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Are rice cakes keto? Best low Carb friendly alternatives

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Hello, fellow food and healthy living enthusiasts! Today we're going to delve into an intriguing question that's been gaining traction lately: "Are rice cakes keto?" Let's unwrap the mystery surrounding this classic Korean staple, and its standing in the realm of the ketogenic or keto diet.

Are rice cakes keto? three rice cakes on a plate surrounded by fruit.

Rice cakes have long been a staple of the Korean diet and have gained popularity worldwide. The fact that there are different types of rice cakes, such as brown and white rice variants, and a variety of flavors available, makes this rice snack quite appealing. The simple, unassuming rice cake has been a part of many people's diet for a long time, with popular brands like Kim’s Magic Pop and Good Reason offering a delightful range of options.

The Keto Conundrum: are rice cakes keto?

The keyword here is "keto," and for those not familiar, the keto diet involves a low carb count, moderate protein, and a high concentration of healthy fats. It's often used for weight loss and management of certain health conditions like heart disease. However, as wonderful as rice cakes may sound, they don't fit well within a strict ketogenic diet. The main reason? The dreaded carbs.

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Most rice cakes are made from rice flour, which is high in carbohydrates. The carb content varies with the type of rice cake, but generally, a single rice cake contains a significant amount of carbs. The majority of these carbs are from simple sugars, making them a less-than-ideal choice for a low-carb diet as they can quickly elevate blood sugar levels.

If we consider the nutritional value, it's clear that while rice cakes might be a low cal or lower calorie alternative, they're not a significant source of protein or dietary fiber. And when it comes to a low carb diet or keto lifestyle, the grams of net carbs, not just the total carbs, are what you should watch out for. The sad truth is, whether it's an original rice cake, a sweet-flavored caramel rice cake, or a delicious Korean snack like Chai Jian or Si Nan, rice cakes are not keto-friendly due to their high net carbohydrate content.

Making the Right Choice: Keto Snack Replacements

The good news, however, is that there are plenty better options of low-carb substitutes that are just as satisfying and much more aligned with your keto lifestyle. In place of your regular rice snack, you might consider nut butters spread on slices of cucumber for a crunchy, satisfying snack. Hard-boiled eggs are also a fantastic choice, offering a great way to get a boost of protein.

Another good option would be to satisfy those strongest cravings for something crunchy with a tasteful addition of cheese crisps. These are widely available in grocery stores across the United States, including online marketplaces, and come in fewer carbs than any rice products, including rice crackers.

25 keto-friendly snacks to eat instead of rice cakes:

SnackServing SizeCarbohydrates (g)
Hard-boiled eggs10
Almonds1 ounce1.5
Walnuts1 ounce2.5
Macadamia nuts1 ounce2.4
Brazil nuts1 ounce4.3
Pecans1 ounce1.9
Cheese1 ounce0.5
Avocado1/2 avocado2.4
Celery sticks with peanut butter1 stalk, 2 tablespoons peanut butter4.5
Pork rinds1 ounce0.5
Keto-friendly protein bars1 bar3-5
Keto-friendly beef jerky1 ounce0
Keto-friendly salami1 ounce0
Keto-friendly sausage1 ounce0
Keto-friendly cheese crisps1 ounce1
Keto-friendly popcorn1 ounce1
Keto-friendly nuts and seeds mix1 ounce2
Keto-friendly trail mix1 ounce2
Keto-friendly beef sticks1 ounce0
Keto-friendly tuna salad1/2 cup1
Keto-friendly chicken salad1/2 cup1
Keto-friendly egg salad1/2 cup0
Keto-friendly deviled eggs2 eggs0
Keto-friendly guacamole1/4 avocado2
Keto-friendly salsa2 tablespoons0
Keto-friendly hummus2 tablespoons1
Keto-friendly ranch dressing2 tablespoons1
Keto-friendly blue cheese dressing2 tablespoons1


What is a good replacement for rice cakes in the keto diet?Healthy fats like avocado, cream cheese, sour cream, or peanut butter are good options. You can also explore keto-friendly alternatives like cauliflower rice.

Are brown rice cakes better than white rice cakes?While brown rice is generally healthier than white rice due to the power of whole grains and more fiber, brown rice cakes still have too many grams of net carbohydrates to be considered keto-friendly.

Are there any keto-friendly rice cake brands?As of my last update, there are no mainstream rice cake brands that can be considered keto-friendly. Always check the nutrition facts for net carb content.

Can rice cakes be part of a healthy diet?Yes, absolutely! They can be a part of a balanced, healthy diet, but they don't fit within the strict guidelines of a ketogenic diet.

Are rice cakes keto: Key Takeaways

  1. While rice cakes are a popular choice for a healthy snack, they are not suitable for a keto diet due to their high carbohydrate content.
  2. The carb content of rice cakes can quickly add up and exceed your daily carb intake limits on a ketogenic diet.
  3. There are numerous low-carb, keto-friendly snack alternatives to rice cakes, including nut butters, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese crisps.
  4. While brown rice cakes may have more nutritional value than white rice cakes, they still contain too many net carbs to be keto-friendly.
  5. Always check the nutritional information of any food item to ensure it fits within your diet plan, be it for healthy living, weight loss, or a specific dietary lifestyle like keto.

Keto Snack Replacements Chart

Original SnackKeto-Friendly Replacement
Rice CakesNut Butters with Cucumber Slices
Puffed RiceCheese Crisps
Rice CrackersAvocado Slices
Caramel Rice CakesDark Chocolate (70% Cocoa or Higher)

The keto lifestyle may seem restrictive at times, but the plethora of available low-carb foods makes it a viable and beneficial option for many. While the simple rice cake may not be a perfect bread replacement in the world of keto, the diet still provides a whole lot of other options to ensure you won't miss them for long.

I hope this post has provided you with valuable insights and answered your burning question: are rice cakes keto-friendly? Remember, staying informed is the most ideal choice you can make on your health journey. Keep up the great work, and as always, happy healthy living!

P.S. If you're uncertain about how much of what to eat on your keto journey, use a Keto Macros Calculator to keep track of your intake. It can be an excellent tool to maintain your healthy weight and manage your diet better.

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