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Rice cakes, as the name suggests, are cakes made of rice. The snack item is made from puffed rice, pressed into a patty, and is often eaten in place of crackers and bread as rice cakes have low calories.
Although rice cakes may not be that popular in India right now, it is slowly finding their place in the healthy food aisle. Today, we will look at the benefits of rice cakes, their nutritional value and whether rice cakes are good for weight loss.
So, Are Rice Cakes Healthy? Does It Help With Weight Loss?
Nutritional Value Of Rice Cakes
A rice cake's nutritional information will vary depending on the type that you purchase. Several flavours of rice cakes are available, including chocolate, white cheddar, apple cinnamon, and caramel corn, all of which contain additional ingredients high in sugar or sodium. However, several nutritionists recommend plain brown rice cakes because they are whole grain and contain no added ingredients .
Rice cakes are low in calories and sodium and contain good nutrients. In addition, they contain 14 grams of carbohydrates per two cakes, making them low-carb. Here is the nutritional value of rice cakes .
Amount (2 rice cakes)
- 70 calories
- 1.5g protein
- 0.6g fat
- 14.4g carbohydrates
- 0.5g fibre
- 45mg sodium
- 53mg potassium
- 25mg magnesium
- 67mg phosphorus
What Are The Benefits Of Rice Cakes?
1. Low in calories
The calories in one rice cake (9 grams) are predominantly carbohydrate-based. Rice cakes are often eaten instead of bread or crackers, which can be higher in calories. Although it may feel like you are eating more because the rice cakes contain air, on the other hand, you will need to eat a reasonable portion size to save calories .
2. Contain whole grains
Whole grain brown rice can be used to make rice cakes. The consumption of whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. In addition, whole grains, such as brown rice, have been found to reduce the risk of death from all causes in people who consume the most of them .
To ensure you purchase a rice cake containing whole grains, look for the label whole grain brown rice.
3. Contain antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances found in food that protect healthy cells from DNA damage.For example, according to studies, brown rice contains phenolic compounds, antioxidants also found in tea and citrus fruits. These compounds protect cells from damage linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease .
4. May help regulate blood sugar
According to research, whole grains, including brown rice, can control post-meal blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and may even prevent type II diabetes. According to the CDC, whole grains contain high amounts of fibre, which the body cannot digest and absorb for energy. As a result, these carbs do not spike blood sugar levels like refined carbohydrates.
As an added benefit, fibre from whole grains feeds the good bacteria in our gut, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which have been linked to the prevention of diabetes and obesity .
5. May help manage weight
You can maintain a healthy weight by replacing high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods with rice cakes. Rice cakes are an excellent substitute for bread when starting a weight loss program. Due to their lack of fat and calories, rice cakes are generally considered to be a safe diet food. In addition, there is little or no saturated fat .
6. Easily digestible
Because rice is a low FODMAP food, it is easy to digest . This is also true for plain brown rice cakes. However, FODMAPs are poorly absorbed carbohydrates during digestion, which can cause bloating, pain, cramps, and gas for some people. In addition, since brown rice is naturally gluten-free, rice cakes made from brown rice are a great option for people who suffer from celiac disease and are sensitive to gluten .
Are Rice Cakes Good For Weigh Loss?
Since rice cakes do not contain a significant amount of fibre, they digest rapidly. Therefore, a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels following rice consumption may lead to weight gain. The only problem is that rice cakes don't give you a feeling of satiety if you eat just one or two. This is because many flavoured rice cakes have added sugars, salt, calories, and artificial ingredients.
Rice cakes made with brown, or whole-grain rice will be more filling. Carbs make people hungry, so combine rice cakes with ham, low-fat cream cheese, smoked salmon, or peanut butter. How you eat rice cakes affects their nutritional value .
Rice cakes may make you gain weight. It's especially true if you eat a lot of them at once and top them with unhealthy stuff.
So, are rice cakes good for weight loss? Yes and no. Despite rice cakes' low-calorie count, they're not the best weight-loss food because you can keep eating them - which won't help you lose weight. However, when eaten in moderation, rice cakes can help you lose weight and be a healthy addition to the weight loss diet .
What Are The Negative Effects Of Eating Rice Cakes?
Rice cakes can raise your blood sugar, especially if you eat them in large portions or if they're sweet-flavoured. It's mostly carbs with very little protein and fibre to slow the blood sugar spike. People with diabetes should avoid rice cakes .
Combining them with protein, like meat, cheese, hummus, or nut butter, and fibre, like fruits or veggies, will help you control your blood sugar levels . However, it may not be the best option for a snack if you choose them only because they are low in calories.
On A Final Note…
Although rice cakes are lower in calories than bread, they are also lower in fibre and other important nutrients. While plain, whole grain brown rice may be slightly healthier, this gluten-free food still spikes blood sugar. Pair rice cakes with protein and fibre to balance this effect.
Rice cakes are a common low-calorie snack, but if you don't like them, there's no point in eating them just because it is termed a 'healthy snack.'
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