Rice Noodles Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

rice noodles

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The alternatives to wheat-based pasta are endless. You can replace conventional pasta with noodles made from lentils, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, and now rice. 

Rice noodles are a nice alternative to traditional pastas, as they have a mild flavor and a texture slightly different from wheat pasta. While the nutrient profile only varies a little from durum wheat pasta, rice noodles may be a good way to switch up your usual routine.

Like gluten-free pastas, rice noodles are not made with semolina wheat. They are made with rice flour instead and are commonly used in Asian-style cooking. The different types of rice, such as brown rice and white rice, can be used to make rice noodles. The ingredients are typically very simple—rice flour, water, and tapioca starch for texture. 

Rice Noodles Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for 1 cup (175g) of cooked rice noodles, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 187 
  • Fat: 0.4g 
  • Carbohydrates: 41.8g 
  • Protein: 3.1g 
  • Fiber: 1.75g 
  • Sugar: 0.05g 
  • Sodium: 438mg 

Carbs

Regular spaghetti noodles are made with semolina, which comes from durum wheat. Like traditional pasta, rice noodles are a good source of complex carbohydrates, with 41.8g of carbs per serving. If you follow a low-carb diet or track your carb intake, pay attention to your portion sizes when enjoying rice noodle dishes.

A small portion of the carbohydrates in rice noodles is fiber with 1.75g per serving. This is lower than the fiber found in unprocessed brown rice and regular pasta, so it is not a significant source of fiber.

Fats

Like all pasta and noodles, on their own, rice noodles are a low-fat food with less than 1g of fat per serving. The fat content in rice noodle dishes may vary depending on the other ingredients, sauces, and toppings. Serving rice noodles with foods high in fat, such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, fish, and eggs, will increase the amount of total fat in the meal.

Protein in Rice Noodles

Rice noodles have 3.1g protein per serving. They are not a significant source of protein, but can be paired with other protein sources, such as meat, fish, or tofu, to create a high-protein meal.

Vitamins and Minerals

Rice noodles are not a significant source of micronutrients. They contain small amounts of:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

Health Benefits

Rice noodles are considered an alternative to regular pasta noodles, though they are not a health-promoting food. Still, rice noodles can be a healthful addition to a well-balanced diet and make for a great gluten-free pasta alternative.

Supports Energy Levels

Since rice noodles are predominantly made of carbohydrate calories, they are beneficial for increasing and sustaining energy levels. 

Suitable Gluten-Free Alternative

Rice noodles are especially beneficial for people who follow a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should read rice noodle packaging carefully to ensure it is free of gluten contamination before consuming. Rice noodles are also suitable for vegan, vegetarian, low-fat, and low-calorie diets. 

Allergies

Contrary to traditional pasta noodles, rice noodles are inherently gluten-free. This is because the main ingredient is rice flour. However, other ingredients may be added that are not gluten-free. People with severe gluten intolerance should ensure that no cross contamination has occurred. 

Rice noodles are also free of other common allergens, including dairy, soy, eggs, fish, nuts, and wheat. Like gluten, if you have severe dietary allergies, check the label to see if cross contamination may have occurred during processing or if a rice noodle product contains added allergens.

Varieties

Like legume-based noodles, which can be made from chickpeas, black beans, lentils, and other legumes, rice noodles can be made from either brown or white rice.

Storage and Food Safety

Rice noodles are stored like regular noodles. Keep them in a cool dry place like the pantry. They come in vacuum-sealed packaging or boxes, so they do not need to be refrigerated until they are cooked.

How to Prepare

Rice noodles are commonly used in Asian-style stir fry dishes and Italian-style pasta dishes. You cook them by boiling them in water. This also rehydrates them. Once they are cooked, you can use them like you would regular pasta noodles.

These can be used as a substitution for other types of noodles, including wheat noodles, egg noodles, and ramen noodles. If a recipe calls for any type of noodle, you can use rice noodles instead to change up the texture and flavor of your dish.

Recipes

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  1. USDA FoodData Central. Rice Noodles, cooked. Published October 30, 2020.