Have you joined the keto club? The ketogenic diet is a trendy high fat, low carb eating style that’s touted for its potential health benefits (like promoting weight loss, and managing certain medical conditions).

If you’re new to keto, it can take a little while to get familiar with what does and doesn’t fit into your new diet. Before you cook up your favorite fried rice or dig into some sushi, you might be wondering: Is rice keto? Let’s find out.

Is rice keto?

Nope. Both white and brown rice are relatively high in carbohydrates. How high? One cup of white cooked rice has about 40 grams (g) of carbs. The total daily carb intake in most keto diets ranges between 20 g and 50 g. So, rice generally isn’t considered keto-friendly.

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The keto diet involves getting most of your calorie intake from protein and healthy fats, instead of carbs. You’ll typically try to eat foods that contain a certain ratio of nutrients (like 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 10 percent carbs).

Carbs and ketosis

When you drastically reduce the amount of carbs you eat, your body can reach a state of ketosis. That’s when your body becomes mega efficient at burning fat for fuel. This can help you lose body fat and may be beneficial for some medical conditions.

Why won’t rice help you reach this state? Rice is a grain, and grains just aren’t a low carb type of food. Even brown rice — typically considered a “healthier” option than white rice — is off limits in a keto diet.

Should you avoid rice entirely?

Rice is high in carbs, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it from your life forever. While rice isn’t keto-friendly, it’s still packed with important nutrients, and minerals. For example, it’s a good source of potassium, and magnesium.

Remember, while the keto diet may have many potential health perks, this carb-restrictive lifestyle isn’t right for everyone. It can actually have negative effects in certain populations (like folks with type 1 diabetes or people who are pregnant). If you’re thinking of going keto, chat with a dietitian first. They’ll be able to help you find a plan that’s right for you.

Looking for a new staple side dish? We’ve got you! Check out our list of delish keto-friendly alternatives.

1. Shirataki rice

Net carbs per serving: 1 gram

Shirataki rice (aka “miracle rice”) is an interesting keto-friendly rice alternative. It’s made with flour prepared from the root of a plant called konnyaku. What’s so miraculous about it? Each serving of shirataki rice only contains 1 carb. Plus, as this rice is composed of soluble fiber, it may help with digestion.

2. Rutabaga rice

Net carbs per serving: 9 grams

And now for something completely different: rutabaga rice. Rutabaga is a root veggie from the same family as cabbages and turnips. It’s often used as a low carb substitute for potatoes. It does have 9 grams of net carbs per 1 cup serving, but depending on your daily carb goal, it could fit into your keto diet. To make rutabaga rice, simply chop raw rutabaga in a food processor and then cook it on the stove.

3. Zoodles

Net carbs per serving: 3 grams

Who needs noodles when you have oodles of zoodles? Zucchini noodles are zucchini that’s cut into thin strands. They work as a low carb substitute for both pasta and rice dishes. You can use a spiralizer to cut them at home, or buy them ready-made. Zucchini is rich in potassium, and one 3/4 cup serving contains only 3 grams of net carbs.

4. Spaghetti squash

Net carbs per serving: 7.8 grams

Craving something warm and hearty that’ll give you all the cozy vibes? Try spaghetti squash. With only 7.8 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving, spaghetti squash is another great low carb substitute for rice. To make the spaghetti-like strands appear, cut your squash in half and roast it. Once it’s ready, scrape out the fleshy parts with a fork.

5. Shredded cabbage

Net carbs per serving: 3 grams

Shredded cabbage is far from being rice, but it can work as an easy-to-make, lower carb side dish. You can use a food processor to shred your cabbage, or just cut it by hand. Not only is cabbage low in carbs, but one study suggested that it may play an important role in heart health.

6. Broccoli rice

Net carbs per serving: 6 grams

It has color, it has taste, and it looks like a tiny tree… it’s broccoli! A cauliflower cousin, broccoli is another great low carb substitute for your regular rice dish. To make broccoli rice, simply add the broccoli to a food processor and pulse it until it’s as small as rice grains. A cup of cooked broccoli has about 6 grams of net carbs, and 30 milligrams of calcium, making this veggie a great dairy-free source of calcium.

7. Cauliflower rice

Net carbs per serving: 6 grams

A popular low carb rice alternative among #TeamKeto, cauliflower rice has only 6 grams of net carbs per 1 cup serving. What’s more, a small study suggested that consuming veggies like cauliflower may have a positive impact on digestion, and gut health.

  • The keto diet is a low carb, high fat dietary lifestyle that involves restricting the amount of carbs you eat.
  • Both white and brown rice are high in carbs, so in general, rice is *not* keto.
  • Keto-friendly alternatives to rice include vegetable options with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and zucchini.
  • There’s evidence that following a keto diet may play a role in weight loss, and even managing diabetes.
  • A restrictive low carb diet may not be sustainable in the long run. If you have any questions about going keto, and how it may affect your health, talk with a registered dietitian.