Rice Cakes and Popcorn – Are they OK to EAT?


I’m a 26 year old girl from Montreal who loves to run. Unfortunately, it was as I “upped my game” with the training that I started to get symptoms, and was ultimately diagnosed with UC 5 months ago. I’m currently trying to learn how to get and keep myself in remission!


Current symptoms:
– Occasional diarrhea (sorry for the TMI)
– Still losing weight (Although nowhere near as fast as I was before)
– Eye twitch…? I know, I don’t know what to make of it either, it’s been 3 days, I’ll give it a week before seeing the doc….

I’ve heard that popcorn is the worst possible thing someone with UC can possibly eat. I’ve made the necessary dietary modifications overall – which includes eating a lot more rice than bread nowadays – but it got me wondering….

Are rice cakes allowed?

They’re made of rice, which I’ve been told by my doc is a-ok when you have UC. Rice is essentially what got me to remission, so I’m ok with it. However, rice cakes are very similar to popcorn in the way they’re made, although there isn’t as much “husk” for your body to process. So, I wasn’t sure if it was allowable.

Does anyone out there have any anecdotes regarding whether its a safe food? I guess I’m just searching for good snacks :)


Where I Like to be in 1 year:

In complete remission, off the pills, and able to go back to life as it used to be. I know, I’m a dreamer!
Mezavant – 4 pills/day
Palafer – 1 pill/day [ I don’t believe in using iron pills – I’ve been on them for 3 years and feel like it is what contributed to me developing UC. However, my blood tests force me to continue to be on it!]
Probiotic pill – 1 pill/day
written by Lightlove
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

17 thoughts on “Rice Cakes and Popcorn – Are they OK to EAT?”

  1. Hey there,
    I’m sorry to hear that UC is getting in the way of your running routine. We’re the same age and I know this disease can get in the way of doing things that you love, but there’s also lots of miracle stories out there too. Luckily you heard early on about popcorn (it took 5 years for a doctor to mention it to me). When I used to eat popcorn (now that I’m able to recognize the correlation) there was a noticeable decline in my symptoms for that day afterwards (lots of pain and bowel movements with bad stuff, by the way, TMI doesn’t exist on this website luckily). That doctor said steer clear of corn in general, also of nuts unless they were a soft consistency as in nut butter. That’s the thing – most hard foods can aggravate your UC if it’s flared at all. If you’ve ever seen some of the gruesome pictures of your insides when you’re flared it sort of makes sense that you should keep hard, sharp things away from it. Corn itself is a crazy allergen and the single most genetically modified food in the country, and this could also lead to adverse reactions for UC people. If you haven’t had pain and bowel movements or bad constipation from eating rice cakes then you’re probably fine. It lacks the soft consistency of cooked rice, and this could lead to trouble. Crackers in general, despite the ingredients, can be difficult to digest. I cut out corn, rice, and all grains at the same time to start the SCD diet over a year ago so I can’t recall my reaction to it.
    It’s awesome that you envision a healthy future for yourself. Attitude is everything, stress and depression make this disease way worse. It’s worth looking into the SCD diet that Adam has a whole section about on this site. It takes a month to see if it’s gonna work at all for you, which might seem like a lot, but UC is technically “chronic”. I’ve tried to encourage people to start it or other diet changes when they are first diagnosed because they might be able to avoid some of the heavy hitter medications. In my experience my UC got much worse as the years passed, and the medications have done some pretty awful things to my health, possibly making the UC worse over time. The SCD is really helping me, and the way I see it, giving up grains and sugar is nothing compared to how much of my lifestyle was being sacrificed before (I had already cut out so many foods anyway that I was used to not eating at restaurants). I run every day now, worry free. :)
    Best to you!

  2. I find that I do much, much better when I eat lots of fruits & veggies. It was trial & error to find which foods worked, but now I know (citrus fruits kind of aggravate me & cabbage REALLY doesn’t like me). So, if I’m home I’ll have either an apple or pear with some cottage cheese. It’s so yummy! Now if I’m in class at night I’ll bring a Quaker granola bar. Those were the only ones I could find that really didn’t contain nuts, as I found nuts to be evil (unless they were in something like peanut butter or almond butter). They caused me horrible pain & cramps.

    The sad thing with this disease is that you never really know which foods will aggravate you unless you try them. For example, it took 2 visits to Applebee’s for me to decide to NEVER eat there again. No matter what I tried, I got sick. Talk to your doctor. Maybe he/she can make some recommendations for you.

  3. I love popcorn. I am addicted to popcorn. My doc said I can eat it (because I would rather die than not eat it) but eating it while I am bleeding is not a good idea. So I have cut way down on my popcorn consumption. 8-(

  4. OrdinaryWorldWhereRU

    I can’t do much in the way of fiber so there is a lot that is out for me including popcorn, corn, most vegetables, most fruits. I do eat some crackers but since the current hot trend is to put fiber in anything they can stuff it into, my cracker choices are limited. I eat Ritz, Townhouse, and Chicken in a Biscuit. I used to eat 6 quarts of popcorn in one sitting before the disease showed up. I sure do miss it. I had a WhirlyPop stovetop popcorn popper and the West Bend electric one with the stirrer built in. If I am ever over this, I sure hope I can go back to my popcorn habit. I got rid of my poppers when it became apparent that my experience with the disease wasn’t going to be good. I was never a rice cake fan though. I can eat pretzels but they are just OK so I don’t eat them often. I am very cautious about the experiments with introducing foods since the outcome can be something none of us wants. My GI doctor said I was one of his more severe patients though. The tight reign I maintain is out of necessity. My GI doctor said he could only give me general guidelines but nothing concrete since each person has been different.

  5. Hey Light Love!
    Thank you for sharing! I can only emphasize what’s been said before: There isn’t TMI here!! Feel free to go into detail! At least there are a bunch of us here that understand…
    I don’t know about popcorn either. Rice, and rice cakes, I can imagine would be tolerable. In my case too, rice was a food that I could eat right from the start and it always felt nice. It took a very long time for me to go back to trail mixes, because I used to eat them a lot. I can tolerate them well too. I also snack on any organic crackers I can find, and of course fruit and vegetables are great. Yogurts and smoothies are also a great way. Though, I have to say that I could not tolerate any raw fruit or vegetables for the first few months during my flare, except bananas.
    I love your goal, to be in remission and lead a normal life!
    I don’t thin it;s wishful thinking at all!!! I was diagnosed in October last year during a flare that landed me in the hospital. I thought I would never be normal again, when I kept losing weight and feeling miserable. Today I’m better than ever, strong and active once again! You can do it! Stay positive!

    1. Rebeka,

      It is so great to see you are doing great. I am at the very low end of my UC/CD, and having very loose stools every day and a lot of cramping and pains. I constantly want to go to bathroom especially after eating. I am desperate to know what everyone is eating and how much they eat to maintain weight. I love rice and also never thought wheat should be a problem for people. There must be something in the way we cook them, or eat them, or where we buy them… But if you could just reply me with your great meal plan(typical food you eat everyday) during flare-ups and mild-moderate sick days, I will be really really appreciated. I am getting lost in this whole SCD diet and kept losing weight by changing diet. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks so much.



      1. 1 pc of white bread with 2 egg whites. Jello
        No butter. A couple of nilla waffers

        Snack….. a cup of bullion soup with some Jello.

        White bread sandwich, Turkey, chicken breast. Jello. And an Italian ice cup.

        Yogurt (lactose free. Yoplait makes it. Green lable) a couple of nilla waffles

        Turkey.chicken breast. Salmon. Cod. With a 1/2 a cup of rice. 1 pc of white bread( no more than 1 gr per slice) Jello, and maybe some bullion soup.
        You have to drink tons of water when your having a flare up. At least a gallon day. If you can do it, drink more. More………serously. blood loss plus diarrhea and everything else your body is going through. Your organs and bowls need the hydration…..
        This is my meal plan when I have a flare up.

  6. Hi Light Love,

    I don’t know the answer to the question about popcorn, but I can help out with the rice cakes… during a flare NO.
    Rice cakes are super high on the glycemic index and it’s like taking a baseball bat to your pancreas…
    My doctor told me to choose foods that are low on the glycemic index, especially during a flare.

    Take care,

  7. Hey there i would say you either try it or just cut it out if your realy concerned as everyone is different.
    I am having a flare myself at the moment and im trying ti figure out what foods just dont agree with me and the biggest one i have found is dairy! big problem for me makes my stomach puff out, sore, cramps and real bad gas :/
    But like it said everyone can be different its just trial and error
    hope you find some food alternatives tho
    :) x

  8. I am now in a flare up. Eating lots of rice cake as I am avoiding bread and wheat , plus high fiber breads.
    Rice cakes seems to agree w/ me, but also gluten free bread was ok (but more expensive :-P ).

    Like most of the answers here, everybody is different . For i.e I eat almonds during my flare up and doesn’t seem to make it any worse for me .

    Good luck and get remission fast .

  9. Ah-hah! So some people think popcorn is bad for UC? My UC has been in remission for 23 years. What I distinctly recall is that my UC was triggered 25 years ago after having freshly made popcorn everyday that week, an evening snack! The gastro docs of course all say “diet has nothing to do with it!” It could not have been the popcorn. How do they know, has anyone done conducted a study group of 1000 patients eating popcorn nightly for 30 days? Perhaps, the hot popped kernals further changes the genetically engineered corn husk and oils into chemicals that the immune system does not like. So my take is … YES, AVOID EXCESS POPCORN! I had one tiny bout after the first 10-day instance, and that’s been it. Been on 250 mg Dipentum daily, but now being forced to switch to Asacol HD 800 mg to meet formulary rules. Hope that meds switch does not cause it again!

    1. Also switched to starch-based plant diet two years ago for preventative healthy reasons. Hopefully, that will extend the UC remission forever! no meat, no oils, no dairy or cheese

  10. I cant tell you enough how much I LOVE!!!!! popcorn! My doc never told me about popcorn, I had to find out the hard way. I now have to watch out how much popcorn I eat because it can def. trigger a attack on me.

    Also, remember everyone is different. There are things that I can eat and be ok with, then the next week when I got to eat the same thing it triggers a attack. I know for me I have to stay away from fiber….me and fiber do not get along. I wish you all the best ….its all trial and error but you will find what works for you!

    Lots Of Love,

  11. I just turned 52 and was diagnosed this past week with severe UC. I feel horrible needless to say and today when I thought my Mesalamine was kicking in, have been to the bathroom 12 times. I bought rice cakes yesterday and ate three last night.
    This is all new for me, I feel like life is over, glued to the bathroom. Any advice on initial diet to get in my protein and veggies? Is butternut squash okay?

  12. I am new to UC… I am in the middle of a horrible flare up right now.. you can eat the squash, bake it remove all the seeds and enjoy.. no vegetable can be eaten with the seeds that means no cucumbers can be eaten.. Right now I’m relying on the low fiber rice cakes with some creamy peanut butter, cottage cheese and plain yogurt jello, mashed potatoes with gravy, mashed sweet potatoes doesn’t seem to bother me.. I’m just slowly learning..

  13. I have UC for 1 year+
    The issue with Popcorn as not about how it is made. The issue is that the same way they get stuck between the teeth, gums etc. the same way it could get stuck in the colon since the colon is scratched, so Rice cake should be good. In fact I eat almost daily a huge amount of Rice Cake no issues

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.