Types of Rice that are Gluten-Free
Rice is that one food that holds a permanent spot in our pantry. It may not be part of our everyday meals but it’s not a hassle keeping it because it will last for years when properly stored. But if you are on a gluten-free diet, you might want to be extra careful when eating or choosing types of rice for your consumption.
Does rice have gluten? That’s the question we are aiming to answer in this article. Continue reading to know more about the types of rice that are gluten-free and that are not.
For people who have gluten intolerance like celiac disease, you should be extra careful when eating rice products. Gluten is a protein commonly found in grains and a triggering compound for an immune reaction for people with celiac disease. This is one of the minor drawbacks of eating grains although they are generally considered one of the healthiest foods we should include in our diet.
Is White Rice Gluten-Free?
The good news is, yes, rice (in its natural form) is generally gluten-free. This encompasses all varieties, including white or brown, long or short grain, and fragranced or not fragranced. Even some Asian rice like sticky or glutinous rice is also gluten-free. As long as you are choosing unprocessed rice, you can be sure that it is gluten-free and safe to be consumed by anybody.
Types of Rice that are NOT Gluten Free
This is not referring to the varieties of natural rice but to the rice products or rice dishes that may have gluten included. These are the following:
- Instant Rice Mixes
Pre-packed and seasoned rice mixes found in grocery stores are mostly manufactured with gluten-based ingredients. If you notice, they are already flavored thus, making us unsure if only natural rice was used. They are mostly added with wheat-based thickeners such as hydrolyzed wheat protein and can also contain a mixture of grains like barley or rye (which are known to be gluten-source types of grains). It’s best to check the labels and see the ingredients list to be sure if they contain gluten or not.
- Sushi Rice
As much as you want to munch on this fresh and tangy sushi, you have to be careful since the rice used in sushi is mixed with vinegar, oftentimes, wheat vinegar which may cause reactions in people who are particularly sensitive. However, this is not the case for all kinds of sushi. Still, there’s no harm in asking if they used rice vinegar that’s gluten-free.
- Ready-to-eat Boiled Rice
If you suddenly stopped by a fast food restaurant to eat a heavy meal, ensure that their plain white rice or fried rice is gluten-free by asking their chef or their service crew at least. They may look plain but we wouldn’t know if they added other gluten-based ingredients unless we ask.
Although I’ve mentioned that sticky rice is also gluten-free, paella uses sticky rice but is mostly boiled in chicken broth that has wheat in it. Don’t forget to ask if the broth or stock they used is guaranteed gluten-free.
Types of Rice that are Gluten-Free
All varieties of rice are gluten-free. Just make sure they are not the overly-processed ones, just like below:
- Brown Rice
Brown rice is rice grain that still has the bran and germ layers, making it a healthier consumption than white rice. It is three times higher in fiber than white rice. This is a great source of protein, potassium and B vitamins. Brown rice is rich in lignans, which curb appetite and give your gut something to feed on.
- White Rice
White rice belongs to the refined category of grain. It is a type of rice with the bran and germ layers removed. This tastes more delightful than brown rice.
White rice is also rich in protein, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, and manganese, which are all important for bone growth and energy.
- Wild Rice
Technically, wild rice isn’t rice. It’s actually grass and is gluten-free. Wild rice is more difficult to grow than ordinary rice hence it might cost higher than the other types of rice. Wild rice is known for its high content of antioxidants and is also rich in fiber, folate and B-vitamins.
What Does Gluten Do to Our Body
Gluten is a protein commonly found in many grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten provides no nutrients at all but can trigger an immune reaction in people with celiac disease. When they consume gluten-containing meals, they experience inflammation and bodily damage in their digestive tracts and other areas.
Even though rice is naturally gluten-free, it may be exposed to or come into contact with products that contain gluten such as wheat, barley, and rye during the growing, harvesting and manufacturing process. To ensure otherwise, it’s suggested to check the labels if they are certified gluten-free or labeled with something like “prepared in a gluten-free environment”.
Rice could be that one food that never runs out in our kitchen which is good because they are generally nutritious and can be our energy-source food that fuels our body for a long day ahead. But just like any other food, it also has its fair share of disadvantages, especially for people with gluten reactions but at least, this is not the case for most of the people who love to eat rice.