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What Are the Health Benefits of Rice Noodles?

by
author image Marie Dannie
Marie Dannie has been a professional journalist since 1991, specializing in nutrition and health topics. She has written for "Woman’s Own," the "Daily Mail," the "Daily Mirror" and the "Telegraph." She is a registered nutritionist and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in food science from the University of Nottingham.
What Are the Health Benefits of Rice Noodles?
Tofu stir fry on a bed of rice noodles. Photo Credit VeselovaElena/iStock/Getty Images

Made from white rice flour, rice noodles are most commonly sold dried, although you can often find fresh ones in Asian grocery stores. Versatile, rice noodles can be stir-fried, used in soups, or even deep-fried to make a garnish; the noodles will puff up and become very crispy when deep-fried. More delicate in texture and flavor than wheat-based noodles such as pasta, rice noodles are a low-fat, gluten-free food.

Macronutrient, Calorie and Sodium Content

A 2-ounce serving of dried rice noodles has 207 calories per serving. This size serving also contains 3.4 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, almost 46 grams of carbohydrates and negligible amounts of sugar. However, it does have over 100 milligrams of sodium per serving. Rice noodles are most commonly served with other ingredients, which, along with the cooking method, will affect the calorie, fat, protein, carbohydrate and sodium content of the final noodle dish.

A Low-Fat Carb Choice

A 2-ounce serving of rice noodles contains only 0.3 grams of fat. As a naturally low-fat carbohydrate, rice noodles can provide a filling base for a meal without the worry of lots of fat. However, the cooking method can greatly increase the fat content. For example, using rice noodles in a stir-fry dish such as Pad Thai can raise the fat content significantly. To keep the amount of fat low, use your rice noodles in soups or steamed with fresh veggies to reduce the amount of added fat required.

A Gluten-Free Noodle Choice

A product of white rice flour, rice noodles are naturally gluten-free, making them a great choice if you suffer from celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity. According to Harvard Health Publications, over two million Americans may have celiac disease, although many of them don't know it. A gluten sensitivity can lead to gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, tiredness and difficulty concentrating when gluten is consumed. In extreme cases, it can also lead to weight loss and poor nutrition.

Phosphorus in Rice Noodles

After calcium, phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in your body. Working closely together, these two minerals keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy. Phosphorus also assists in filtering out waste in your kidneys, and it helps your body store, process and use energy. The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for phosphorus is 700 milligrams for adults, including pregnant and breast-feeding women. A 2-ounce serving of rice noodles has 87 milligrams of phosphorous, which provides over 12 percent of the RDA for all adults.

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