Is Rice Paper Healthy?

Rice paper rolls, popularly showcased in Vietnamese cuisine, are gaining popularity due to their low-calorie count. These summer rolls should definitely be a staple in every household pantry.
Priya Johnson Apr 25, 2019
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What Does Rice Paper Look Like

Sold under its Vietnamese name, bánh tráng, commercially-sold rice paper looks like circular sheets of dried tissue paper.

These super-thin sheets when quickly dipped into warm water soften and form a sheet pliable enough to roll. They are translucent enough to showcase the beautiful filling inside.

What Are They Made Of

Traditionally rice paper rolls are mostly made from rice flour, salt, and water. However, many manufacturers also use tapioca flour.

There are several variations of this product in the market. Checking the list of ingredients on the packaging will reveal what they’re made of.

How Are They Eaten

Rice paper is quickly dipped in water and then filled with a variety of vegetables or meats and then rolled neatly. It is also deep-fried to make crispy, crunchy summer rolls. Rice paper rolls are usually eaten with a dipping sauce.

Is Rice Paper Healthy?

Rice paper rolls or summer rolls are definitely a healthy food option, because one rice paper roll contains only approximately 30 calories per 8 inch sheet.

When filled with healthy vegetables and lean meat, they make a healthy, low-calorie meal.

Oil and Fat-free

Sold in the form of dried sheets, rice paper once hydrated in warm water are pliable to roll. They are ready to eat and don’t need further cooking. They don’t require oil to cook them. Free from oil and butter, they are low in fat.

Gluten-free and Vegan

Rice paper is made from rice flour, water, salt, and tapioca flour, making them a perfect gluten-free food option. Filled with fresh vegetables, they fit perfectly in a vegan diet as well.

However, one must carefully check the ingredient list because a number of variations exist.

Assists Weight Loss

Being low in calories and fat content, these rolls are a good food option during the weight loss journey.

Since they are versatile and can be filled with a variety of fillings, they are wonderful monotony breakers in weight loss diets. Different plays on flavor and texture combinations make diets much more bearable.

Controls Binge Eating

During those weak moments when you feel like binging on something unhealthy, these rolls come to the rescue.

Easily stored in the pantry, they can be quickly turned into a healthy meal or snack. A good food option to unhealthy, high-fat and high-sodium snacks.

Filling Matters

Fresh and healthy fillings result in healthy summer rolls. Like in any dish in any cuisine, the calories in rice paper can increase if deep-fried and stuffed with high-calorie ingredients.

Traditionally these rolls are filled with rice noodles, but substituting them with the zero-calorie shirataki noodles can lower the calorie count further.

Healthy Substitute

As compared to high-carb and calorie-rich food counterparts like tortillas, bread, naan, rice, and noodles, rice papers are much lower in calories and healthier. Where one slice of white bread contains 80 calories, as compared to rice paper’s 30, these rolls make excellent sandwich substitutes.
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