Noodle VS Rice

noodle vs rice

If you want your food to be starchy, rice and noodles will make it taste good. But if you’re trying to pick one based on health, things can get a little confusing. After all, they are both carbs and have the same consistency. However, there are some differences that could make one the winner. While it’s hard to pick a clear winner, this post will walk you through the options and what to look out for in terms of health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at both of these types of carbs to find out which one is better.

What are Carbohydrates?

Before we get to the question of which starch is best for you, let’s look at what carbs are and how they work in our bodies. Over the years, carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation. However, they are nutrients that our bodies need. When carbohydrates enter our bodies, they are converted into glucose. Glucose serves as fuel for our cells and therefore provides our body with energy. However, not all carbohydrates are the same. There are two types of carbohydrates.

One is simple carbohydrate: simple carbohydrates are also known as refined or processed grains. Grains are processed to extend their shelf life, but during the process, the grain loses some of its nutrients. Foods containing simple carbohydrates include breads, baked goods, cakes, and most common rice and pasta products.

The other type of carbohydrates are complex carbohydrates: this type of carbohydrate is not processed and therefore has a richer vitamin and mineral content. Common types of complex carbohydrates include bread, quinoa, black rice, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.

Nutritional value of Rice

For a serving of 1 cup (164 g):

Contents [show]                            per serving                         % Daily Value

Calories                                                    166g                                          8%

Calories from fat                                     5g

Total fat                                                    1g                                               1%

Saturated Fat                                           0g

Trans fat                                                   0g

Cholesterol                                              0mg                                         0%

Sodium                                                      5mg                                         0%

Total carbohydrates                               35g                                          12%

Dietary fiber                                              3g                                          12%

Sugars                                                         1g

Protein                                                       7g

Vitamin A                                                                                                  0%

Vitamin C                                                                                                  0%

Calcium                                                                                                     0%

Iron                                                                                                             5%

Percent daily allowance is based on a diet of 2,000 calories.

Nutritional value of Noodles

For a serving of 1 cup (140 g):

Contents [show]                            per serving                         % Daily Value

Calories                                                220g                                        11%

Calories from fat                                    11g

Total fat                                                    1g                                          2%

Saturated Fat                                           0g                                          1%

Trans fat                                                    0g

Cholesterol                                               0mg                                       0%

Sodium                                                  183mg                                      8%

Total carbohydrates                              43g                                       14%

Dietary fiber                                              3g                                       10%

Sugars                                                         1g

Protein                                                       8g

Vitamin A                                                                                                 0%

Vitamin C                                                                                                 0%

Calcium                                                                                                    1%

Iron                                                                                                         10%

Percent daily allowance is based on a diet of 2,000 calories.

How do Rice and Noodles compare?

Let’s look at the same table for 100g rice and noodles:

Contents                                           Rice                                     Noodles

Calories                                                            101g                                       157g

Calories from fat                                                 3g                                           8g

Total fat                                                             0.6g                                        0.7g

Saturated fat                                                        0g                                           0g

Trans fat                                                                0g                                           0g

Cholesterol                                                           0mg                                        0mg

Sodium                                                                  3mg                                    130mg

Total carbohydrate                                           21g                                         31mg

Dietary fiber                                                      1.8g                                          2mg

Sugars                                                                 0.6g                                          0.7g

Protein                                                               4.3g                                          5.7g

Vitamin A                                                             0%                                            0%

Vitamin C                                                            0%                                            0%

Calcium                                                               0%                                         0.7%

Iron                                                                      3%                                            7%

Looking at these two nutrition panels, it is clear that if you are judging which food is healthier based on the number of calories, rice comes out ahead. 100 grams of rice has the same number of calories as 50 grams of noodles. There are about 175 calories for that amount of food. The percentage of fat is also higher in noodles with 1% fat rice compared to 2% noodles. However, it should be noted that some types of rice, such as fried rice, may contain more fat and calories.


Neither noodles nor rice are rich in vitamins and minerals. However, they both contain iron, which is an essential nutrient for the body. Noodles contain 10% iron compared to 5% rice. Noodles also contain 1% calcium, which is good for bones. Rice does not.


Sodium is a mineral that helps control fluid levels in the body. It also helps with nerve impulse transmission and muscle control. However, excessive intake of sodium can cause high blood pressure. Sodium levels in noodles are much higher. Carbohydrates contain 8% sodium, while rice does not.


Noodles have a higher percentage of carbohydrates than rice. It is 14% compared to 12% of rice.


Fiber is good for intestinal health. It can lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and reduce appetite. Rice has 12% fiber and noodles have 2% fiber.


Protein is a component that plays an important role in every cell in your body. It helps in building and repairing tissues and is used to make enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals in the body. It is the building block of bone, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood. Both noodles and rice contain the same amount of protein, with noodles at 8 g and rice at 7 g.

Simple or complex Carbohydrates

Most noodles and rice are made from refined grains. Consuming too many refined grains can lead to metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by symptoms such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess abdominal fat. They can also cause inflammation in the body and increase the risk of disease.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index shows how food affects blood sugar levels. A high glycemic level causes your blood sugar to rise. If a food has a glycemic level above 70, it is considered high. Levels of 56-69 are considered moderate, and levels below 55 are considered low. The glycemic level of rice is about 73, while the glycemic level of noodles is medium.

The healthiest types of Noodles

If you’re looking for healthy noodles, here are some you should try:

Seaweed noodles: These are made from seaweed mixed with water and salt. They contain only 20 calories per gram and are a great source of iodine, vitamin K, B vitamins, zinc, iron and antioxidants, and we wrote a complete guide to kelp noodles here, with a delicious recipe worth trying.

Soba Noodles: Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which is healthy. They are rich in antioxidants, fiber and magnesium to improve blood flow. They are also gluten-free, and you can read about these soba noodles in my post on Yakisob.

Quinoa noodles: These noodles contain all nine essential amino acids. They are gluten-free and rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, B vitamins and iron.

Rice noodles: Rice noodles can be used in most Asian dishes, making them a great alternative to other varieties of noodles that are not as healthy. They are gluten-free and contain only 100 calories per serving.

The healthiest types of Rice

When it comes to healthy rice, the following types are recommended:

Brown rice: Unlike white rice, brown rice has a layer of bran and germ, which contains a significant amount of nutrients. It also contains flavonoid antioxidants that protect the body from disease and is rich in protein and fiber.

Black rice: Black rice is also called forbidden rice because it is said to have once been reserved for the Chinese royal family. It has the highest antioxidant activity of any rice and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Red Rice: Red rice is rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. It is rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation.

Wild Rice: Wild rice is considered a whole grain rice and contains more protein and fiber than white rice. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, magnesium and manganese.

Types of noodles to avoid

If there is one noodle that gets a bad reputation, it is ramen noodles. Ramen noodles are low in calories but lack basic nutrients.

Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour enriched with synthetic forms of nutrients to make them more nutritious, but they lack other vitamins and minerals such as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C and B12, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are also low in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Types of rice to avoid

Here are some types of rice to avoid:

White rice: The husks, germs and bran layer are removed from white rice, which deprives it of its basic nutrients, but it is still rich in carbohydrates. Because it lacks nutrients, your body converts it to sugar and you feel hungry after eating it. It also has a high glycemic level, which can lead to a spike in blood sugar.

Sticky Rice: Sticky rice does not contain many nutrients and is not a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It contains high fructose corn syrup, which increases calories and raises blood sugar levels.

Fried Rice: Fried rice is high in fat and calories and is not a good choice if you are looking for a heart-healthy food option.


So, there seems to be no definite answer as to which is healthier: noodles or rice. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and one may be better for your health than the other. The deciding factor will also be the type of noodles and rice you eat. It is best to choose healthy foods at every meal, based on your tastes and what you think is right for you.

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