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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hansra

If you eat white rice regularly do this simple trick to cut calories and boost nutrients

White rice is a staple food for many people. I grew up eating white rice most days of the week in the form of curry and rice, peas and rice, even Asian style fried rice. White rice, however, is highly processed missing the outer bran layer and the nutrient rich germ thereby striping it of vitamins and minerals (1). Furthermore, white rice is often processed to improve taste, extend shelf life, and enhance cooking properties (2). White rice also has a high glycemic index which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (3,4,5), metabolic syndrome (5, 6) if you consume too much. I don't plan on giving up white rice any time soon and I don't encourage you to do the same if you enjoy white rice. Drastic dietary changes and giving up your favorite foods is not a successful long term approach. For anyone trying to get a little healthier I recommend cutting down on white rice and try adding cauliflower rice to the mix in a 50% white rice 50% cauliflower rice blend. Cutting down rather than cutting out you favorite foods is a more sustainable approach to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many people have tried substituting cauliflower rice instead of white rice and the feedback is unanimous: it's not the same! If you blend the two together in a hybrid approach you can enjoy the best of both worlds: 1) the flavor and texture of white rice and 2) the calorie reducing, nutrient boosting benefits of cauliflower. Yes, you can change your rice to brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, etc. which is slightly better than white rice but you don't get that favorable caloric reduction and vegetable nutrient boost like the 50/50 blend.


1. Simply buy frozen or room temperature pouch-based cauliflower as seen below. Find it in the freezer aisle or rice section of any major grocery chain.

2. If you use frozen cauliflower then microwave as instructed or simply add it while frozen to your white rice as you're cooking and it will warm in 5 minutes or so.

3. Mix your blend of cauliflower rice to white rice and season as per your recipe. If you don't season the riced cauliflower it may taste bland.

4. Most riced cauliflowers are flavorless. Cauliflower has a neutral flavor profile so you must flavor it as you would flavor your rice. For example, if you are making Asian style fried rice add soy sauce to your cauliflower rice.

Let's do the math

1. Let's say that you eat one 1 cup serving of rice per day = 210 calories per serving = 210 x 365 days per year = 76,650 calories per year/3500 calories per pound = 22 pounds of weight due to theoretical white rice consumption.

2. If you were to cut the white rice in half (= 76,650/2 = 38,250 calories = 11 pounds from reduced white rice intake) and add half a cup of cauliflower per day = 10 calories of riced cauliflower per day x 365 days per year = 3650 calories per year/3500 calories per pound = 1 pound of weight due to riced cauliflower consumption + 11 pounds from reduced white rice intake = 12 pounds per year.

3. Therefore you could save 10 pounds per year by incorporating a 50/50 blend of riced cauliflower with your white rice!

4. Also, don't forget about all the extra nutrients and fiber you will obtain by incorporating riced cauliflower over the long term.

"Make small sustainable changes to your diet that will pay off in the long term" - Dr. Hansra MD

What's the bottom line?

#Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable belonging to the Brassica genus of plants (7). Cruciferous vegetables are #nutrient dense foods and contain significant amounts of carotenoids, #vitamins C, E, K; folate and minerals that nourish your body (7). Also cauliflower is a good source of #fiber (7, 8, 9) which has been shown to reduce the risk of #cardiovasculardisease and #obesity (9). Furthermore cauliflower consumption is associated with reduced risk of certain #cancers (7, 10, 11).

Cut down on white rice and try adding riced cauliflower to the mix in a 50% white rice 50% riced cauliflower blend to boost you and your family's health. Cutting down rather than cutting out you favorite foods is a more sustainable approach to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it is more likely to stick in the long term. Blending riced cauliflower with white rice allows you to enjoy the flavor and texture of white rice while reducing calories, increasing fiber, and boosting nutrients. This is an example of gently modifying the diet to obtain long term health benefits such as reduced risk of #diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Also, riced cauliflower has a neutral flavor profile so you can seasoning it to match a wide variety of dishes. Last, it's #kidfriendly. My wife and I regularly sneak riced cauliflower into our children's' food and they have no idea that they are eating added veggies!

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  1. Healthline. Is white rice healthy of bad for you? Accessed September 27th, 2020.

  2. Roy P, Orikasa T, Okadome H, Nakamura N, Shiina T. Processing conditions, rice properties, health and environment. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Jun;8(6):1957-76.

  3. Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM, Holmes MD, Malik VS, Willett WC, Hu FB. White rice, brown rice, and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jun 14;170(11):961-9. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.109. Erratum in: Arch Intern Med. 2010 Sep 13;170(16):1479.

  4. Hu EA, Pan A, Malik V, Sun Q. White rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis and systematic review. BMJ. 2012 Mar 15;344:e1454.

  5. Izadi V, Azadbakht L. Is there any association between rice consumption and some of the cardiovascular diseases risk factors? A systematic review. ARYA Atheroscler. 2015 Feb;11(Suppl 1):109-15.

  6. Ahn Y, Park SJ, Kwack HK, Kim MK, Ko KP, Kim SS. Rice-eating pattern and the risk of metabolic syndrome especially waist circumference in Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES). BMC Public Health. 2013 Jan 22;13:61.

  7. National Cancer Institute. Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention. Accessed September 30th, 2020.

  8. United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. Cauliflower. Accessed September 30th, 2020.

  9. Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012 Jul 1;3(4):506-16.

  10. Liu X, Lv K. Cruciferous vegetables intake is inversely associated with risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis. Breast. 2013 Jun;22(3):309-13.

  11. Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, Dashwood RH. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007;55(3):224-236.

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