Snacking on a rice cake certainly won't add many calories to your diet, but they don't give you much good-for-you nutrition, either.
You won't get a lot of vitamins, minerals or even fiber from the crunchy patty. Because they are ultra-low in calories, though, rice cakes make a healthy alternative to chips if you're looking for something to enjoy with your favorite dip recipe.
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Quaker Rice Cakes ($17 per 6-pack on Amazon.com) — the ones that feature that smiling man in a cap on the packaging — are probably the most well-known brand of rice cakes available.
Puffed and baked crunchy circles of whole-grain, gluten-free brown rice made with 100 percent natural whole grains, Quaker Rice Cakes come in a variety of flavors. Most rice cakes are free from oils, additives and binding ingredients unless they are flavored.
Rice Cakes Nutritional Information
One whole-grain rice cake is considered one serving, which is about 9 grams. Here's the full Quaker rice cakes nutrition information:
- Calories: 35
- Total fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 15 mg
- Total carbohydrates: 7 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Total sugars: 0 g
- Protein: <1 g
None of the Quaker Rice Cake varieties has a significant amount of vitamins or minerals.
Rice Cake Calories
A single serving of Quaker Rice Cakes contains 35 calories, per the product website. If you're making a sandwich with two cakes, that's a total of 70 calories.
A Note on Flavored Rice Cakes
While the nutrition of a standard rice cake is pretty innocuous, the numbers change when it comes to flavored rice cakes. Quaker Rice Cakes come in many flavors, including Chocolate, White Cheddar, Apple Cinnamon and more.
One Apple Cinnamon rice cake, for example, contains 20 more calories (50 calories total) and 4 more grams of carbohydrates (11 grams total) than the lightly salted variety. It also contains 3 grams of added sugar.
Carbs in Quaker Rice Cakes
One Quaker Rice Cake in the lightly salted variety contains just 7 grams of carbs. But, flavored varieties with more sugar will inherently have more carbs, too.
Rice Cake Glycemic Rating
Your crispy snack may curb your appetite momentarily, but it isn't likely to keep you full for long. Rice cakes are high on the glycemic index, with an average rating of 82.
Foods high on the scale, with a glycemic index of 70 or above, tend to race through your digestive tract quickly, per Harvard Health Publishing.
High-glycemic foods have been shown to make your blood sugar peak rapidly and then drop right back down. This can affect your metabolism and thus your appetite, leaving you unsatisfied.
Rice Cake Ingredients
Ingredients include whole-grain brown rice and salt. Quaker lightly salted rice cakes are gluten-free and provide 9 grams of whole grains.
As previously mentioned, the ingredients list starts to change when a flavor is introduced to the product. The Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cake, for example, has sugar, fructose, maltodextrin, natural flavor, cinnamon and soy lecithin.
Rice cakes may contain traces of peanuts and several do have soy ingredients, which may be a concern to individuals with food allergies.