What Is Gluten-Free Rice?

N. Farley

All rice is naturally gluten-free, though some rice is cooked with ingredients that contain gluten. Those who are looking for gluten-free rice should be careful to ensure that the rice is not prepared using sauces or additives that will contain gluten products. Additionally, gluten-free rice must be processed and prepared separately from products containing gluten, as it can otherwise be contaminated. When selected and identified with caution, gluten-free rice can become a fulfilling dietary staple for individuals with a gluten intolerance or for those who simply wish to live a gluten-free lifestyle.

Different types of rice.
Different types of rice.

Rice is available in many varieties, including brown, white and basmati, which are all gluten-free. Those varieties that include any wheat, barley or rice additives are not to be considered gluten-free and should be avoided by individuals with a gluten intolerance. In many cases, gluten-free rice will be identified by special labeling on its package or designated as part of a gluten-free menu. If the package is not clearly labeled as a gluten-free food, people can look to see whether or not the rice contains ingredients such as wheat or barley malt. Generally, rice products include few ingredients, so it should be easy to review the packaging for potential contaminants.

All rice is naturally gluten-free.
All rice is naturally gluten-free.

Gluten-free rice can be prepared in a manner that makes it taste just like rices prepared with gluten ingredients. When dining out, patrons should always ask how their meals are prepared to determine whether or not they are actually receiving gluten-free rice. Rices that are prepared ahead of time with sauces or that are cooked alongside pastas are not likely to fall into this category. Often, the rice can be prepared separately by request if a patron has an allergy to these products. Many people also use gluten-free rice as a substitute for other ingredients when cooking or baking.

Some people remove gluten from their diets in order to improve digestive problems, while others, such as individuals with celiac disease, can only eat gluten-free foods. When people with celiac disease eat gluten products, they cannot absorb several essential nutrients because their intestines are attacked by their immune systems. This damage can have long-term consequences for an individual's health. An individual with celiac disease should always look into the way rice is prepared before consuming it. Before making any significant dietary changes such as going on a gluten-free diet, it's always best to contact a doctor or other healthcare professional for advice.

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