“I was recently diagnosed with gluten sensitivity and need to know is rice gluten free? Are there any types of rice I should avoid?” – Anita B. San Diego, California
‘Is rice gluten free?‘ and ‘What types of rice have hidden sources of gluten?’ are major concerns for people who have recently discovered they are sensitive to gluten. Anita isn’t the only person wondering this because most people with a gluten intolerance are trying to learn what foods are gluten free and what foods aren’t.
Rice is one of the most common staples in the world and thankfully rice is considered gluten free! In fact, rice is one of the most essential foods for people who are sensitive to gluten. Rice can be used as a side dish or used for baking in the form of rice flour or in hundreds of other ways. Rice is considered perfectly safe for any who has a gluten intolerance but you should still read labels on certain products because some rice products may contain gluten. Read on to learn more: is rice gluten free?
Gluten is a protein that is found in many cereal products namely wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is made up from two types of protein – glutenin and gliadin. This protein composite when consumed triggers several autoimmune reactions inside the body and leads to inflammation of the small intestine. A gluten free diet is recommended for individuals sensitive to gluten. The foods to be avoided on a gluten free diet include products made from wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats (can get contaminated with gluten during harvesting).
Is Rice Gluten Free? Rice is one of the most essential foods for people who are sensitive to gluten.
The issue that has become a cause of worry for individuals with gluten intolerance is that whether or not rice is gluten free. The answer to this is yes, however this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Rice by itself in its raw form is devoid of gluten. Even plain steamed rice, both white and brown is free from gluten. But, various rice preparations when it is served with either chicken sauce or gravy or some sautéed vegetables might contain gluten due to the use of wheat based products in them. Packed ready to eat rice meals are also available at grocery stores and even such preparations may contain gluten in them.
Rice is a staple diet and is a preliminary source of simple carbohydrates for countries like Thailand, Philippines, China, South Korea, etc. It is used in many forms across the globe. According to a research done by the Gluten Intolerance Group site, it has been documented that rice, rice starch, rice flour and rice bran, all can be used by gluten intolerance individuals. It has also been estimated that about 66% of the world’s population depends on rice for there main supply of carbohydrates. Apart from a rich source of carbohydrates, rice also has a variety of other nutrients like iron, vitamin D, calcium, niacin, thiamine and fiber.
Whenever we talk about low – allergen or safe food, rice is considered to be one such food which is considered gluten free
Rice noodles, rice pastas are generally gluten free and can be easily enjoyed by gluten intolerant individuals. These are made from rice, rice bran and water and therefore there is no chance of gluten being added to these rice preparations. Packed and labeled rice preparations should only be consumed after carefully studying the labels. The labels may also list malt as one of the ingredients in several rice preparations, such packed foods should be avoided as malt is always made from barley, and barley needs to be avoided by gluten intolerant individuals.
Rice and rice flour form an important part of your diet especially if you are intolerant to gluten. Rice flour is used as a substitute to wheat flour in many baked dishes. This been said, rice can be used generously by gluten intolerant population, provided they have a good tolerance to carbohydrates.
Whenever we talk about low – allergen or safe food and ask, ’is rice gluten free?’ rest assured that rice is considered to be one such food that is safe. All food allergy and sensitivity lists have rated rice as safe. Thus, in a nut shell there is no gluten in rice and it can be safely consumed by gluten intolerant individuals.
Gluten Free Recipe: Basmati Rice
Ready in: 40 minutes
- 2 ½ cups of cold water
- 2 cups white basmati rice
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves
- 1 heaping tsp of nutmeg (or allspice)
- 1 heaping tsp of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pinch sea salt (optional)
- Place the rice in a medium sized pot. To remove excess starch, rinse the rice in cold water and gently swirl the rice with your fingers or with a soft spatula. Repeat several times and drain. *Note: Don’t use a sieve or strainer when rinsing because you may damage the grains.
- After rinsing, add 2 ½ cups cold water. Let the rice sit in pot for about 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, add the cloves, nutmeg (or allspice) cinnamon and turmeric to the rice.
- Melt the butter in the microwave (or on the stove in a small pan) and pour it into the rice.
- Turn the stove to high and bring to a boil.
- When the water begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes (or follow package instructions).
- After 20 minutes, remove from the heat source and let it rest for 10 minutes with the lid on so the spices can absorb into the rice.
- Before you serve the rice gentle fluff it with a fork and enjoy.