Rice cakes may have both positive and negative health effects.
Some Contain Whole Grains
Rice cakes are often made using whole-grain brown rice.
A diet high in whole grains has been proven to lower your risk of chronic diseases.
A large study in over 360,000 people found that those who consumed the most whole grains — such as brown rice — had a 17% lower risk of death from all causes, compared to those who ate the fewest whole grains (5).
Additionally, whole-grain consumption has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity (6).
However, not all rice cakes on the market use whole grains, so look for “whole-grain brown rice” on the label to ensure that you are buying the correct one.
Most Are Gluten-Free
Rice cakes made solely from rice are gluten-free.
Some varieties incorporate barley, kamut or other gluten-containing grains, so be sure to read the label carefully if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
Additionally, rice cakes are widely available, which makes them a convenient gluten-free option away from home. If you find yourself somewhere where your favorite gluten-free products are unavailable, rice cakes are found in all mainstream grocery stores.
May Raise Blood Sugar
Rice cakes may raise your blood sugar.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar levels. Puffed rice cakes have a GI score of more than 70 — which is considered high-glycemic (7).
While some reports claim that rice cakes may have a GI score as high as 91, no scientific publications support this number.
Regardless, they’re mostly carbs with very little protein and fiber to slow the effect of these carbs on your blood sugar.
Eating rice cakes by themselves is likely to spike your blood sugar and insulin. To blunt their effect on your blood sugar, combine them with protein, such as meat, cheese, hummus or nut butter, and add fiber in the form of fruits or veggies.
This content was originally published here.