June 19, 2024

Are rice cakes healthy? This question might have crossed your mind while enjoying this popular breakfast and snack.

There’s a lot of confusion regarding the nutritional value of rice, as it’s a high-carb grain. Carbs are known to cause weight gain due to insulin spikes. Grains are also high-calorie foods and can cause weight gain.

In this article, we will analyze the nutrients present in rice cakes and bring you an easy and simple low calorie recipe to make rice cakes healthy.


Are rice cakes good for you?

Rice cakes do not differ from plain rice in their nutritional content, as they do not contain any other ingredients, but they’re considered good for you.

One plain rice cake (approximately nine grams) made from brown rice provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 35 kcal
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Niacin: 4% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Pantothenic acid: 2% of the DV
  • Manganese: 15% of the DV
  • Copper: 4% of the DV
  • Selenium: 4% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 3% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 3% of the DV
  • Zinc: 2% of the DV

it can be observed from the table above that rice cakes only provide carbs in significant amounts, while other micronutrients are mostly contributed by the rice bran.

White rice contains almost no significant amounts of vitamins or minerals. However, the carb content makes rice cakes healthy for people who want to gain weight.


Are brown rice cakes healthy?

The fiber content makes brown rice cakes healthy. (Image via Unsplash/David Gabrielyan)
The fiber content makes brown rice cakes healthy. (Image via Unsplash/David Gabrielyan)

The fiber content of brown rice cakes can help with weight loss by reducing the insulin spike that triggers fat gain. However, substituting white rice with brown rice might not be significant in most cases. In fact, the amount of carbs is the same for both white rice and brown rice.

However, it has been observed that people who consumed whole grains showed a steady weight loss compared to people who consumed refined grains. That could be due to the fact that dietary fiber present in brown rice slows down the absorption of glucose in the intestine, aiding in weight loss indirectly. The fiber content in rice bran makes brown rice cakes healthy.


Are rice cakes gluten-free?

Rice is one of the most popular gluten-free grains for people who suffer from gluten sensitivity or gluten allergies. Rice flour is a popular gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

All types of rice are gluten-free. That also includes white rice, Basmati rice, Asian sticky rice, wild rice and rice flour. Rice is a safer option for people with celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Rice flour can be used to prepare gluten-free packaged foods. The gluten-free nature of rice makes rice cakes healthy. Rice cakes are completely safe for gluten-sensitive people to consume as long as they do not contain any gluten-containing topping.

Gluten is a naturally occurring plant protein present in certain cereals, including wheat, rye and barley. This protein causes flaring and irritation in the gut. Gluten can also trigger allergic reactions, including wheezing, rashes and breathing issues in some people. Gluten-free foods are recommended for people with such sensitivities.


Recipe for low-calorie rice cakes

Low-calorie toppings can make rice cakes healthy, (Image via Unsplash/Total Shape)
Low-calorie toppings can make rice cakes healthy, (Image via Unsplash/Total Shape)

Rice cakes are high-carb foods that can cause weight gain. However, you can decrease the calorific value by modifying the recipes and substituting the toppings with low-calorie or low-carb options.

Keto rice substitute products can be used in a low-carb diet to make rice cakes healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1 rice cake
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter, unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips, low-carb

Rice cake toppings

  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • 2 strawberries sliced
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds

Instructions:

  • Take the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds each time, stirring in between till the chocolate melts.
  • Spread the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over the rice cake.
  • Add the toppings, and serve.

Sugar-free dark chocolate and all-natural peanut butter make rice cakes healthy. You can also use artificial sweeteners to make them healthier.


Indranil Biswas is a nutritionist and personal trainer with a diploma in dietetics and personal training with a specialization in sports nutrition and strength training.


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