Those watching their calorie and carb intake will appreciate rice cakes as a snack option. Why? Considering that a rice cake is essentially a patty made of puffed rice.
But I’m wondering if those crunchy snacks are healthy. Learn more about the pros and cons of rice cakes and how to incorporate them into a healthy diet with this quick and easy guide.
Vitamins and Minerals Found in Rice Cakes
The nutritional value of rice cakes varies widely by brand. Rice cakes, for instance, come in many different flavours, including chocolate, white cheddar, apple cinnamon, and caramel corn. These flavours have been artificially enhanced by the addition of sugar and/or salt. Even so, you can still find whole-grain, ingredient-free brown rice cakes at many supermarkets. One tiny, unsweetened brown rice cake (roughly nine grammes) has the following nutrients, according to the USDA:
- Energy: 34.8
- There are 2.3 milligrammes of sodium in this dish.
- 0.3% Fat Content (g)
- Weight: 1.7 g
- 7.3 g of carbohydrates
- 0 g of sugar
- A mere 0.4 grammes of fibre
- Vitamins and minerals: manganese 17% DV (DV)
- Niacin: 4% DV
- Vitamin D: 0% DV
- Iron: 4% DV
- Manganese is a particularly notable mineral in rice cakes.
When present in adequate amounts, manganese aids in immune system health, collagen production, and bone health. Niacin, a type of B vitamin, can be found in rice cakes in very low concentrations. Niacin aids in the process of transforming nutrients from food into energy. Magnesium and zinc are just two of the other minerals that can be found in very small amounts in rice cakes.
Checking the nutrition label of the rice cakes you buy is important because different brands have different serving sizes. The weight of one brown rice cake with a light sprinkle of salt may be around 18.5 grammes. Also, it has about the same amount of calories and nutrients as a regular slice of bread.
Possible Positive Effects of Eating Rice Cakes on Health
When asked if rice cakes are healthy, the best response is always “it depends,” given the wide range of ingredients and serving sizes available. High-sugar, high-sodium, and artificial flavoring-laden flavoured rice cakes should be avoided. Also, white rice dishes are to be avoided. Refined grains like white rice lack beneficial nutrients like fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To the contrary, rice cakes made from puffed brown rice have been shown to have positive health effects.
Antioxidants are substances found in food that stop free radicals from harming healthy cells. As well as increasing the likelihood of developing chronic diseases, free radicals also hasten the ageing process. Brown rice, like tea and citrus fruits, contains phenolic compounds, a type of antioxidant, according to a review published in the journal Antioxidants in 2018. Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease are all associated with cellular damage, but phenolic compounds 4 prevent this damage.
Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes Care reported in 2020 that whole grains like brown rice may help regulate post-meal blood sugar levels in diabetics. If so, why? There’s a lot of healthy fibre in whole grains. Fiber is not digestible and therefore cannot be used as a source of fuel by the body. In contrast to their refined counterparts, foods high in fibre do not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Also, the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tracts, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, thrive on the fibre found in whole grains. Prevention of diabetes and obesity may be facilitated by certain beneficial bacteria.
Management of Body Fat
Substituting rice cakes for other high-calorie and carbohydrate foods can aid in weight maintenance. You can cut 130 calories and 21 grammes of carbs by replacing one plain bagel with two organic brown rice cakes. Switching to the alternative diet just three times per week could help you lose nearly six pounds in a year.
Very Simple To Understand
As a low-FODMAP food, rice (and rice products like plain brown rice cakes) are simple to digest. The acronym FODMAP refers to the sugars fermentable oligo-, disaccharides-, mono-, and polyols. FODMAPs have a low rate of absorption in the digestive tract. And according to a study published in 2017 in the journal Nutrients, some people may experience bloating, pain, cramps, and gas after consuming FODMAPS. Brown rice is gluten-free by nature, making plain brown rice cakes a great option for those with food sensitivities or allergies.