Gluten-Free Rice Information Types Nutrition and Benefits


rice gluten free

Rice is a staple food for many, and for good reason. It’s versatile, affordable, and easy to prepare. But rice can also be a hidden source of gluten cross-contamination for those with Celiac Disease or who are looking to avoid gluten in their diet for any reason. In this article, we’ll cover rice – gluten-free rice, that is!

Benefits

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Did you know rice doesn’t naturally contain gluten? While rice can be a hidden source of cross-contamination for those with Celiac Disease, it is an extremely versatile and inexpensive food. Rice is high in carbohydrates but low in fat, which makes rice healthy to eat when managing your weight or blood sugar levels – especially when consuming rice brown rice rather than white rice! Brown rice contains more dietary fiber than white rice (both types are nutritionally similar), meaning less cholesterol and lower risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, rice bran contains antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Types

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Before we cover rice gluten-free and rice alternatives, let’s first understand some rice basics.

There are four main types of rice:

Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice is long-grain rice originally from the foothills of the Himalayas. It has a unique flavor and fragrance that makes it popular as aromatic rice for cooking. Basmati rice contains just 0.5 grams of fat per cup (cooked), which helps keep calories low without sacrificing taste or texture.

Jasmine rice

Jasmine rice is similar to basmati rice in terms of its length, aroma, and distinctive flavor; however, jasmine rice originated in Thailand and is significantly more sticky than basmati rice when cooked. Asian restaurants often use jasmine rice as a rice base when preparing various rice dishes.

Brown rice

Brown rice is a healthier rice choice than white rice because it has higher fiber content and contains nutrients that play a prominent role in regulating blood sugar levels, which helps control diabetes. Brown rice also slows the rise in blood sugar caused by consuming carbohydrates because its bran coating delays digestion and absorption of starches into the bloodstream. As an added bonus, rice bran is high in antioxidants, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice (45-50 minutes) because it hasn’t had its husk removed, which creates more surface area for water to penetrate and cook the rice. Because of this extra step, rice bran is more susceptible to spoilage and must be stored properly in order to avoid rice going bad.

White rice

White rice removes the husk, germ, and bran from rice kernels during processing. This step reduces cooking time and prevents rice from spoiling as quickly as brown rice, which is beneficial for food manufacturers who require a longer shelf life for rice products. However, rice bran is removed during processing as well, which means white rice lacks most of the rice bran’s dietary fiber and nutrients. White rice is more processed than brown rice because it has lower fiber content and contains less protein.

Nutrition

In general, rice can be a healthy addition to your diet as long as you’re careful about your rice intake based on the type of rice you choose. Brown rice is healthier than white rice because it contains more fiber and fewer calories; however, both types are low in fat and cholesterol-free (but read: not heart-healthy). Rice does contain B vitamins like thiamin and niacin but also contains high levels of carbohydrates which could impact blood sugar levels, so rice is best consumed in moderation.

And while rice does contain carbohydrates, rice bran contains polyphenols and actually has an anti-inflammatory effect when consumed. When rice bran oil reaches your stomach, lauric acid (present in rice bran) promotes healthy gut flora that contributes to good digestive health. And rice gluten-free!

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