Health Encyclopedia

Label Lesson: Flavored Rice Mixes

Put plain rice on the menu, and your family make just turn up its nose. Instead, try one of the many flavored rice mixes now on the market. Although the mixes are relatively low in fat, they can be high in sodium.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for rice mixes:

  • Some mixes contain more than 1,000 mg. of sodium per serving. Look for those that contain lower amounts.

  • A surprise ingredient in some mixes is sugar. To avoid it, look on the nutritional and ingredient labels to see if sugar or a similar product, such as molasses, is listed.

  • Mixes with cheese sauce usually are higher in calories, fat and sodium.

Getting specific

Here's a comparison of the calories, fat and sodium in 20 popular rice mixes. These figures are based on the prepared product, not the dry rice and mix. All are based on a one-cup serving

Chef's Originals Sonoran Mexican

Cals.: 150

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 6

Sodium (mg.): 770

Konriko Hot'N Spicy Rice Pilaf

Cals.: 160

Fat (gm.): 0

% Cals. from fat: 0

Sodium (mg.): 270

Tony Chachere's Louisiana Dirty Rice Mix

Cals.: 160

Fat (gm.): 0

% Cals. from fat: 0

Sodium (mg.): 720

Chef's Originals French Quarter Tomato Rice

Cals.: 180

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 5

Sodium (mg.): 390

Vigo Risotto con Broccoli

Cals.: 190

Fat (gm.): 1.5

% Cals. from fat: 7

Sodium (mg.): 900

Casbah Nutted Pilaf

Cals.: 190

Fat (gm.): 2

% Cals. from fat: 9

Sodium (mg.): 500

Uncle Ben's Country Inn Chicken & Broccoli Rice Mix

Cals.: 200

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 5

Sodium (mg.): 780

Uncle Ben's Red Beans & Rice

Cals.: 210

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 4

Sodium (mg.): 740

Zatarain's New Orleans Style Yellow Rice

Cals.: 220

Fat (gm.): 0

% Cals. from fat: 0

Sodium (mg.): 960

10 Minute Success Rice Brown & Wild Mix

Cals.: 230

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 4

Sodium (mg.): 830

Rice-A-Roni Fast Cook Chicken Flavor

Cals.: 240

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 4

Sodium (mg.): 870

Lawry's Santa Fe Rice

Cals.: 250

Fat (gm.): 1.5

% Cals. from fat: 5

Sodium (mg.): 800

10 Minute Success Rice Broccoli & Cheese

Cals.: 250

Fat (gm.): 4.5

% Cals. from fat: 16

Sodium (mg.): 840

Knorr Italian Rices Risotto Milanese

Cals.: 260

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 3

Sodium (mg.): 880

Lipton Rice & Sauce Southwestern Chicken

Cals.: 260

Fat (gm.): 1.5

% Cals. from fat: 5

Sodium (mg.): 770

Knorr Pilaf Rices Lemon Herb with Jasmine Rice

Cals.: 260

Fat (gm.): 2

% Cals. from fat: 7

Sodium (mg.): 790

Lipton Rice & Sauce Cheddar Broccoli

Cals.: 280

Fat (gm.): 3

% Cals. from fat: 10

Sodium (mg.): 940

Near East Spanish Rice

Cals.: 290

Fat (gm.): 0.5

% Cals. from fat: 2

Sodium (mg.): 990

Rice-A-Roni Red Beans & Rice

Cals.: 290

Fat (gm.): 1

% Cals. from fat: 3

Sodium (mg.): 1,120

Minute Four Cheese Rice

Cals.: 420

Fat (gm.): 2.5

% Cals. from fat: 5

Sodium (mg.): 800