Replace Rice with Quinoa to Control Blood Sugars AND Eat More Nutrients

Rice is a popular side dish and acts as a “filler” so you feel satisfied after your meal.  However if you look at how rice is produced, you will see why  rice is a common culprit that spikes your blood sugars.  In addition, rice is NOT a good source of important vitamins and minerals which your body and your baby need to be healthy.

White rice has been stripped of its husk, bran and germ.  Also, in order to make the rice white and not look “dirty”, the rice is polished to give it the white appearance.  All of these steps strip the original grain of the great COMPLEX CARB (meaning it takes longer to digest which is a good thing) AND… strips the grain of all the important vitamins and minerals.  Ironically, the rice is then ENRICHED and FORTIFIED to put the vitamins back into it!  Even though the rice is artificially replenished with important vitamins, all the processing steps to produce white rice makes it have a high glycemic load.. which means it will hit your blood stream quicker…. and unfortunately SPIKE your blood sugars.

Brown rice is usually recommended as the better alternative to white rice. Brown rice is produced by removing only the outer layer of the grain.  This means brown rice is not as refined as white rice so it will take longer for your body to digest the grain.. and therefore has  lower glycemic load.  The interesting thing about brown rice however,  is from what I have researched, it is often NOT FORTIFIED/ENRICHED with important vitamins, so it has LESS vitamins and minerals than white rice!

So, eating brown rice will not spike your blood sugars as much white rice, BUT, you are eating a food item that is BANKRUPT of important NUTRIENTS and MINERALS!

I do realize that in the panic of learning you have Diabetes, the main focus is not spiking your blood sugars.

However I want to emphasize that it is also very important to make sure what you are eating is full of vitamins and minerals for your body to have energy and function properly… as well as help your baby develop too!

So what is a better solution?  Skip the rice and find a replacement for rice.  Now before you say “NO WAY” and stop reading please realize this:

You are not alone.  Many times clients feel like there is nothing left to eat if they cut out bad carbs.  But there are other foods that can be a great replacement which you may have never heard of, or thought of trying. 

It is important to learn to view eating healthy as an opportunity to explore and try new things….instead of feeling like you are on a restrictive “diet”. 

And what is that REPLACEMENT for rice?  Quinoa.

Quinoa not only has a lower glycemic load as brown and white rice, but it is NATURALLY packed full of vitamins and minerals.  Are you ready?

It naturally contains the following Minerals: 

Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc.

It also contains the following vitamins: 

Riboflavin, Thiamin, Niacin,  Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin A, Vitamin D (D2+ D3), Vitamin D, Vitamin K and Folate. 

And if that is not enough to convince you, Quinoa also is a source of the healthy fats:  monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. 

From what I can gather in my research, Quinoa contains all these wonderful vitamins and minerals NATURALLY and is not artificially fortified with anything.  This is assuming you purchase just quinoa, and not a packaged item that contains quinoa as well as other ingredients.

I ask you this:  If you are going to eat something, don’t you want to eat something that is packed with important vitamins and minerals and be healthy as well as keep your blood sugars under control? 

Hopefully I convinced you to give Quinoa a try!  You can use Quinoa the same way as you do rice which makes Quinoa a perfect REPLACEMENT for your favorite rice dishes.

So, how do you cook Quinoa?   It is important to cook Quinoa the right way, otherwise you will end up with it tasting bitter.  Below are the directions to properly prepare Quinoa without any spices.  Once you have the plain quinoa cooked, then you can add seasonings that appeal to you.  There is a wealth of recipes online, or you can find some popular quinoa recipes in my e-books.  The key is to EXPERIMENT and discover what appeals to you!

Note:  quinoa can also be used in soups, salads, wraps, and as a breakfast cereal.

Step 1. RINSE THOROUGHLY TO REMOVE  it’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy

Step 2. Pour one cup of uncooked quinoa and two cups water into a pot (adjust amounts depending on number of desired servings:  1 cup uncooked quinoa = 3 cups cooked)

Step 3.  Cook uncovered until liquid boils

Step 4.  Lower heat, cover for 15 minutes

Step 5.  After 15 minutes, remove pot from heat and let it stand covered 5 minutes

Step 6.  Fluff quinoa with fork.  It will look like tiny spirals

Step 7.  If there is still liquid or if the quinoa is still crunchy, cook again on low heat for another 5 minutes.

Step 8.  Add butter, salt or whatever spices you normally use with your rices and ENJOY!


Again explore and find recipes that appeal to you and try them out!

Time Saving Tips:  Prepare larger amounts and separate into separate storage containers for the week.  You can then spice/flavor the quinoa or add to salads for a faster meal prep.



  1. (note links change over time, so if this link does not work google  “United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service USDA Branded Food Products Database”)