Rice noodles are a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine.
Mainly made from rice flour and water, some products also contain cornstarch and tapioca to improve the texture and appearance of the noodles.
You can buy these gluten-free noodles fresh, frozen, or dried. Still, you might be wondering if they are healthy and how they compare to other types of noodles.
This article reviews the nutrients and health benefits of rice noodles – and also provides cooking instructions and recipe ideas.
The nutrients in rice noodles can vary slightly, but generally each serving contains moderate amounts of protein and carbohydrates while being low in fat and fiber. It is quite high in the mineral selenium, providing 14% of the Daily Value (DV).
One cup (176 grams) of cooked rice noodles contains (
- calories: 190
- Protein: 3.2 grams
- Big: 0.4 grams
- Crabs: 42.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.8 grams
- Sodium: 33.4mg
- Thiamine: 3% of DV
- Selenium: 14% of DV
- Niacin: 1% of DV
- Copper: 7% of DV
- The iron: 1% of DV
- Zinc: 4% of DV
- Phosphorus: 3% of DV
- Manganese: 9% of DV
Nutritionally, you’ll need about 2 ounces (57 grams) of dried rice noodles to equal 1 cup (176 grams) of cooked noodles (
How many calories are there in rice noodles?
Just 1 cup (176 grams) of cooked rice noodles provides 190 calories, which is comparable to a similar serving of white rice (
Therefore, they are quite moderate in terms of calories.
If you are looking for a lower calorie option, you can try shirataki noodles or vegetarian noodles made with zucchini or yellow squash.
Rice noodles provide moderate amounts of calories and carbohydrates. They are low in fiber but offer several micronutrients, such as selenium, manganese, copper and phosphorus.
Rice noodles may be associated with several health benefits.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that triggers an immune response in people with these conditions, leading to intestinal damage and symptoms such as cramping, bloating, and diarrhea (
Rice flour products like rice noodles are very similar in taste and texture to wheat products, so they’re easy to substitute if you’re on a gluten-free diet – the recommended diet for women. people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (
Still, it may be a good idea to check your rice noodles for a gluten-free label, as they could be contaminated with gluten.
Low in sodium
Rice noodles are naturally low in sodium.
The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium — or about 1 teaspoon of salt — per day (
Although rice noodles themselves are low in sodium, you need to watch popular salty ingredients like soy sauce carefully to reduce your overall sodium intake.
A good source of selenium
The amount of selenium in food depends on the region of origin and the amount of this mineral in the soil where the crop grew (
Still, 1 cup (176 grams) of cooked rice noodles provides about 14% of the DV for this nutrient (
May be fortified with vitamin A
Vitamin A supports immune health, vision and eye health, as well as DNA and cell renewal (
However, many people in areas where rice is the main staple are lacking in this vitamin (
One study showed that fortifying rice flour with vitamin A produced a serving of rice noodles with almost 25% of the DV for vitamin A (
Rice noodles are low in sodium, gluten free and a good source of selenium. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates for those following a gluten-free diet.
Rice noodles are perfectly healthy and a great addition to your diet.
Yet they contain less fiber than other noodles, such as whole wheat noodles or spaghetti squash noodles.
For example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) — a common bowel disorder characterized by abdominal cramps and bloating — is linked to insufficient fiber intake (
As such, it’s important to pair rice noodles with fiber-rich foods, such as bok choy or carrots.
Rice noodles are relatively low in fiber, which is important for gut health, digestion, and blood sugar management.
Rice noodles generally contain less protein, fiber, sodium, selenium, and niacin than wheat-based noodles. They have a similar number of carbs.
Notably, rice noodles contain fewer calories and much less fat than wheat noodles.
Compared to spaghetti squash noodles, rice noodles offer similar amounts of fiber and fat, but significantly more calories and carbohydrates.
Rice noodles contain less fat and slightly fewer calories than wheat-based noodles, but they are significantly lower in selenium and niacin. They contain many more calories than noodles made from spaghetti squash.
Unlike traditional pastas and noodles, rice noodles are often soaked in plain water before being added to stir fries, soups and other dishes.
Boiling them can make them too soft and mushy to enjoy.
Soaking times vary by type. For example, vermicelli – the thinnest rice noodles – should soak for 3-5 minutes, while pad Thai noodles, which are wider, may need to soak for 30-45 minutes.
After draining the noodles, they are ready to eat. You don’t need to cook them any further, although some recipes may call for quick cooking in a skillet.
Check the packaging for specific soaking instructions.
Here are some rice noodle dishes:
- Sawin. This vermicelli and milk dessert is a traditional Muslim dish prepared in Trinidad and Tobago to mark the end of Ramadan. Rather than being soaked, the rice noodles in this dish are seared and cooked in water and milk.
- Beef Phở. This Vietnamese soup is made with flat rice noodles, broth and thinly sliced beef.
- Vegetarian Pad Thai. To give this popular Thai street food a vegetarian twist, use soy sauce in place of fish sauce, tofu in place of meat, and peanuts for extra crunch.
Rice noodles are not boiled like traditional pasta, but rather soaked and drained. Depending on the dish, you can also cook the noodles. Popular rice noodle dishes include phở, sawine, and pad thai.
Rice noodles are low-sodium, gluten-free noodles that are easy to prepare and popular in many dishes around the world, including various stir-fries and soups.
In particular, they are suitable for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Rice noodles are low in fat and moderate in calories, making them a healthy option. Try pairing them with fiber-rich vegetables and savory sauces, although you may want to limit your use of high-sodium supplements like soy sauce.