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Are Rice Cakes a Healthy Snack According to Nutritionists?

Rice cakes are a widely popular snack that has now become a pantry staple. These cakes are made from rice, as suggested by the name, that has been shaped, condensed or otherwise combined into a single object, a wide variety of rice cakes exist in many different cultures in which rice is commonly eaten and the cake includes common variations, such as using rice flour, ground rice or whole grains of rice as the main ingredient of the dish. 

This disk-shaped puffed product is often eaten as a low-calorie substitute for bread and crackers. Other minor ingredients include sesame seed, millet and salt. 

Ready made / Pexels | The first rice cakes were developed in Southeast Asia where rice has been grown for nearly 5,000 years

Nutritional value of rice cakes

One plain brown rice cake consists of: 

  • 35 calories
  • 7.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 0.7 grams protein
  • 0.4 grams fiber
  • 0.3 milligrams manganese
  • 0.7 milligrams of niacin
  • 32.4 milligrams phosphorus
  • 11.8 milligrams magnesium
  • 2.2 micrograms selenium

Marco Verch Professional Photographer/ Flickr | The rice cake called mochi was a sweet confection eaten by the nobility during the Nara Period from 710-794 A.D

Health benefits of rice cakes

Rice cakes were considered a trendy diet food in the 80s and 90s. It still remains popular among adults and kids as an easy nutritious snack option. Many health-conscious people routinely use rice cakes in place of other high-calorie options such as bread, cookies, chips, and crackers. 

Glucose regulation

Rice cakes made with brown rice have been proven to regulate blood glucose levels. Every food has a glycemic index rating that tells the consumer about its effect on the blood sugar levels of their body. However, if you are concerned about your health then it is necessary to be mindful about the amount of quantity you are keen to incorporate through rice cakes into your daily diet as they are high on glycemic index food. 

High glycemic index foods benefit muscle recovery post-workout and provide quick energy supplements for athletes. These cakes are not an ideal choice for people struggling with diabetes or those avoiding sugar. The index rating range for glycemic in rice cakes typically ranges from70 to90, depending on the brands and types of ingredients used. 

Quang Nguyen Vinh/ Pexels | You can buy many varieties of rice cakes, so they can be fairly versatile snacks

Source of energy

Rice cakes are best suited for people who are on a diet. These snacks are very low in calories and contain little to no percentage of sodium and fat. Every 100 grams of rice flour has enough energy content for the body’s requirements, which is approximately around 300 calories with 80 grams of carbohydrates. In addition, in the nutritional content of rice flour, there are compounds of niacin and thiamine that serve as an energy source that helps the metabolism to turn food into fuel. 

Keeps your immune system healthy

The base ingredient of rice cake is sticky rice flour that offers manganese content that is beneficial for health because it helps to keep the body’s metabolic system healthy. The same ingredient is also a good source of prebiotics for the body that serve as food for the healthy bacteria that are necessary to support the immune system. Furthermore, the zinc content in sticky rice has about 0,7 mg or 9% of the daily recommended zinc requirement, which helps to keep the consumer’s immune system strong throughout the year.

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