Is Fried Rice Really Healthy for You?

Fried rice is on about every Chinese take-out menu. It nicely pairs with plenty of proteins like Kung Pao chicken or tofu. At a glance, it looks colorful, tasty, and nutritious. But, is fried rice as healthy as it looks?

Fried rice is one of those meals that can lure you into overfeeding yourself. Adults and kids can testify that its mouthfeel is something worth going back for. This also makes it difficult to question its healthiness.

Is fried rice a healthy dish or a good-looking sodium and fat bomb? Is it something you should eat frequently or on every other day?

You may love fried rice, but trust me, you do not want to compromise your health. Check out this article to see what exactly you should know about fried rice.

About fried rice

Fried rice is a versatile Asian dish that has become popular across many cultures. It is high in fiber, low in calories, and a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Fried rice can be enjoyed by itself or paired with other meals as a side dish. A good thing is that you can always modify your ingredients to suit your taste. It is a good option for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

According to Wikipedia, fried rice is a dish of cooked rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or a frying pan and is usually mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, vegetables, seafood, or meat.

Is fried rice healthy?

Yes, if you eat it in moderation. Many of the ingredients in this dish pack it with vitamins, healthy fiber, protein, good fat, carbs, minerals, and antioxidants.

The preparation method involves using oil to lightly fry the ingredients including the cooked rice. However, it isn’t the same way meat or vegetables are fried. Frying ensures that the rice doesn’t stick.

Is vegetable fried rice healthy?

Vegetable fried rice is one of the healthiest ways you can prepare your rice. The vegetables in the dish not only make it colorful and appetizing, but they also load it with vitamins and minerals.

In addition, the variety of vegetables makes it high in fiber and antioxidants.

Is egg fried rice healthy?

One portion of egg fried rice can contain about 360 calories which is a whole lot of calories, especially if you eat more than one portion. Also, these calories shouldn’t be consumed every day.

You can make egg fried rice fit into a healthy diet if you use whole grains, load it with a variety of vegetables, and use a healthy type of oil. Most importantly, you must eat in moderation.

Is chicken fried rice healthy?

Truthfully, chicken fried rice is not very healthy. But if you can make a homemade version using less oil and high-calorie ingredients, it can be healthy.

One serving of this dish contains 420 calories (plus the calories from the chicken), about 44 grams of carbs, 33 grams of protein, and 16 grams of fat.

This is quite a lot but it shouldn’t be harmful if you eat one portion every other day.

Is fried rice healthy for people with celiac?

No, it is not. Soy sauce is a major ingredient in many fried rice recipes. Many people think that leaving out soy sauce or replacing it with oyster sauce will make their rice healthy.

Surprisingly, gluten masks under ingredients you may never suspect. It is best for celiacs to avoid eating fried rice. For healthy living, stay off fried rice and eat healthy bowls of plain brown or white rice.

Is fried rice healthy for diabetics?

Fried rice makes the list of high-sodium meals people with diabetes must avoid. Medical reports explain that the amount of sodium in this rice can last a diabetic 3 days.

This high sodium content is because of the monosodium glutamate (MSG) in fried rice.

Is fried rice healthy during pregnancy?

Yes, it is. If eaten in moderation, pregnant women can enjoy the delicious nutrients from the dish without experiencing any side effects.

Is fried rice healthy for weight loss?

No, it is not. Fried rice is calorie-filled and covered with soy sauce which will not help you lose weight, especially white fried rice.

Are there any health risks in eating fried rice?

When cooking fried rice, the boiled rice is usually left to cool at room temperature for about an hour before frying it with other ingredients. The process is to ensure the rice doesn’t get clumpy or become soggy.

According to Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and clinical professor at New York University Langone Health, this process could introduce Bacillus cereus.

This is a toxin-producing bacteria that is one of the major causes of food poisoning and is also called “fried rice syndrome.”

Unfortunately, reheating the rice during frying doesn’t remove the toxins the bacteria have already produced.

Also, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Bad Bug Book, this bacteria releases two toxins that cause different illnesses. One causes diarrhea and cramps, while the other leads to vomiting.

Best tips for eating fried rice healthily

  • Swap eggs for scrambled tofu. This way, your dish is more vegan-friendly.
  • Use brown rice instead of white rice for added fiber.
  • Instead of frying up your rice, try baking it in the oven.
  • Try combining fresh vegetables with frozen shrimp and cauliflower rice to create a healthier dish.
  • Focus on vegetables, including zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms, and cut down on the quantity of rice.
  • Use Cauliflower rice instead. It helps eliminate calories without losing any flavor.


Is fried rice healthier than steamed rice?

Know that fried rice will have at least double the sodium, calories, carbs, and fat that steamed rice contains.

It is not healthier than steamed rice but you can reduce the calorie, sodium, and fat content if you use fewer ingredients in your recipe.

Is Kimchi fried rice healthy?

Healthy Kimchi fried must be low in calories but high in protein. This fried rice recipe uses meat and eggs to make the dish highly proteinous.

Is pork fried rice healthy?

Pork fried rice packs a lot of calories. If you’re looking to drastically reduce your calorie intake, you might want to reconsider having pork rice.

However, if you’re all about a meal made with fresh ingredients, you can have pork fried rice but in moderation.

Is shrimp fried rice healthy?

One cup of shrimp fried rice contains 339 calories, 24.5 grams of protein, and 5.4 grams of fat. If you eat it in moderation, it can be healthy for you.


While you can have your fried rice dish, you must prioritize your health and apply the tips for eating fried rice healthily. Generally, it is not the healthiest way to prepare your rice.

If you’re eating out on a diet, make inquiries about the ingredients the restaurant uses to prepare their fried rice. Preferably, make your fried rice at home to make it healthy and suitable for your diet.

Thanks for reading.

Did you enjoy this article? Read more related guides on rice here on Millenora.