Is Rice Gluten Free

The biggest problem with sushi rice, is the sauce used during the cooking/prepping process, most of them are wheat based like teriyaki sauce, salad dressings, eel sauce.

Types of Gluten-Free Rice

Rice is a very nutritious grain and a staple food in more than 100 countries around the world. It’s high in starch, a type of carbohydrate that is a main source of the body’s energy, and low in cost, which makes it a good base for many meals. Natural forms of rice are all gluten-free.

Does Rice Have Gluten?

All natural forms of rice — white, brown, or wild — are gluten-free. Natural rice is a great option for people who are sensitive to or allergic to gluten, a protein usually found in wheat, barley, and rye, and for people who have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten.

Some rice dishes may not be gluten-free, though, usually because they’re made with other ingredients that have gluten. Rice dishes that have gluten may include:

  • Rice pilaf (often made with orzo, which has gluten)
  • Rice Krispies cereal (made with malt, which comes from barley and contains gluten)
  • Preseasoned packaged rice
  • Rice cooked with sauces
  • Rice made with added seasoning or ingredients such as soy sauce

Sometimes, rice can be cross-contaminated with gluten, meaning that it’s been grown, harvested, or processed near or in the same facilities as wheat, barley, or rye. Rice sold in bulk bins, such as at a grocery store, may also be cross-contaminated. This may happen when customers mix the scoops between bins. For example, a shopper might use the flour scoop in the rice bin, which could contaminate all the rice with gluten.

Many sauces have “hidden” gluten. Sauces are often made with flour, which acts as a thickener. Seasonings may be processed around other grains and be cross-contaminated with gluten.

Types of Rice

There are thousands of types of rice, with a wide variety of sizes, colors, stickiness, flavors, and aromas.

Rice is mainly separated into five categories:

  • Short grain. Its grain is twice as long as it is wide, and it becomes sticky when cooked.
  • Medium grain. It has a shorter and wider grain, which becomes tender and semi-sticky when cooked.
  • Long grain. It is four times longer than it is wide. Its grains separate and become fluffy when cooked.
  • Whole grain. It’s rice that hasn’t been milled and polished. The grain is intact and contains bran, germ, and endosperm. Whole-grain rice is usually called brown rice.
  • Refined. This is rice that has been milled and polished. The bran layers have been removed so that only the white, starchy endosperm is left. Refined rice is usually called white rice.

There are many individual varieties of rice that fall into these categories, such as basmati, jasmine, and Texmati. All are gluten-free, but generally, whole-grain rice is more nutritious. The bran layers are rich in:

  • Minerals
  • Phytochemicals
  • Fiber
  • B vitamins
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When the bran layers are removed, the rice loses most of its nutrients. These nutrients are usually added back to the rice, which is then labeled as “enriched” or “fortified,” but only a small portion of the original nutrients are replaced.

Rice Varieties

You can find the more popular types of rice in most grocery stores.

Basmati rice. This is a long-grain rice that separates and becomes fluffy when cooked. It’s fragrant, and you can find it in white and brown varieties. Brown basmati rice has more fiber and a stronger fragrance than white basmati.

Jasmine rice. This is another fragrant long-grain rice. When cooked, jasmine rice becomes soft and slightly sticky.

Sweet brown rice. This is a short-grain rice with a chalky white opaque kernel. When cooked, sweet brown rice becomes very sticky and loses its shape.

Aborio rice. Aborio rice is used mostly for risotto and rice puddings. It is a medium-grain rice that has more starch because it isn’t milled as much as long grain rice. The starch is released when it is cooked, which makes the rice creamy but not mushy. You can find both white and brown arborio.

Black, red, or purple rice. These types of rice are usually short-grain or medium-grain. Their color comes from a phytochemical called anthocyanins, which are also found in blueberries and blackberries.

Glutinous rice. Although it sounds like glutinous rice has gluten, it doesn’t. The term “glutinous” refers to the glue-like, sticky texture of the rice after it’s cooked. This type of rice can be white, brown, or black.

Rice and Gluten Safety

If you have celiac disease, even a little gluten can damage your intestines and cause other health problems. It’s important to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

If you’re sensitive to gluten, follow these tips to make sure your rice dish is safe to eat:

  • Don’t buy rice in bulk bins.
  • Call ahead to restaurants and ask whether certain items on the menu are gluten-free.
  • When dining out, ask for plain rice with no seasonings or other ingredients.
  • When shopping, check labels to make sure a food is truly gluten-free.
  • Call the manufacturer of the food brand for more information if it’s not clear from the label whether the product has gluten.

If you’re allergic to or sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, it’s safe to eat all types of natural rice. If you’re not sure that your dish is fully gluten-free, though, it’s best to avoid it.

Show Sources

Beyond Celiac: “Is Rice Gluten-Free?”

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – The Nutrition Source: “Rice.”

NHS: “Celiac disease – Treatment.”

Oldways Whole Grains Council: “Types of Rice.”

Is Rice Gluten-Free? 4 Types of Rice to Avoid

is rice gluten free

One of the commonest doubts that people have during their gluten-free crusade is whether they can eat that deliciously tempting smoked or stir fried bowl of rice.

Considering that gluten has an uncanny knack to end up even in grains that do not contain the protein by itself, the doubt is partly justified.

Is Rice Gluten-Free?

Rice is one of many gluten-free foods that are naturally gluten free.

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All plain varieties of rice are inherently gluten-free including brown rice, basmati rice, plain polished white rice, black rice, and even wild rice.

Take glutinous rice for example, despite sounding like it’s loaded with gluten in every molecule, the name simply refers to the final sticky form from how it’s cooked, and not because it contains gluten.

In many cases, the name itself can be a misnomer.

P eople generally want to know if potatoes are gluten-free, considering they’re easily found on even the simplest of recipes.

4 Types of Rice You Should Never Eat

If your taste buds veer towards flavored versions then you are officially entering gluten turf. Flavored rice mixes contain wheat-based ingredients like thickeners and soy-sauce that can contaminate it with gluten.

Most manufacturers of rice who are diligent about protecting their products from cross-contamination add the ‘gluten-free’ label as a USP and a feather to their collar.

Not only does this help clear the doubt in the minds of the discerning shopper, it also provides an added impetus to the sales.

Just because the product is rice based, that doesn’t make it gluten-free as many packaged rice products contains ingredients like spices, and even sauces that sometimes contain gluten in extremely high amounts.

Keep a look out for products that are also labeled wheat-free, they too can, and quite often do contain gluten.

Instant Rice

Most precooked rices sold in your local store, or supermarket quite often contain thickeners, sauces and other ingredient mixes that contain rye, and even barley.

Double check that the package is labeled and certified as gluten-free, especially microwave ready packaged rices.

Sushi Rice

The biggest problem with sushi rice, is the sauce used during the cooking/prepping process, most of them are wheat based like teriyaki sauce, salad dressings, eel sauce.

Especially the fillings for sushi rolls, they’re regularly made with sauces and thickeners that you need to stay far away from. If you’re planning to eat sushi, we suggest bringing your own gluten-free based sauces that can be bought at your local store like tempura.

If you’re eating at a restaurant, a family or friends house, make sure to inform ahead of time, have a list of instructions and things to give to the chef so they may remove it or not include it.

Cross Contact

Though Rice is naturally gluten-free, cross contact can happen when it comes in touch with gluten containing grains like barley, rye, wheat or during processes like growing, harvesting or even packaging.

Did you know that it’s possible for wheat products like flour to stay in the air for hours, increasing the chances of cross contact contamination from the kitchenware, other uncovered foods and surfaces.

Though the chances of cross contact and cross-contamination are remote since rice, and wheat aren’t normally processed in the same facility, it can happen, it’s important to thoroughly clean the cooking area before, and after cooking, prevention is the most important aspect when it comes to living gluten-free.

Dangers of Arsenic in Rice

Arsenic is a chemical, that’s naturally found in nature and it is becoming a problem for most rice consumers, especially thos with celiac disease patients and other gluten related problems as they have the tendency to eat more foods containing rice as it’s gluten-free compared to the general population.

Eating high amounts of inorganic arsenic is unhealthy, and dangerous to one’s health.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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