Rice Or Pasta: Which Has More Calories?

Rice and pasta are two foods commonly used to round out a meal with carbohydrates. They can be seasoned and prepared in many different ways. But is one healthier than the other? Let's break down the nutrients of each.

According to Medical News Today, a 100 gram (or about ½ cup) serving of white, short-grain, cooked rice has 130 calories. It also contains 28.7 grams of carbohydrates, 2.36 grams of protein, and 0.19 grams of fat. White rice typically has its bran and germ removed. This means it has fewer nutrients than other variations like brown rice. Brown rice keeps its bran and germ, which gives it a variety of health benefits. These include more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than white rice.

Rice can be prepared in many ways. The healthiest way to prepare rice is to boil or steam it. You can season rice to make it more flavorful. You can buy pre-seasoned rice in many grocery stores, but these often have large amounts of added sodium to make the rice taste better. Make sure to watch the sodium content before opting for seasoned rice with your dinner.

Pasta isn't as unhealthy as many people think

Pasta is often viewed as a food to indulge in on special occasions, but studies have shown that it can be a regular part of a healthy diet as long as it is enjoyed in moderation (via Healthline). Pasta is usually made from wheat. Refined pasta is the most commonly eaten type of pasta. One cup (about 200 grams) of refined spaghetti that has been cooked contains 220 calories, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 8.1 grams of protein, and 1.3 grams of fat. That's slightly fewer calories than one cup of white rice.

One cup of whole-wheat spaghetti has an even better nutrient profile. One cup contains 174 calories, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 7.5 grams of protein, and 0.8 grams of fat. To get the best benefits from pasta, opt for whole-wheat options. Pair your pasta with plenty of vegetables and some lean protein for a well-balanced meal.

When comparing white rice to white pasta, you'll find that one serving of each contains about the same number of calories. All types of rice and pasta can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.