Is Fried Rice Healthy To Eat? Let’s Find Out!

Fried rice is a favorite food of thousands (maybe millions) of people in the world. Those who love it like to eat it in a variety of forms like vegetable fried rice, chicken fried rice, beef fried rice, and even shrimp fried rice. But almost every one of them doesn’t know what fried rice is doing to their body. 

So, the question arises- Is Fried rice healthy to eat or not?

Well, the answer is straight up No. Sorry to break the bad news to you but every nutritionist in the world considers fried rice unhealthy. 

But why is that? Moreover, is there anything you can do to make it healthier? We are describing this along with some more amazing content in this article. 

Is Fried Rice Healthy? It’s a No From the Nutritionists

We may have broken a few hearts with this heading, but that’s the truth. Fried rice is declared unhealthy by reputable nutritionists and leading health organizations. According to them, you should avoid eating fried rice as much as you can and always go for its substitute which is Quinoa fried rice (which has higher protein content). 

is-fried-rice-healthy

Why Is Fried Rice Bad For Health? A Detailed Analysis

We spent hours reading articles of the leading health organizations and listening to the interviews of credible nutritionists before putting our fingers on the keyboard to write this article. Almost everyone has advised them to stay away from fried rice. 

Below are the reasons they presented in describing why is fried rice unhealthy

High-Fat Content

People ask two questions the most regarding fried rice health status-  Is Fried Rice healthy for weight loss? And “Is fried rice fattening?”

Well, fried rice does not help in reducing weight at all. In fact, it does the exact opposite as the fat content is high (which is one of the biggest disadvantages of fried rice). A cup of just fried rice contains around 8 to 14 grams of saturated fat.  

Moreover, the other ingredients you are having with the rice also increase the fat content. Whether you add chicken in it or shrimp, the fat content changes. Plus, as the rice is fried in oil, it increases the fat content even more.

People often ask, “Is chicken fried rice healthy” and the answer is No. The reason is one serving of fried rice with chicken contains around 65g of fat (which is a lot).  

Now, you must be wondering, “Is shrimp fried rice healthy?” Just like chicken, shrimp fried rice is high in fat content (almost 70g). Contrarily, one serving of vegetable fried rice contains around 50g of fat. According to the FDA, the fat content should not be more than 20% of the daily calorie intake. 

Foods high in fats are extremely bad for you as they can open the gateway to many diseases. The fat content does not go away and is stored in arteries and around the belly, causing obesity. This is certainly not a light thing as Obesity and clogged arteries are considered Silent Killers. 

high-calorie-fried-rice

High Calories

USDA has given us a number that one cup of fried rice contains 180 to 350 calories, depending upon the ingredients you are adding. Vegetable fried rice contains around 200 calories per cup. Beef fried rice has around 350 calories while a cup of shrimp fried rice contains 330 calories. 

One question those suffering from diabetes often search is, Is fried rice good for diabetics? And sadly it is not. Fried rice has a high glycemic index due to calories, thus, it can cause further complications for those who have diabetes.

High Sodium Content

Here’s a scary fact USDA has presented- One cup of your favorite fried rice contains more than 460mg of sodium. 

On average, a person eats four cups of a rice meal. So, the sodium content goes more than 1840mg. The American Heart Association has described the ideal limit of sodium you should intake. According to the Association, you should not intake more than 1500 mg of sodium in a day to have better health. 

Now, let us tell you why sodium content is detrimental for you. High sodium levels in the blood are one of the primary reasons why people face high blood pressure. If this condition persists, a heart attack or stroke is around the corner.

But all is not lost as you can still do something to make the fried rice healthier. 

How Can You Make Fried Rice Healthy?

Fried rice infographic

You can make fried rice healthy if you follow these three points: 

Use Less Oil

One way you can reduce the fat content in the rice is if you use better oil (like olive or sesame oil) and also use it in less quantity. You may not like the taste of these oils at first but you will get around it after a few meals. 

Add More Vegetables Instead Of Meat

Another way you can make the fried rice healthy is by adding more veggies. People often search, Is vegetable fried rice healthy to eat? Well, one thing is certain: vegetable fried rice is definitely healthier than meat fried rice.  

As meat already contains more calories and fat, pairing it with fried rice becomes extremely unhealthy. Vegetables are low in calories and oil content, so they go great with fried rice. 

healthy-fried-rice

Limit The Use Of Sauce

Most people love to take fish and oyster sauce with fried rice. Although they make the food even more delicious, however, doing this also increases the fat and sodium content of rice. So, if you want to continue fried rice and stay healthy, you have to sacrifice the sauce. 

Recipe for Healthy Fried Rice

One thing fried rice lovers often search online, “is homemade fried rice healthy” and the answer is yes it is healthier than at least the rice you eat at the restaurant. 

But the recipe we are now describing to you is considered to be healthier. First things first, let us tell you the ingredients you are going to need to enjoy healthy fried rice.

  • One cup brown (not white) rice
  • 2 chopped onions 
  • 4-5 Sliced mushrooms 
  • 2 Eggs 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Back pepper, broccoli, and red chili flakes are optional
  • Sesame or olive oil as both are super nutritious with considerable low-fat content
  • Soy sauce (which specifically says low in sodium on its label)

Do You have all of the above-listed ingredients? Great! Now begins the procedure 

  1. Put a non-stick pan above the stove and start heating it. Wait a few seconds and add half a teaspoon of sesame or olive oil. 
  2. After a few minutes, crack the eggs and let them fry. Use the wooden spoon to break it into pieces. Cooks often search, Is egg fried rice healthy before adding it. Well of course it is! You can increase the protein, fiber, and taste of fried rice with it. When the eggs are fried, it is time you move on to the next step.
  3. Take another pan and put oil in it, same as above. When the oil gets warm, add finely chopped garlic pieces.  
  4. After a few seconds, add all the vegetables you have and fry them with garlic.
  5. Next, it is time to add a little salt and pepper to it. 
  6. Fry the vegetables in the high flame for about a minute and so to make them soft yet crunchy.
  7. Then, bring down the level of the flames to the medium. It is now time you add brown rice and the fried egg. You must be wondering- Is fried brown rice healthy? Well, it sure is healthier than white rice as the latter has more carbs in it.   
  8. Make sure all the rice is now touching the pan when you fry the rice. Again increase the flame for one minute for proper rice frying. 
  9. Now is the time you add sauce to enhance the aroma and flavor. It is better if you make a “hole” between the fried rice and add it there. You can also add pepper and a little salt too at that point. After adding these ingredients, Mix the rice well and fry it for two more minutes. You can also add red chili flakes and garnished onions at this point. 
  10. Cook for a few more minutes and then switch off the flames as your healthy fried rice is ready now. 

You must be wondering why Is this fried rice recipe healthy? Because now it is rich in vitamins, flavonoids, folic acid, fiber, potassium, iron, allicin, anthocyanins, and many other minerals due to the ever-green ingredients in it. Plus, the calorie and fat content gets reduced too. 

FAQs

Question: Is Fried Rice Good For Heart Patients? 

Answer: Absolutely Not! Fried rice is high in fat and calorie content that can cause problems for heart patients. These contents can clog their arteries, thus, disrupting the flow of blood. If the clogging occurs in those arteries that allow blood to flow to the heart or brain, strokes may occur as well. 

Question: Is Vegetable Fried Rice Good for you? 

Answer: Veg fried is also not healthy to eat until you make some changes in the recipe. Chinese fried rice is more or less the same as vegetable fried rice with an exception of one or two ingredients.

Question: Is Chinese fried rice healthy?”  

Answer: Well, both Veg and Chinese fried rice are high in sodium, fat, and calories which can negatively impact health. To avoid this, you should use less oil, replace your current oil with sesame or olive oil, and avoid fish or oyster sauce with the rice. If you do this, the veg fried rice becomes considerably healthy. Still, we recommend diabetics, heart patients, and obese people should not eat any fried rice at all.   

Question: Is fried rice healthy during pregnancy? 

Answer: It is okay if you eat fried rice once in a while during pregnancy. However, it must be homemade as such fried rice is relatively safer to eat. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, There are fried rice enthusiasts present in every corner of the world. They have a habit of eating their favorite rice dish at least twice a week. That is why most restaurants in the world also offer Fried rice on the menu. But is fried rice healthy to eat or not? 

Fried rice is definitely not healthy to eat due to the high calories, fat, and sodium content in it. These three fried rice components work together to worsen your health. High calories lead to obesity, high-fat content leads to clogging of arteries, and high sodium levels increase blood pressure. But they don’t stop there. They continue to harm the health in different other ways too like an increase of cholesterol level and disrupting the blood flow. 

However, if you still want to continue eating fried rice, we described a relatively healthy recipe for it. Try it and send it to other fried rice enthusiasts so that they continue to live healthy as well. 

Dr. Rimita Farid

Dr. Rimita Farid

Hi this is Dr. Rimita Farid. I have completed my MBBS from MAHSA University in Kuala Lampur , Malaysia and currently a registered doctor in Bangladesh. I am training in Dermatology and Venerology and writing for me has been a hobby, even before i decided to be a doctor. I believe our lives are getting stressful with every moment and i believe writing is the solution to all our problems. The power of pen and paper is highly underestimated by many, and i am blessed that i realized how stimulating writing can be for my well being. Hope my articles are relatable and can reach as many readers as possible.

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