Made from puffed rice pressed together into a cake, rice cakes are often eaten as a low-calorie substitute for bread and crackers. They are basically fat-free and contain very little protein or fibre. A wide variety of cakes exist in many different cultures in which rice is eaten and are particularly prevalent in Asia. It was a popular snack back during the low fat craze during the 90’s- but you may wonder whether you should still be eating them as a snack.
While flavoured varieties are available, the most common rice cake is made from only rice and salt. They don’t have much flavour of their own, as you might expect.
Rice Cakes Nutrition
Rice cakes are very lightweight, they are essentially rice and air and thus don’t boast of an impressive nutrition profile.
One plain rice cake of 9 grams from brown rice offers:
|Niacin||4% of the daily value|
|Manganese||15% of the daily value|
|Pan tothenic acid||2% of the daily value|
|Copper||4% of the daily value|
|Selenium||4% of the daily value|
|Magnesium||3% of the daily value|
|Zinc||2% of the daily value|
Rice cakes also contain minimal amounts of several other vitamins and minerals. Their sodium content depends on whether they’re salted or not. Additionally, the process of puffing rice, which is used to make rice cakes, has been shown to decrease the rice’s antioxidant content.
Rice grain is a good source of carbohydrates with little nutrition. Because they are low in calories, they might seem healthy, which could make you want to eat more of them. Try to eat in moderation, and add nutrients with healthy toppings.
Some of the benefits of rice cakes are that they are low in calories and are typically gluten-free, and they are sometimes made with whole grains. Here are a few more benefits-
Low in calories
One rice cake of (9 grams) has 35 calories, which comes primarily from carbs. Many people eat rice cakes in place of bread or crackers, both of which have a high amount of calories, considerably. Rice cakes are a good mini-snack to hold you over in between meals. Eating frequent small snacks can give you the energy to stay active and maintain good health.
The nutrients in rice cake made from brown rice have been shown to regulate blood glucose.
High glycemic index
Rice cakes are a high glycemic index food, along with things like crackers, cakes, doughnuts, bagels, croissants and white bread. A food’s glycemic index rating tells you about its effects on blood sugar. Although eating a lot of these foods may raise your risk of some health conditions.
Most rice cakes which are solely made from rice are gluten-free. Some varieties have gluten, so make sure to read the label carefully before purchasing.
Easy snack option
Rice cakes are different from other processed snacks that can come with a variety list of unrecognizable ingredients; rice cakes are made from brown rice and nothing else. One serving generally contains 60-100 calories which are way lesser than any other snack available in the supermarkets with high salt and fat content. Anyone who wants to eat something crunchy and at the same time wants to keep a tab on the calorie count got rice cakes as a superb choice for a healthy snack.
Better diet quality
Rice cakes made from brown rice are healthy for you as it is high in fibre and protein. It can be easily replaced with unhealthy options such as potato chips, bread and cookies.
Rice cakes may arise your blood sugar levels, particularly if you eat multiple servings in one sitting or if you choose to eat the sweet-flavoured varieties that contain added sugar. They’re mostly carbs and they have very little protein and fibre to slow the effect of these carbs on your blood sugar.
To numb their effect on your blood sugar, combining them with protein such as cheese, or nut butter and fibre to your snack in the form of vegetables and fruits is a great alternative to healthier eating.
Diabetes and rice cakes
Rice cakes are quickly digesting carbs that will increase your blood sugar levels, so on their own, they are really not the best for people with diabetes. However, a single plain, unsweetened rice cake contains about 7 grams of carbs, so it may easily fit into your carb allotment for a snack.
Regardless, try to stick to just one serving as a snack and add healthy protein, fibre and fat to both reduce the blood sugar effects and make the rice cake more filling and nutritious.
Some good rice cake toppings for people who suffer from diabetes are avocado, hummus and nut butter.
Rice cakes may be lower in calories than bread but also lower in fibre and other important nutrients. Plain, whole grain brown rice varieties may be slightly healthier, but this gluten-free food is still likely to spike your blood sugar levels. To balance this effect, it’s best to pair your rice cakes with protein or fibre.
For someone on a budget, rice cakes are a great option that can be stored on the shelf and ready in a matter of minutes. You can beat your mid-day hunger by making a delicious rice cake snack.
Rice cakes may be a common low calories snack, but there’s really no benefit to eating them if you don’t like them.