rolled oats that are cut into small pieces and pre-cooked by steaming.
2.Corn Flakes (GI: 80)
Again, it’s heavily processed so corn flakes is a no no.
3.Fries (GI: 75)
It’s so surprising that even fries actually have a lower GI that white rice! ( This can really tell white rice is really bad for our sugar level and overall health). But again, potatoes are loaded with carbs that quickly convert to sugar and head to the blood stream so we should avoid eating fries daily.
4.Soda Crackers (GI: 74)
I always thought soda crackers are a relatively healthy choice when it comes to snacks, but in fact, most of the these crackers are made with trans fat or hydrogenated oils.
5.White Bread (GI: 71)
No gonna lie, white bread is really delicious! But the fact is white bread is not as healthy as we expected, during the refining process, most of the nutrients like fiber and protein are being washed off. Always opt for “100% whole wheat” on the package – tiny change but remarkable improvement in our health and weight!
Interesting Point about white bread:
Eating white bread may trigger your bad emotions
New research published in the June 2015 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed a link between the consumption of white bread and depression in post-menopausal women.
6.Millet (GI: 67)
I wish I knew millet earlier because it is really nutritious. According to healthline, not only it’s rich in antioxidants, it can helps to control the blood sugar level and lower cholesterol! Last but not least, it’s gluten free!
I personally don’t follow a gluten free diet but if I have to cook for my family and friends, millet is the most convenient yet creative choice!
7.Udon (GI: 62)
Such a blessing to know Udon is a relatively low GI food cause I really love it!
( Japanese food lover here ! )
Udon and Ramen: which one is healthier?
Generally speaking, Udon is healthier because it contains less sodium and MSG than Ramen. Often times, we feel thirsty after eating ramen, that’s because the MSG!
8.Potatoes (GI: 60)
No surprise to know, a plain potato is healthy and packs with nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin C, and iron. It’s an excellent source of potassium! Instead of deep-fried the potatoes or load it with sour cream and butter, it will be amazing to roast it with olive oil – trust me- it’s very delicious.
9.Vermicelli (GI: 58)
Vermicelli is often called as rice noodles as it is made from rice but tastes way less sweet. They are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and very low in sodium. I am glad that these days there are more recipes for Vermicelli, Sesame, and Cilantro Vermicelli Salad is always my favorite!
10.Basmati Rice (GI: 58)
I am in love with basmati and there’s really no reason to eat white rice after you try basmati!
11.Muesli (GI: 55)
I mean, who doesn’t like Museli? Especially when it is mixed with blueberry and yogurt!
12.Rolled oats (GI: 55)
Oats are incredibly nutritious and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds. Not only oats can help weight loss, but most importantly, it can help lower the blood sugar level and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Roll oats are my happy meal in the morning – Yes! I eat rolled oats every single day! I never get bored of oats because I have different recipes every day! Overnight owls, Ginger oatmeal bowl, Oat Brittle, Carrot Oat Muffins … the combination can be countless!
I know this sounds silly, but rolled oats just make my life happier!
13.Red Rice (GI: 55)
Red rice is deeply pigmented and contains much more fiber and protein than regular rice. An interesting fact is it contains even higher concentrations of flavonoid antioxidants than brown rice!
I personally love red rice more than brown rice, not because of other nutrient reasons but I found it tastier!
14.Taro (GI: 54)
Is that just me but I think taro isn’t popular enough these days? What a pity!
Taro is regarded as the Asian Superfood and in fact, it is one of the beauty food too. Besides preventing cancer and diabetes, it’s really good for skin health and vision. In long term, it helps weight loss in the sense that the fiber in taro slows stomach emptying, which keeps you fuller longer and reduces the calorie intake. One interesting thing is that people are saying taro roots are even better than taro as a whole, I am not sure about that but will definitely do a research about it!
If you switch your carbs to taro during lunchtime for 2 weeks, I can sure you will lose extra 3-4 pounds! Why I am that certain? Cause I’ve tried it myself and all I can say is – it works!
15.Sourdough (GI: 54)
If you love bread, get excited, because sourdough is definitely one of the healthiest bread you can eat. If you suffer from bloating like me, you will be happy to know that sourdough is more digestible than other regular bread because the fermentation process breaks down gluten that can cause digestive problems!
Plus, it’s always soothing to do some baking in those lovely weekends.
16.Sweet potato (GI: 51)
I know this can be a little bit confusing, but sweet potato is different from potato in terms of taste, appearance, and texture.
People also get confused between sweet potato and yam, but still, they are two different things. Despite the fact that they are surprisingly yummy without any seasoning, they are both rich in nutrients including fiber and minerals. They are also rich in antioxidants, which are not easy to find among food, that can keep our skin looks good and free from radicals!
17.Butternut squash ( GI:51)
18.Pasta (GI: 50)
Surprise surprise! Pasta is on the low GI list!
It’s sad that pasta being misunderstood all the time. Actually, pasta is a low fat, low sodium, low GI complex carbohydrate. Most of the time, it’s the sauce that makes pasta high in calories. For me, bean pasta is always my favourite! It’s rich in protein and definitely a healthier choice compare to other pasta.
19.Buckwheat Soba (GI: 50)
In Asia, buckwheat soba is such a trend food and I really hope that it will become trend food in other countries on day! Everything when I eat soba, I won’t feel guilty afterwards because I know it’s low GI and packed with amazing protein and minerals!
20.Brown Rice (GI: 50)
Brown rice is a common alternative when it comes to refined carbs! It is well-known for preventing type 2 diabetes and calm our blood pressure.
21.Oat Bran (GI: 50)
Oat Bran is the outer layer of the oat groat and packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals & antioxidants! Well, it’s again, good for bowel function and weight loss too! If you are born with oats, try oat bran! ( Still similar thing but at least new texture!)
23.Purple sweet potato (GI: 48)
When it comes to purple sweet potato, people always ask ” Is purple one different from the orange potato?” I know this can be confusing but no, they are not the same – in terms of the nutrients and look! However, it’s true that the purple one is denser and drier than regular sweet potatoes. It’s hard to say which one is “healthier” because they are unique with their nutrient values! I will suggest you try them both because they both have a rich flavor with a creamy texture!
24.Corn on the cob ( GI: 48)
If you are lazy to cook or bake, here you are – take this corn!
25.Pumpernickel bread (GI: 46)
As many people may not know, pumpernickel are packed with lignans and this plant compounds that may help reduce the risk of breast cancers. Happy to know!
26.Black Rice ( GI:43)
27. Teff ( GI:36 )
Teff is a dark brown teeny tiny seed native to Ethiopia and again it’s very nutritious! Some may wonder how to use teff but it’s actually very easy!
Google “Teff Burger” and I am sure you will be intrigued to make one yourself! It’s smart for people replacing the beef to teff!
28.Quinoa ( GI: 35 )
There’s a reason why quinoa is the trend food these days. Despite all the nutrients, it’s naturally gluten-free, delicious, and incredibly easy to prepare.
I mean, who doesn’t love quinoa salad?
29.Mung Bean noodles (Glass noodles) (GI: 28)
Despite it’s low GI, it’s really delicious! Japchae, glass noodles stir fried with vegetables, is one of Korea’s best-loved dishes and I can see why!
30. Barley ( GI: 22)
Last but not least, if you want to hardcore in weight loss, barley is your best friend!
Despite all the benefit in minerals and vitamins, the high level of fiber can promote a better digestion and reduced hunger and weight loss. Chickpea, Barley, and Feta Salad will be a great place to start!
So here are the 30 amazing healthy carbs that have lower GI than white rice! As the quote said, to eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art. Sometimes it’s not about eat less but about explore unknown food and eat better! I am feeling really good after writing this list because I now have many new carbs I can explore! Give yourself a fun challenge to replace your white rice every few days and I am sure you will enjoy this creative journey!
If you are enjoying this read so far, can you do me a little favour to pin this so more people can start this “No white rice challenge” like you? This really means a lot for a new food blogger like me, thank you and here’s my virtual hug!
Wish all of you having a wonderful day with gratitude!