Is Cauliflower ‘Rice’ More Nutritious Than Regular Rice?

Is Cauliflower ‘Rice’ More Nutritious Than Regular Rice?
Photo: Amallia Eka, Shutterstock

With the news that some fast food chains are now offering cauliflower rice on the menu alongside traditional brown and white options, many are likely wondering how the veggie-based dish stacks up nutritionally. Sure, it’s lower in calories and carbs, but what else should we know about the rice alternative?

Here’s the full breakdown, using Chipotle’s nutritional information.

A serving of coriander-lime cauliflower rice has:

  • 40 calories per serving
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 7 grams of carbs
  • 3 grams of fibre

Compare that to their regular rice:

  • 210 calories per serving
  • 4 grams of fat (6 in brown rice)
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 40 grams of carbs (36 in brown rice)
  • 1 gram of fibre (2 grams in brown rice)

Is cauliflower rice the better option?

It depends on what you’re looking for in your meal. If you want an easy way to lower the calories or carbs, cauliflower rice will do the trick while still giving you some rice-like filler. The amount of fibre is roughly the same in all of the rice options: one versus two or three grams.

In general, cauliflower rice tastes similar to its grain-based counterpart, if a little less satisfying. The biggest tradeoff is perhaps a minor one: a lower-calorie, lower-carb option is just not as much food, and you might find yourself hungry later. It’s also worth noting that large amounts of cauliflower rice don’t agree with everybody’s digestive system, although a single serving isn’t likely to have a huge effect.

In short, it’s a great option if you want to eat more veggies and fewer carbs. You can also make your own by pulsing fresh cauliflower in a food processor, so give it a try if you’re looking for a new veggie side.

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