Pasta Vs Rice (Which One Is Healthier)

Pasta and rice are both amongst some of the most commonly eaten food products across the world.

These wholesome bites of goodness are not only incredibly versatile, and can be served in a massive number of ways, but are also very easy to make, and will last for ages in your kitchen pantry. 

And the similarities don’t end there. Both rice and pasta can be eaten hot or cold, and mixed with a medley of other ingredients to create salads and other healthy lunches.

Within bodybuilding and fitness communities, rice and pasta are both highly recommended as sources of energy and protein without too many pesky carbs or unwanted fats. 

But now the question prevails. Which of the two foods, rice, or pasta, stands out as the healthiest option? Is one more healthy than the other? What benefits can each one provides? And is it worth swapping one for another?

The answer to all of your burning questions is about to arrive, as we explore both of these popular foods to find the king of all healthy meal options! 

Which Is Healthier? Pasta, Or Rice?

First off, it’s worth mentioning that both pasta and rice are equally very healthy, and make for excellent healthy eating options. But which one is healthier than the other? Even if just by a small margin.

The short answer is that rice comes out on top in most categories. In terms of calories per 100 grams, rice has around 117, while pasta has 160. This is a small difference, but may have an impact for certain people. 

In terms of fats and carbohydrates, rice again comes out on top, with only 0.5 grams of fat, and 25 grams of carbohydrates. Pasta, on the other hand, has around 0.7 grams of fat, and 32.5 grams of carbohydrates.

Again, these are small differences, but they do have somewhat of an impact. The larger carb content of pasta may be significant to certain groups of people.

What Are The Benefits Of Rice?

We can go on for hours and hours talking about how pasta and rice are low calorie options for meals, but what benefits do these products actually have? And what can you expect to get from them?

Rice is the most eaten food product in the entire world. Ever. And this is definitely for good reason. It’s a common grain that can be served with basically everything, hot or cold, savory or sweet. But its versatility isn’t its only saving grace.

Brown rice, in particular, is incredibly beneficial to maintaining a certain weight level. Brown rice is richer and more nutritious, since the brown bran layer on the outside is left untouched.

The carbohydrates present in brown rice are able to more efficiently be converted into energy. Instead of your body converting the rice into fat to then be used as energy later, brown rice is slowly broken down to release its energy over the course of the day.

This is why so many breakfast cereals are made from rice! 

The energy lifting benefits of rice are particularly felt by athletes who have to put their muscles under considerable strain for long periods.

Rice helps to reinforce those muscles and provide energy right to them, which makes it wonderful for a breaktime snack during a training day!

Rice doesn’t just have benefits for athletes and sportsmen as well. Rice is incredibly easy to digest and won’t stick around in the digestive tract or cause prolonged discomfort for those who eat it.

Rice is also high in fiber, so it helps to keep your stool evenly sized and solid, so that you can excrete easily and consistently. 

Rice is also gluten free, much to the surprise of many people. This is a lifesaver for people with gluten intolerances or coeliac disease, as it means that they can still enjoy fiber-rich meals, but without any gluten.

What Are The Benefits Of Pasta?

Pasta contains slightly more carbohydrates and fiber than rice does, and while this, to some, might make it appear less healthy than rice, it is still very beneficial to many people.

In fact, the high fiber and carb content of pasta is why it is often preferred by long distance runners, or those who just need a little bit more energy. 

Pasta is also, subsequently much more filling, and will have your stomach feeling fuller for longer, so that you won’t have to refuel for hours after snacking down upon it.

Pasta itself also has low sodium and cholesterol. Again, this probably comes as a surprise to some, as many pasta meals and recipes have high sodium and cholesterol levels.

However, it is not the pasta itself, in such dishes, that has the high sodium content, but the other ingredients, such as sauces, and cheeses.

If eaten with other healthy ingredients, and eaten as part of a balanced diet, pasta can prove very healthy, and makes for a great accompaniment to many dishes.

Pasta is also just incredibly affordable. If you’re looking for a product to keep you fueled for the entire week but also don’t want to break the bank, a bag of pasta can prove incredibly valuable! 


As you have seen, there aren’t actually too many inherent differences between pasta and rice. Both offer many benefits to their avid fans, and make for great sources of energy without any of the weight-gain risks.

Pasta and rice also both last a long time, and are incredibly affordable, which makes them a great and healthy back up option for those that are culinarily challenged. 

So, your choice of pasta or rice just comes down to whether you want more carbs for more energy, from pasta, or an incredibly slimming but filling meal, from rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Rice Instead Of Pasta?

This is all due to the sugar content of rice. During an intense workout, glycogen is depleted slowly from the muscles.

In order to increase their mileage when it comes to working out, bodybuilders will eat meals that are rich in rice, to increase their energy, without affecting their weight.

Is It Okay To Eat Pasta Everyday?

If you were just eating pasta by itself every single day, this would likely not prove very beneficial to your health.

Instead, you should seek to enjoy pasta as part of a balanced diet, or alongside lots of vegetables and varying ingredients, so that your body is always receiving new sources of nutrition.

Which Is Worse For Diabetics Rice Or Pasta?

Rice is significantly worse for diabetics than pasta. This is down to the higher sugar content in rice.

However, if you buy refined and factory produced rice or pasta, the likelihood of it affecting a diabetic person is increased, so it is best to go for whole meal options where possible.

Jess Smith
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