Is Rice Chex Healthy? The Truth About This Cereal

Rice Chex is a popular brand of breakfast cereal that belongs to the Chex cereal line, manufactured by General Mills.

This cereal is known for its distinctive shape, consisting of small, square-shaped pieces that are light and crispy.

As the name suggests, Rice Chex is primarily made from rice, providing a gluten-free option for those with specific dietary needs.

However, is Rice Chex a healthy breakfast cereal option?

Short answer: Rice Chex is healthy as it is low in sugar, decent in protein (when combined with milk), and free of artificial additives. However, it is low in fiber and high in sodium.

Read on to find out more about Rice Chex, including it’s ingredients, sugar, protein, fiber, sodium content and more.

Read also: Is Cream Of Rice Healthy? Everything You Need To Know

What is Rice Chex made up of?

Rice Chex is made up of simple ingredients such as whole grain rice, Rice, Sugar, Salt, Molasses and Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols).

Let’s know a little about each of the ingredients.

Whole Grain Rice: At the heart of Rice Chex lies whole grain rice. It offers dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Rice: Besides whole grain rice, Rice Chex also contains rice as a key component.

Sugar: Rice Chex contains a measured amount of sugar to enhance the taste and sweetness.

Salt: It enhances the overall taste and flavor of the cereal.

Molasses: It’s a natural sweetener made from sugar cane or sugar beets that adds a subtle depth of flavor to cereal.

Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols): Rice Chex contains vitamin E as mixed tocopherols. It is an antioxidant that helps protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals.

However, that’s not all.

In addition to these ingredients, Rice Chex has been fortified with various vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, D3, calcium, iron and zinc.

Furthermore, there is no use of major red flags such as High fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

How much sugar is in Rice Chex?

Rice Chex is low in sugar, with just 3g per serving(40g).

That’s about 8% of the daily sugar limit for men and 12% for women.

All the sugar present in Rice Chex is added sugar.

When Compared to other popular cereals, Rice Chex has

  • 66% less sugar than Reese’s Puffs and Oatmeal squares.
  • 25% less sugar than Kellogg’s rice Krispies.
  • 75% less sugar than Cheerios(honey nut), Frosted Flakes, and Cinnamon toast crunch.

In fact, Rice Chex has the least sugar in the whole Chex cereal line. 

So, if you are reducing your sugar intake, Rice Chex is a good choice.

Just don’t add extra sugar from your side.

Here is a table comparing the Rice Chex sugar content against other popular cereals.

Cereal brandSugar(g)
Rice Chex3
Reese’s puffs9
Oatmeal Squares9-10
Cap’n crunch cereal (original)17
Cinnamon toast crunch12
Cheerios (honey nut)12
Kellogg’s rice krispies4
Cream of Rice0
Per serving

How much protein is in Rice Chex?

Rice Chex is not a very good source of protein. 

A single serving(40g) has just 3g of protein.

However, low protein is typically not considered an issue with cereal. This is because cereals are typically consumed with milk which increases the overall protein content.

For example, a single serving of Rice Chex cereal with one cup of cow milk can provide roughly 10 to 12g of protein, which is decent.

If compared, Rice Chex has more protein than cereals like Krave cerealGolden GrahamsKix cereal, and Reese’s Puffs.

If you want high-protein cereal, go for premier protein cereal. It contains 20g of protein per serving (without milk).

Here is a table comparing the Rice Chex protein content against other popular cereals.

Cereal brandProtein(g)
Rice Chex3
Reese’s puffs2
Oatmeal Squares6
Cap’n crunch cereal (original)2
Cinnamon toast crunch2
Cheerios (honey nut)3
Kellogg’s rice krispies3
Cream of Rice2
Per serving

How much fiber is in Rice Chex?

Rice Chex is low in fiber, with just 2g per serving(40g).

That’s not even 10% of the daily recommended fiber for adults.

Fiber is an essential part of the cereal as it promotes digestive health, controls blood sugar levels and helps you feel satisfied.

If you want fiber-packed breakfast cereals, Morning Summit cereal, Grain Berry cereal, and Kellogg’s raisin bran are better options.

Here is a table comparing the Rice Chex fiber content against other popular cereals.

Cereal brandFiber(g)
Rice Chex2
Reese’s puffs1
Oatmeal Squares5
Cap’n crunch cereal (original)<1
Cinnamon toast crunch3
Cheerios (honey nut)3
Kellogg’s rice krispies0
Cream of Rice0
Per serving

How much sodium is in Rice Chex?

Rice Chex is high in sodium, with 330mg per serving(40g). 

That’s about 22% of the daily ideal sodium limit(1500mg) set by the American Heart Association.

Sodium is expected in cereal and is an essential part of the diet. However, too much of it can result in heart-related issues. 

The sodium content in Rice Chex is okay for most individuals. However, if you are limiting sodium intake, it’s better to look for other cereals.

You can go with low-sodium cereals like Morning Summit cereal. It has just 75mg of sodium per serving.

Here is a table comparing the Rice Chex sodium content against other popular cereals.

Cereal brandSodium(mg)
Rice Chex330
Reese’s puffs160
Oatmeal Squares190
Cap’n crunch cereal (original)290
Cinnamon toast crunch230
Cheerios (honey nut)210
Kellogg’s rice krispies200
Cream of Rice0
Per serving

Is Rice Chex high in iron?

Rice Chex is an excellent source of iron, providing 12.6mg per serving(40g). That’s about 85% of the daily recommended iron for women and more than 100% for men.

Iron plays many essential roles for you, such as boosting immunity, producing red blood cells, and brain and muscle functioning.

Is Rice Chex good for weight loss?

Rice Chex is good for weight loss because it is low in sugar and contains some protein and fiber.

It is also low in calories, with just 160 per serving, most of which come from healthy carbs(whole grain rice).

Note that weight loss depends not only on one food but overall diet and lifestyle.

Is Rice Chex low fodmap?

Rice Chex is low fodmap as it is primarily made from rice, which is considered low in FODMAPs.

However, it’s important to note that Rice Chex contains molasses, a sweetener that typically has a higher FODMAP.

But, it’s likely that the molasses used in the cereal is not substantial enough to cause significant FODMAP-related issues.

As a result, you can enjoy Rice Chex without any worry in moderation.

Is Rice Chex gluten-free?

Rice Chex is gluten-free because it is made primarily of rice and contains no gluten-based ingredients.

Is Rice Chex vegan?

Although Rice Chex has no direct animal or dairy-based ingredients, it cannot be considered vegan.

This is due to the presence of sugar and vitamin D3, which have been connected to animal-related processes.

Sugar is processed with bone char in industries to achieve a white appearance while processing. This bone char is derived from animal bones, making sugar non-vegan.

Additionally, vitamin D3 is mostly derived from lanolin, an oil extracted from the wool of animals.

Furthermore, Rice Chex is not marketed as vegan, so it is more likely that it is not vegan-friendly.

Final words

When it comes to choosing Rice Chex as your breakfast cereal, it comes with both positives and downsides.

Positives of choosing Rice Chex cereal:

  • Low in fat and sugar.
  •  Free from artificial additives.
  •  Decent source of protein when consumed with milk.
  •  Good source of various vitamins and minerals.
  •  Low in FODMAP.
  •  Gluten-free.

Downsides of choosing Rice Chex cereal:

  • Low in fiber.
  • High in sodium (especially for individuals with sodium-sensitive conditions).
  • Use of bioengineered ingredients, which may raise the risk for those looking for non-GMO or organic options.
  • It cannot be considered vegan due to the presence of sugar and vitamin D3.

So is Rice Chex healthy?

Yes, for the majority of people.

But due to the listed downsides, Rice Chex cereal cannot be considered a completely healthy option for everyone.

However, if these downsides are not major concerns for you, you can enjoy Rice Chex cereal as part of a balanced breakfast.

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Yatender is the founder of Investohealth! He provides thoroughly researched, unbiased reviews analyzing packaged foods' ingredients, nutrition, and health impacts. Join him on a quest for healthier, more informed eating habits.

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