Are Rice Cakes Healthy?

POSTED BY Sarah Nutritionist from Canada | Sep, 24, 2019 |

Rice cakes were big during the 80s and 90s as the new trend diet food. Even today, these rice cakes remain popular among adults and kids as a healthy snack option and come in a variety of low-calorie flavors. 

But are rice cakes really nutritious?

Rice cakes as a healthy snack remain questionable because they are not particularly nutrient dense. Moreover, even if they are low-calorie (35–60 kilocalories, depending on flavor). They contain about 11 grams of carbohydrate per rice cake and they don’t offer a lot of vitamins and minerals. Even if rice cakes are quickly digested, they are converted into sugar by the body, which can increase blood glucose levels.  High glycemic foods may benefit muscle recovery post workout or provide energy for endurance runners, but are not the best choice for an individual diagnosed with diabetes.

However, they could be a good snack when paired with a piece of fruit or some healthy toppings. They also offer a gluten-free option for individuals with gluten sensitivities.

Most of the rice cakes contain sugar, additives, and preservatives. They can be sprayed with a variety of flavors and sweeteners including strawberry, chocolate, caramel, cheese, salsa, and salt only. More additives increase the calories and sugar content of the product. 

In order to boost the nutrient value of rice cakes, opt for rice cakes made of brown rice or consider adding healthy toppings (cottage cheese, avocado, peanut butter, hummus, boiled eggs, pesto, fresh mozzarella, salmon, etc).