Rice is a main part of the diet in many countries around the world. It is a healthy meal that provides a range of nutrients our bodies need. Rice is also an excellent dish to prepare in many ways, each with a different taste.
However, there is a growing concern about rice containing gluten, which people try to avoid due to various health concerns. However, there is no need to completely avoid eating rice due to this reason as there are many rice options without gluten in them.
Let’s explore more on gluten-free rice options and types of rice that have gluten in them, which you may need to avoid.
Is There Gluten In Rice?
All types of rice, when in their natural form, are gluten-free. It includes white rice, brown rice, and even the Asian ‘sticky’ rice called ‘glutinous rice.’ The name ‘glutinous’ is given due to its stickiness and not because it contains gluten.
Types Of Rice Without Gluten
Let’s look at the nutritional value of different gluten-free rice types. It will show you how nutritious rice is and why you should include it in your diet.
White rice goes through a process in which the bran and germ of brown rice are removed to increase its shelf life. Unfortunately, this process makes white rice a less healthier option than brown rice.
However, some people like the taste and texture of white rice, so they select it over the healthier option.
White rice provides carbohydrates and iron to the body but does not give fiber, or Vitamin B. Diabetes patients should avoid consuming white rice because it could cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
Brown rice is one of the healthiest types of rice to eat. It is an excellent option for patients with conditions like diabetes and cholesterol. In addition, Brown rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, iron, potassium, niacin, and antioxidants.
Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of carbs and calories. However, brown rice has three times more fiber than white rice and is high in proteins.
It helps you feel full, thereby helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
Eating brown rice is also linked to a lower risk of chronic ailments, including certain types of cancers and heart diseases.
Wild rice is technically the seed of various aquatic grasses. However, many people use it like rice in the kitchen.
Wild rice helps you feel fuller and has high protein and three times more fiber than white rice. So wild rice is a healthier alternative to white rice.
It lowers your risk of heart disease because it effectively reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing insulin resistance.
Wild rice contains vitamins, minerals, magnesium, and manganese while providing 30 times more antioxidant activity than white rice.
Many other rice varieties include basmati, jasmine, glutinous or ‘sticky’ rice, sweet brown rice, etc. All of these rice varieties are gluten-free.
These types of rice are less nutritious than brown rice. However, they contain more fiber than white rice, making them delicious alternatives to try in place of white rice.
Types Of Rice That Have Gluten
If you buy natural, unprocessed rice, you don’t have to worry as they are all gluten-free.
If you buy processed rice, fast-cooked or pre-cooked, these options may contain gluten. Therefore, you need to keep an eye out for the ‘gluten-free’ label on these products.
If there is no label stating ‘gluten-free,’ you need to check the list of ingredients to see if there are any components with gluten included in it.
Why Do You Need To Be Concerned About Gluten In Rice?
Starchy foods and foods that contain even a little bit of gluten can damage the intestine of people with celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by foods containing gluten. It can impact the small intestine and make it hard to digest food. In addition, gluten causes antibodies to be produced, which causes inflammation and other damage to the small intestine.
If you have celiac disease, you need to be aware of the ingredients of any product you want to buy, to confirm that there’s no gluten in it.
When dining out, check if the menu has gluten-free dishes you can try out or see if we have a restaurant review done already! Finally, when eating rice, always go for plain rice options that you can be sure are gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Alternatives To Try Instead Of Rice
There is also a growing concern about arsenic in rice. As per the Food and Drug Administration, rice contains the most arsenic compared to other crops. In addition, rice is the largest food source of inorganic arsenic, which is considered harmful.
Long-term arsenic consumption can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Following a gluten-free diet does not mean that you have to eat rice. There are many gluten-free alternatives you can try instead of rice options.
Here are a few gluten-free grains and starchy foods you can eat.
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Nut flours
You can also try gluten-free meal replacement shakes recommended by ShakesLab, which prove to be healthy rice alternatives. These shakes are easy to make and provide all your body’s essential nutrients.
These meal replacement shakes are safe to consume as they don’t contain artificial flavors or sweeteners.
Grains That Contain Gluten
Not all grains are gluten-free, and there are some grains that you need to avoid at all costs. Here is a list of grains that contain gluten.
- wheat berries
- Einkorn wheat
Rice, when taken in its pure form, is gluten-free. It could be brown rice, white rice, wild rice, basmati, jasmine, sweet brown rice, etc.
If you are buying pre-cooked rice or any other unprocessed rice, you need to be aware of the ingredients, as they may contain traces of gluten. If you have celiac disease, you need to stay away from products that have gluten in their ingredients lists.
Moreover, you can also try other healthy gluten-free options as an alternative to rice, such as various types of grains.
You can easily fit in a gluten-free diet with these things in mind while enjoying delicious and healthy meals.
What Are The Popular Types Of Food That Have Gluten In Them?
Popular food types containing gluten are baked goods, bread, pasta, crackers, cereal, beer, soup, gravy, barley, wheat, and oats.
What Happens To My Body When I Stop Eating Gluten?
A gluten-free diet can do wonders for your body. You experience lowered inflammation, less bloating, improved skin texture, more energy, and less brain fog when you stop eating gluten.
How Do I Know If Store-Bought Rice Is Gluten-Free?
Check the product packaging to see if it has been labeled as ‘gluten-free.’ If it’s not labeled so, check the list of ingredients to check if it has gluten. If you are unclear, call up the manufacturer and clear your doubts.
What Are Some Rice Dishes That Are Not Gluten-Free?
Here are a few rice dishes that contain gluten, which you need to avoid if you are on a gluten-free diet.
- Pre-seasoned packaged rice
- Rice pilaf
- Rice Krispies cereal
- Rice cooked with various sauces
- Rice prepared with added seasonings