In this article, we will talk about one healthy type of food – rice. In many diets nowadays, rice is listed as one of the healthiest foods that you can eat along with proteins. It is surely healthier than bread, and it is kind of a good carb. If this is healthy food for us, can it be healthy for the guinea pigs as well? Let’s check and see if our guinea pigs can consume rice!
Can guinea pigs eat rice? No, guinea pigs cannot eat rice because rice is a type of grain, and grains are not good for the guinea pigs. Another reason why guinea pigs cannot eat rice is that rice has to be cooked, and guinea pigs should never eat cooked foods. Naturally, they can consume only fruits, veggies, and some herbs – that’s why they are vegetarians and herbivores.
This staple food that is popular in Asian cuisine is only good for us and sadly not for the guinea pigs. There are plenty of other foods that you can give to the guinea pig without risking its health. You surely want to avoid the stomach cramps and bad digestion for the little furry friend. Always replace such foods with something fresh like veggies and fruits. It is simply not worth the trouble. If you are interested we have more information about rice as food for the guinea pigs in the following sections below.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Rice
The guinea pigs cannot eat rice, so they cannot reap the benefits of this food. As you can see below this section, rice has some nutrients, but not too many.
However, if the guinea pig could eat rice some of the benefits would be healthy internal organs and nerves, more energy and better oxygen flow in the body, cardiovascular health and healthy blood.
Nutrition Facts on Rice
Here are the nutrition facts per 100 g (3 oz) of rice, long-grain, and cooked:
- Calories – 130
- High in carbs – 28.2g
- Protein – 2.7g
- Low in fiber – 0.4g
- Sugar – 0.1g
- Thiamin – 11%
- Riboflavin – 1%
- Niacin – 7%
- Vitamin B6 – 5%
- Folate – 14%
- Pantothenic acid – 4%
Source: Rice – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Risks to Consider When Giving Rice to Guinea Pigs
- No scurvy prevention – rice has no vitamin C. This is a bad thing because the guinea pigs need vitamin C to survive and to be healthy. They cannot produce this vitamin naturally, so they have to get it one way or another; through food or supplements. And, when they ingest this vitamin, they cannot store it. So, foods that lack vitamin C are not so beneficial for the guinea pigs.
- Indigestion – in rice, there is not much fiber. In fact, the amount of fiber is even too low. Fibers are needed on a daily basis and in moderate amounts because they improve the digestion and bowel movements. With a lack of fiber, there is a risk of indigestion, or in severe cases, constipation.
- Bad digestion – rice also has some sugar. Guinea pigs don’t digest sugars too well, and they get cramps or loose stool from excess sugar. This is because sugar makes them crampy and it isn’t received well by their digestive system. The sugar, and the lack of fibers in rice, both contribute to painful or problematic digestion.
- Rapid weight gain – rice is full of carbs! The carbs are the one thing that always causes rapid weight gain for everyone. If carbs are eaten in excess, there will surely be a change on the weight scale! So, it is not a good idea to let the guinea pig consume a lot of carbs, especially not from cooked food like rice.
There is no exact serving size for rice because the guinea pigs cannot eat this food. The frequency of this for the cavies is: never.
Can My Guinea Pig Eat Rice Cakes?
No. if the guinea pigs cannot eat rice, they also can not eat rice cakes too. You might be tempted to give them the plain, tasteless rice cakes that do not have additional aromas, but this is still not good. Besides, rice cakes don’t have enough nutritional values for the guinea pigs.
Is It True That Boiled Rice Is Ok for Guinea Pigs That Have Diarrhea?
No, this is not true. Rice is too starchy for the cavies, and it is not the perfect cure for cases of diarrhea. The guinea pigs always need fresh water, pellets, veggies and fruits. Don’t forget that guinea pigs cannot consume cooked foods, no matter how you cook them.
Fun Facts on Rice
- Archaeologists claim rice was consumed even in 5000 BC.
- Rice comes in 3 types of grain: long, medium, short.
- National Rice Ball Day is April 19th.
- Worldwide, there are more than 40.000 rice varieties. The most popular ones are Basmati, Italian Arborio, and Thai Jasmine.
- Asia produces 90% of rice worldwide!
- National Rice Month is September.
- Did you know that there is vinegar, beer, and wine made of rice?
- Rice is thrown over the heads of groom and bride after the ceremony, to wish them prosperity and luck.
- Rice can be grown on every continent, and it is! Except for Antarctica.
- There is a type of African rice that is cultivated for more than 3500 years.
- In 2016, there were 472.04 million tons of rice produced!
- China, India, and Indonesia produce the most rice worldwide.
- The traditional Japanese rice wine is called sake; it is rice that is fermented and polished, with removed bran.
- Uncooked white rice has a long shelf-life of almost 3 decades! But, brown rice can last only 3-6 months (the bran coating may oxidize).
- The Japanese brand cars Honda and Toyota are named after this food. Toyota means ‘bountiful rice field’ and Honda means ‘main rice field’.
- The Great Wall of China has rice in it! It was built in the 15th and 16th century, and workers used a rice porridge with calcium carbonate, to help with holding the stones of the wall together.
Source: Rice History – Plant Biology
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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