Rice is one of the most widely consumed grains in the world. It is a versatile ingredient that can be part of many different dishes, from risottos to pilafs, fried rice, and more. When looking at the nutritional value of rice, one common question is: how many calories are in a serving of cooked rice?
Calories in 100g of Cooked Rice
The number of calories in 100 grams of cooked rice can vary depending on the type of rice. Here is an overview of the calorie content of some common types of cooked rice per 100g serving:
- White rice: 130 calories
- Brown rice: 111 calories
- Jasmine rice: 167 calories
- Basmati rice: 157 calories
- Arborio rice (for risotto): 175 calories
- Wild rice: 101 calories
As you can see, the calorie content ranges quite a bit depending on the rice variety. This is due to differences in nutrient composition.
Factors Affecting Calorie Content
There are a few key factors that determine the calorie content in rice:
The main factor is the type of rice. Rice can be categorized into long grain, medium grain, and short grain varieties. Some examples in each category:
- Long grain – Basmati, jasmine, Carolina, wild rice
- Medium grain – Arborio, Valencia, Calrose
- Short grain – Sushi rice, glutinous sticky rice
Long grain rice tends to have fewer calories per cooked cup compared to short or medium grain options. This is because long grain rice has a lower glycemic index.
How the rice is processed also impacts its nutrition. Milling removes the outer bran layer of the rice kernel, which decreases fiber, vitamins, and minerals. White rice is more heavily milled than brown rice, which is why brown rice has more nutrients and fewer calories per gram.
The cooking method can alter calorie content slightly. Boiling or steaming rice will retain more nutrients than frying it in oil or butter.
Ingredients mixed into the rice like fats, oils, and seasonings will increase the calorie count. Plain cooked rice will be lower in calories than fried rice dishes with add-ins.
Nutritional Profile of Rice
To understand the calorie content of rice, it helps to look at the overall nutrient profile as well. Here is the nutrition breakdown for a 100g serving of cooked white rice:
As you can see, white rice is low in fiber and micronutrients. The caloric density mainly comes from the carbohydrate content, which is starch.
Compare that to the nutrition in 100g of brown rice:
The brown rice has more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fat – but fewer carbohydrates. This nutrient profile leads to the lower calorie count.
Calorie Breakdown of Rice Dishes
Rice is often eaten as part of balanced main dishes that combine grains, protein foods, and vegetables. Here is an overview of the calorie content in some popular rice dishes:
Rice pilafs are seasoned rice dishes, often made with vegetable or chicken broth. A 1 cup serving of simple rice pilaf can have:
- 210 calories
- 45g carbs
- 4g protein
The calorie count increases with the addition of meats, oils, nuts, or dried fruit.
Fried rice is tossed with oil and usually contains egg, meat, and vegetables. A 1 cup serving can have:
- 220 calories
- 45g carbs
- 5g fat
- 6g protein
Adding more oil or fatty meats like bacon will further increase the calorie content.
Risottos are creamy rice dishes made by slowly simmering arborio rice in broth and wine. A 1 cup serving of vegetable risotto may have:
- 215 calories
- 45g carbs
- 2g fat
- 5g protein
Seafood or meat risottos can be over 300 calories per serving. The cream and cheese also bump up the fat and calories.
Tips for Reducing Calories in Rice Dishes
Here are some easy ways to lighten up rice dishes:
- Use brown or wild rice instead of higher calorie varieties like jasmine or basmati.
- Portion out rice servings rather than placing serving dishes on the table.
- Flavor rice with herbs and spices instead of oil or butter.
- Choose tomato-based sauces instead of cream-based.
- Load up on non-starchy veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, peppers.
- Skip the fatty meats like bacon, sausage, beef.
- Use lean proteins like chicken breast, shrimp or beans.
- Cook or serve rice with broth instead of oil.
- Skip the cheese toppings.
Health Benefits of Rice
Despite the calorie and carbohydrate content, rice can be part of a healthy diet in moderation. Here are some of the health benefits associated with rice consumption:
- Low in fat and sodium – Plain rice is naturally low fat and sodium free. This makes it a diet-friendly grain.
- High in minerals – Rice provides manganese, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus.
- Contains antioxidants – Rice bran contains antioxidant compounds including vitamin E and gamma oryzanol.
- May reduce heart disease risk – Replacing refined grains with whole grains like brown rice can reduce LDL cholesterol and lower heart disease risk.
- May stabilize blood sugar – The fiber in rice can slow digestion which helps regulate blood glucose levels.
The key is watching portion sizes and enjoying rice as part of an overall healthy pattern of eating that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low fat dairy, and whole grains.
The number of calories in rice can range from 100-200 per cooked cup depending on the variety. Short grain white rice is at the higher end while long grain brown is lowest. Mix-ins, cooking methods, and ingredients added to rice dishes can also impact the calories. While rice is high in carbs, it can be incorporated into a healthy diet in moderation by focusing on good portion control and nutrient-dense preparation methods.