Have you been looking to reduce your gluten intake and want to know whether rice is gluten free or not? Maybe you have been told you have a gluten intolerance and are looking to overhaul your diet?
Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever the question is that brought you here today, we have the answer for you!
Gluten, it seems, is everywhere! Until you need to cut down on your gluten intake or eliminate it from your diet, you don’t realize just how much of it you consume!
From sauces to bread, gluten seems to be all around us! And when you are trying to avoid eating it, it can make meal planning or enjoying food difficult.
You are now someone that spends hours in the grocery store, reading the fine print on packets, desperately trying to figure out what you can and can’t eat. It can feel pretty lonely and miserable, can’t it?
But you are not alone! Today, we are here to help you! Having gone gluten-free ourselves, we know the struggle that you face and can offer you assistance.
So today, we are answering the question: is rice gluten-free? Keep reading to get the answers that you need today!
What Is Gluten-Free?
Before we dive into today’s article, let’s have a quick recap for those that need it! Gluten-free, whether that is food or a diet, involves consuming no gluten.
Gluten is a protein typically found in barley, rye, wheat, and triticale (a cross of wheat and rye).
A gluten-free diet involves eliminating gluten from your diet and is often done to manage the symptoms of celiac disease and other gluten-related medical conditions.
Celiac disease is a condition where gluten impacts the immune system and damages the lining in your small intestine. The autoimmune disorder impacts people across the world and currently, the cure is a gluten-free diet.
Other diseases where you need to avoid gluten include a wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and gluten ataxia.
If you are concerned that you might have celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten, be sure to speak to a doctor. They can run the necessary tests and get you the diagnosis that you need.
Now that we have briefly established what gluten-free is, let’s move on and look at if rice is gluten-free or not!
Is Rice Gluten-Free?
Let’s get straight into it! Rice is gluten-free! This is wonderful news for those of you that are gluten-free and aren’t prepared to give up rice yet!
All types of rice in their natural form are gluten-free, including brown rice, wild rice, white rice, and rice flour!
Sticky, or Asian rice is also considered gluten-free, despite being called glutinous rice. In this case, the term glutinous refers to the sticky nature of the rice rather than the gluten content in the rice.
Rice is a popular grain, especially among those following a gluten-free diet. You can eat rice virtually worry-free (more on this later) and enjoy a gluten-free diet.
You will also find that most gluten-free packaged foods in stores feature rice flour, rather than wheat flour.
Now, there are some cases where your rice might not be gluten-free. Often, this is down to cross-contact or contamination, where rice is made and sold.
Flavored rice might be coated in spices and flavors that gesture gluten in them, meaning the rice would not be gluten-free.
Pilaf rice is another example of non-gluten-free rice, as it is made with orzo. Orzo is not always gluten-free.
The best thing to do is to check the ingredient list on the packet of rice before you purchase it to ensure that it is gluten-free.
You can also contact the manufacturer directly to find out if the rice is gluten-free or not.
These days, most labels are pretty clear on things like gluten and animal by-products so you can easily determine if you can eat it or not!
You will also want to check that rice is gluten-free when eating in restaurants.
Let the server know before you order food that you have gluten intolerance and they can walk you through the menu, letting you know what is suitable for you to eat.
Often, if you let a server know you have allergies, a manager will come and take your order to ensure that there is no cross-contamination with your food and other dishes containing gluten being cooked in the kitchen.
Can I Eat Too Much Rice?
Rice is safe to eat regularly, but you want to make sure that you aren’t eating too much of it.
Eating too much white rice, for example, can provide you with more carbohydrates than you need and not enough vitamin C, which is not good for your overall health!
In the long-term, too much rice can increase your chances of contracting heart disease or Type 2 diabetes.
For this to happen, your overall diet would need to be quite poor, so don’t worry if you eat rice a few times a week.
The main thing is that you eat a balanced and varied diet and exercise regularly to ensure you are living a healthy life.
The reason rice can cause heart diseases is because of the naturally occurring arsenic in the crop. Now, there is no need to panic!
This is only going to be an issue if you eat large quantities of rice several times a day, rather than twice a week. The best thing to do is to ensure that you are eating rice in moderation.
If you are unsure how much rice you should eat, you can speak to a dietician or check the serving suggestion on the packet.
And there you have it, rice is gluten-free! You just need to make sure that you are checking the packet to ensure there is no gluten cross-contamination.
Remember to make servers aware of allergies when eating out to ensure you don’t accidentally eat any gluten. Rice is the perfect gluten-free grain that can be enjoyed in moderation.