Gluten sensitivity is becoming so prevalent lately. I have several friends who follow a gluten-free diet, whether it’s because they suffer from Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity. Either way, following a gluten-free diet can be challenging to say the least. Everyone knows to avoid things like pasta and bread, but did you know gluten can be found in many other foods? You may be surprised to find gluten lurking in places you’d least expect. That’s why it’s a good idea to be properly informed. One question I often hear people ask is: “Is Rice Gluten-Free“? Let’s discover the truth about rice and gluten.
Before we talk about rice, let’s clarify the term “gluten”. Gluten is a general name for proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. Some common examples of wheat are: durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro and einkorn.
Common Foods that Contain Gluten: Pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, breakfast food (pancakes, muffins, biscuits, etc..), gravy & sauces (especially soy sauce and sauces made with roux) and beer.
Gluten can also be hidden in foods you wouldn’t expect. Some hidden food sources for gluten may be: potato chips, processed lunch meat, soup, candy, multi-grain tortilla chips, salad dressing, brown rice syrup, lip balm, supplements and even play-dough! Check out this resource for finding gluten on labels.
Is Rice Gluten-Free?
You may have noticed the list above doesn’t specify rice as a gluten-containing food. So, the short answer to the question “Is Rice Gluten Free” is: YES! MOST rice is gluten-free. Plain rice such as: white, brown, long-grained, basmati and black rice are considered gluten-free as long as they’re not cross-contaminated with a gluten source.
Although MOST rice is gluten-free, there are some varieties you need to be cautious of if you’re following a gluten-free diet.
Flavored Rice May Contain Gluten
When shopping for gluten-free rice, be cautious of flavored rice mixes. Many brands sell flavored rice and most of them contain gluten in the form of a wheat-based thickener. There is hope on the horizon though! With so many consumers being sensitive to gluten, companies are starting to make an effort to offer gluten-free products. Did you know Zatarains recently started offering 20 varieties of gluten-free rice mixes? That’s right! I’m sure many other companies will follow their lead soon too…
Be Careful with Sushi
Although most sushi is made with gluten-free rice, many restaurants use grain-based vinegar in the rice. Soy sauce is also used in most Japanese restaurants, so you’ll need to know how to order your sushi so it’s gluten-free.
Things to Avoid When Ordering Sushi:
- Fake Crab (found in most California Rolls)
- Wasabi: Many sushi restaurants (especially in the USA) use a mixture of horseradish, mustard, food coloring and other ingredients that contain gluten. Who knew it wasn’t real wasabi?!
- Marinated fish and eel
- Soy Sauce
If you take the time to learn about gluten and the hidden places it might be lurking, following a gluten-free diet can be easy. Whether you have Celiac disease or just prefer to go without gluten, there are many healthy options available. You can learn more about Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten-free diets on WebMD. You can also discover additional information about healthy living and gluten-free diets on Trim Down Club. Both sites offer great information so you can be properly informed. So, go ahead and enjoy a side of rice with your next gluten-free meal! 😀
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