How to Measure Rice Accurately
One of the biggest errors I see with tracking macros is misunderstanding the measurement differences between cooked and uncooked foods.
Packages with ‘unprepared’ ingredients will almost always provide the nutrition information how the food is in the package. A box of dry rice or oats will provide the nutrition information for the ingredient dry. Unless specifically indicated where it would read something like, prepared serving. The same goes for any meat package too; the nutrition information is for the ingredient to be uncooked. This is because how we prepare the ingredient can change.
If you type in “white rice” into My Macros+ or MyFitnessPal, you’ll get a gazillion options. Would look something like this:
Some options clearly label cooked, but some don’t; and to be honest, I don’t think it’s necessarily safe to assume the unclear options would be dry measurements. The majority of the entries in these databases are user-input which does provide quite a bit of error allotment. The verified options are absolutely more reliable, but the best way to be absolutely certain is to do it yourself.
Maybe you remember my ‘white rice fiasco’ from about 2 years ago where I was unknowingly eating double the carb content of rice because I was using a ‘cooked’ entry but measuring my portions as dry (oops...) so I always practice safe rice consumption with extra caution. Recently I got a box of basmati rice and went through the classic self-testing procedure to ensure my input entry was accurate.
And here we are.
Now in super quick and easy calculations, 100g of dry white rice equals about 300g. But I went through the measurement and calculation process here to break it down.
I followed the box instructions (yes, it’s in Spanish) and it was 250mL water for 200g of dry rice. Nutrition label shows a portion size is 45g (of dry rice.) The 45g dry portion has 3g of protein and 34g of carbs. Now for the math:
I took the portion size of 45g and divided the total weight that I used to cook:
200 / 45 = 4.444 (rounded that to 4.5)
So now I know that I need to multiply the protein and carb amount by 4.5 in order to get the total amount of P and C in the amount that I cooked.
3 x 4.5 = 13.5g of protein
34 x 4.5 = 153g of carbs
(in the total amount that I portioned to cook)
Once the rice was finished cooking, I measured the entire cooked weight of the rice, which turned out to be 500g.
Now we know that 500g of cooked basmati rice has 13.5g of protein, and 153g of carbs.
I ended up finding an entry that was actually aligned with this.
I searched for basmati rice cooked and filtered the entries to show measurements in grams.
Then I opened that entry, changed the portion to 500g and it actually aligned nearly perfectly with 13.5P and 153C. That was easy!
Another option I could have done would be to create my own entry. And if you’re using MM+ or MFP then you likely know how to do that. If not, both of these apps do offer tutorials on how to create your own entries.
If you’re going to track your macronutrients, then being accurate like this makes a world of differences. Use a food scale and measure in grams and ounces. If you cannot find an entry that aligns with what you need then make your own. These details are what makes or breaks your success.
I have a few added resources that are great follow-ups for this post – yes, they are all free!
I hope this helps you!