Rice cakes have become a popular snack food in recent years, touted as a healthier alternative to potato chips, crackers, and other processed snacks. But are rice cakes really a healthy choice? We’ll take a closer look at the nutrition facts, benefits, and potential drawbacks of rice cakes, and explore how they can fit into a balanced diet.
Whether you’re a rice cake aficionado or just curious about this crunchy snack, read on to learn everything you need to know about it and its impact on your health.
What are Rice Cakes?
Rice cakes are a type of snack food made from puffed rice grains that have been heated and compressed to form a flat, circular shape. They are typically very thin and crispy, with a light, airy texture that makes them easy to eat and digest. Rice cakes are available in a variety of flavours and sizes, ranging from plain and unsalted to flavoured varieties like cheese, barbecue, and sour cream and onion. They can be eaten on their own as a snack or used as a base for toppings like peanut butter, hummus, or avocado.
Rice cakes are often marketed as a healthy snack choice, due to their low calorie and fat content. They are also a popular option for people with dietary restrictions, as they are naturally gluten-free and can be made without dairy or other allergens. However, it’s important to note that not all rice cakes are created equal. Some varieties may contain added sugars, salt, or other ingredients that can negate their nutritional benefits. As with any snack food, it’s important to read the label and choose a variety that aligns with your dietary needs and preferences.
Rice Cakes Nutrition Facts and Calorie Count
It is important to note that the rice cakes nutrition facts given below are for 1 Brown Rice cake of approximately 10 grams. It offers around 35 rice calories per cake. Rice cakes do not contain any fat or fibre.
|Manganese||15% of the DV|
|Niacin||4% of the Daily Value (DV)|
|Pantothenic acid||2% of the DV|
|Copper||4% of the DV|
|Phosphorus||3% of the DV|
|Magnesium||3% of the DV|
|Selenium||4% of the DV|
|Zinc||2% of the DV|
Benefits of Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are super nourishing. Here are some benefits of eating rice cakes:
1. Low Calorie
Rice cakes are a low-calorie snack option, making them a great choice for people who are watching their calorie intake.
2. Low Fat
Rice cakes are low in fat, which can help promote heart health and prevent weight gain.
Rice cakes are naturally gluten-free, making them a safe and healthy choice for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Rice cakes can be used as a substitute for bread or crackers in various dishes, making them a great option for people who are looking for healthy alternatives to traditional baked goods.
While rice cakes are not particularly high in nutrients like protein and fiber, they do provide some carbohydrates and other important nutrients like iron and B vitamins.
Rice cakes are a convenient snack option that can be easily stored and taken on the go, making them a popular choice for busy people and athletes.
7. Low Sodium
Rice cakes are naturally low in sodium, which can help promote heart health and prevent high blood pressure.
Rice cakes come in a variety of flavours and can be topped with a variety of healthy and delicious ingredients, making them a tasty and satisfying snack option.
Cons of Eating Rice Cakes
Although a healthy cake, it does come with a downside. Here are a few aspects to consider:
1. Low in Nutrients
While rice cakes are low in calories and fat, they are also low in other important nutrients like protein, fibre, and vitamins and minerals.
2. May Contain Added Sugars or Sodium
Some rice cakes may contain added sugars or sodium to enhance their flavour, which can negate their nutritional benefits.
3. May Not be Filling
Rice cakes are a low-calorie snack option, which means they may not be very filling or satisfying for some people. This can lead to overeating or snacking on less healthy foods later on.
Are Rice Cakes Safe for Those with Diabetes?
Rice cakes can be a healthy cake, safe snack option for people with diabetes when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Here are some reasons why:
1. Low Glycemic Index: Rice cakes have a low glycemic index, which means they cause a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-glycemic foods like white bread or sugary snacks.
2. Low in Sugar: Plain rice cakes are low in sugar, making them a safe choice for people who need to manage their blood sugar levels.
3. Low in Fat: Rice cakes are also low in fat, which can help prevent weight gain and promote heart health.
4. Gluten-free: Rice cakes are naturally gluten-free, making them a safe and healthy option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
5. Versatile: Rice cakes can be topped with a variety of healthy and tasty toppings like nut butter, avocado, or hummus, making them a satisfying and nutritious snack option.
However, it’s important to keep nutrition facts in mind and remember that rice cakes are not particularly high in nutrients like protein or fibre. Therefore, they should not be relied on as a sole source of nutrition. It’s also important to choose plain or lightly salted varieties and avoid those that contain added sugars or other unhealthy ingredients.
Best Ways to Eat Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are a versatile and convenient snack that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some of the best ways to eat rice cakes:
1. Topped with Nut Butter: Spread a tablespoon of natural nut butter like almond or peanut butter on a rice cake for a satisfying and protein-rich snack.
2. With Avocado: Top a rice cake with sliced avocado, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil for a healthy and filling snack.
3. With Hummus: Spread a tablespoon of hummus on a rice cake and top with sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of za’atar or paprika for a tasty and nutritious snack.
4. With Cottage Cheese and Berries: Top a rice cake with a few spoonfuls of low-fat cottage cheese and a handful of fresh berries like strawberries or blueberries for a protein-rich and fibre-rich snack.
5. With Tuna Salad: Top a rice cake with a scoop of tuna salad made with Greek yoghurt or mashed avocado for a satisfying and protein-rich snack.
6. As a Substitute for Bread or Crackers: Use rice cakes as a base for open-faced sandwiches, mini pizzas, or bruschetta for a healthy and low-calorie alternative to traditional bread or crackers.
In conclusion, rice cakes are a healthy snack option when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. They are low in calories and fat, gluten-free, and have a low glycemic index – and so, they can be considered to be a safe and healthy choice for people with diabetes or gluten intolerance. However, as per nutrition facts they are also low in other important nutrients like protein and fibre. So they should not be relied on as a sole source of nutrition. It’s important to choose plain or lightly salted varieties and avoid those that contain added sugars or unhealthy ingredients.
Rice cakes can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as topped with nut butter, avocado, or hummus, or used as a substitute for bread or crackers. As with any food, moderation is key. Therefore, it’s important to incorporate a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet to ensure optimal health and wellbeing.