Rice is one of the world’s most well-known grains. Does that mean it also contains gluten and should be avoided by individuals with gluten sensitivity?
The Short Answer:
Yes, rice in its natural state is gluten-free!
The Long Answer:
Rice is one of the main components of the grain food group. Many people assume, because of that, it is chock full of gluten. But those people would be 100% wrong.
Not all grains contain gluten, and rice is one of the most popular gluten-free grains in the world. This rings true for all varieties of rice. Asian Sticky Rice is sometimes referred to as “glutinous rice” which makes many people assume that it contains gluten. However, the term is actually referring to the rice’s sticky consistency and has nothing to do with gluten in any way, shape, or form.
When shopping for rice, it’s important to always be checking your nutrition labels. Some rice that you can buy in the supermarket is mixed with various sauces or spices which contain gluten. Also, make sure you’re getting actual rice and not orzo, as orzo contains a fair amount of gluten.
You should make sure that the rice you buy in the market is certified gluten-free. Sometimes during the farming process, rice can come into contact with wheat, rye, and barley and pick up gluten through cross-contact. Another dangerous place where cross-contact can occur is within bulk bins in the supermarket.
WHAT IS GLUTEN?
Gluten is a name for proteins found in rye, wheat, barley, and triticale. Gluten functions as an edible adhesive, holding foods together and maintaining their shape.
Gluten can be dangerous for those with an autoimmune reaction known as celiac disease. Affected individuals could see heightened weight loss, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, persistent diarrhea or constipation, brain fog and a skin disease called dermatitis.
Gluten is also known to cause gut inflammation, which can lead to digested food making its way into the bloodstream through the intestines. As such, harmful viruses and bacteria that would have normally been eliminated by the digestive system could be let loose into the bloodstream.
Eliminating gluten from your diet can lead to easy weight loss and increased energy in individuals, which is why it has become such a popular diet trend.