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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

12 rice substitutes, including low carb and keto options



Whether someone is allergic to rice, trying to cut down on carbohydrates, or cut their calorie intake, there are many affordable, nutritious, and tasty rice substitutes that can be easily made at home. These include barley, rice broccoli, and orzo.

Rice is a versatile, healthy and inexpensive food that is a cornerstone of people’s diets around the world.

It is a rich source of carbohydrates that, as the body’s primary source of energy, increases energy levels, powers exercise, and helps people feel satisfied and satiated.

However, some people may want to swap rice for other options. This may be because they:

  • have an allergy
  • Better to eat fewer carbohydrates
  • try to eat fewer calories
  • try to include a wider variety of whole grains in their diet

Below are 12 nutritious alternatives to rice that people can enjoy.

Barley is a popular grain that people can buy in whole grain, pearl, flake, or flour versions.

This cereal has many health benefits and is a suitable option for those looking to increase their fiber.

Barley also contains antioxidants called lignans, which help protect cells from damage. It can also help lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar and insulin.

Every 100 grams (g) of whole barley contains:

  • 354 calories
  • over 10 g protein
  • 77 g of carbohydrates
  • 14.6 g total fiber

Barley is similar to white rice in terms of calories, but it is much higher in fiber and protein.

Additionally, it contains over 30 nutrients, including phytosterols, tocols, beta-glucans, and minerals, that can help fight chronic diseases like cancer and gout.

Quinoa is an edible seed that humans consume as a grain. It has been a staple food in South America for millennia, where people enjoy its beneficial properties.

People often use quinoa as a rice substitute because it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

Quinoa also supports heart health and has hypoglycemic effects that lower blood sugar.

Each 100 g serving of dried quinoa contains:

  • 364 calories
  • over 11 g of protein
  • 68 g of carbohydrates
  • 4.5 g total fiber

Quinoa is also high in magnesium, a mineral that helps the body make the protein, bones, DNA, and copper needed for red blood cell production and energy.

Cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous family, which includes broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

People can make rice cauliflower by chopping raw cauliflower, either by hand or with a food processor, until the texture resembles rice.

You can then use the resulting cauliflower rice either raw or gently cooked.

This low-carb, low-calorie alternative to rice doesn’t have a strong flavor, so it works just as well as rice in many recipes. It’s also suitable for people on a keto diet or people with gluten intolerance.

A 100 g serving of cauliflower rice contains:

  • 24 calories
  • about 2 g protein
  • almost 5 g of carbohydrates
  • 2.4 g total fiber

Broccoli can be prepared the same way as grated cauliflower.

Much like its counterpart, broccoli with rice is a suitable rice alternative for a person on a low-carb or low-calorie diet.

Broccoli has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting effects.

Its nutritional profile is similar to that of rice cauliflower because 100 g of rice broccoli contains:

  • 29 calories
  • 3.53 g protein
  • almost 5 g of carbohydrates
  • 3.5 g fiber

Broccoli also contains 92.5 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, which supports the immune system. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.

Cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable that people can use as a rice alternative. Individuals usually finely chop it up with a food processor or by hand.

The vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates and rich in vitamins and minerals.

Cabbage is also rich in calcium, bioactive compounds, and vitamins C and E.

There is some evidence that it may protect against high cholesterol, liver problems, pancreatitis, and heart disease.

Each 100 g serving of raw cabbage contains:

  • 25 calories
  • 1.28 g protein
  • 5 micrograms of vitamin A.
  • 5.8 g carbohydrates
  • 2.5 grams of fiber

Shirataki rice is a popular food in parts of Asia. Thanks to its low-carb and low-calorie profiles, its prevalence is now increasing worldwide. It is also rich in glucomannan fiber.

The potato-like vegetable comes from the konjac root, which manufacturers and people process into rice-shaped grains.

A 100 g serving of konja rice provides 10 calories and 5 g of carbohydrates, all fiber. It doesn’t contain any protein.

Although konjac rice contains calories, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to label it as a calorie-free food due to its extremely low calorie count.

Researchers are studying the health benefits of glucomannan fiber for lowering glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure. It can also aid digestive health.

Although couscous is similar to a grain, it is a type of pasta that manufacturers make from semolina or ground durum wheat.

The Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine often offers the food as an accompaniment to other dishes.

High in protein and fiber, couscous aids digestion and helps people feel full longer, which may help with weight loss.

Couscous consists mainly of carbohydrates – a 100 g serving of couscous contains:

  • 378 calories
  • 13 g protein
  • almost 78 g of carbohydrates
  • 4.4 g total fiber

Bulgur wheat looks similar to couscous, but manufacturers make it from cracked whole durum wheat.

This rice alternative is low in fat, high in minerals, and a minimally processed whole grain product. It can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar.

A 100 g serving of Bulgarian wheat contains:

  • 357 calories
  • just over 7 grams of protein
  • almost 81 g of carbohydrates
  • 11.9 g total fiber

Orzo is a pasta the same size and shape as rice, and people can use it in the same way. It contains a moderate amount of protein, which is essential for the body to grow, repair, and maintain good health.

A 100 g serving of Orzo contains:

  • 375 calories
  • 12.5 g protein
  • almost 79 g of carbohydrates
  • 3.6 g total fiber

Farro is an old whole grain wheat with a chewy texture and a nutty taste reminiscent of barley.

Due to its high protein content, Farro is a valuable nutritional supplement for everyone who follows a vegan and vegetarian diet.

Wheat, like Farro, contributes essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals to a person’s diet.

A 100 g serving of Farro contains:

  • 311 calories
  • over 13 g protein
  • almost 67 g of carbohydrates
  • 6.7 g total fiber

Potatoes are incredibly versatile and people can choose different and healthy ways to cook them, such as: B. Cooking, pureeing, rice or baking.

These are types of “tubers” that humans have eaten since ancient times and that have wide-ranging health benefits, including:

  • antioxidant effect
  • anti-inflammatory effect
  • Anti-cancer effect
  • cholesterol lowering effect
  • blood sugar balancing effect

A 100 g serving of raw potatoes contains:

  • 74 calories
  • 2 g protein
  • 17.6 g of carbohydrates
  • 1.4 g total fiber

Sweet potato is another type of tuber that provides carbohydrates, micronutrients, fiber, and minerals. Thanks to their antioxidant properties, they can help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

A 100 g serving of raw sweet potato contains:

  • 86 calories
  • almost 1.6 g of protein
  • 20 g of carbohydrates
  • 3 g total fiber

If people want to avoid rice because they are on a low-carb or low-calorie diet, there are several alternatives that they can choose from.

Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage offer versatile rice alternatives that are extremely low in calories and high in nutrients.

If a person wants to include whole grains in their diet, they can choose between bulgar wheat, barley, or farro.

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners



Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!



Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism



Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

Credit: iStock

There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

food item
Credit: iStock

The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

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