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Is Rice Truly Gluten Free?

A gluten free diet is recommended for individuals who suffer from gluten intolerance or allergy. The diet restricts certain gluten-containing foods such as wheat, barley, oats and rye. Rice on the other hand is permitted. But is rice gluten free?


Plain rice, regardless of whether it is a whole grain brown rice, polished white rice, or exotic black rice, is always considered gluten free since it lacks the gluten lectin agglutinin however there is a little more to the story as you’ll see below.

 

People who are diagnosed with Celiac disease need to adhere to a gluten free diet to avoid fatal allergic reactions. Celiac disease is a medical condition in which a person is allergic to gluten, a protein component that can be found in barley, wheat, oats and rye foods.

 

The human body’s immune system reacts to gluten and damages the small intestinal tract, which may lead to poor nutrient absorption. It is crucial for people suffering the disease to avoid foods that contain gluten, including even minor exposure, to prevent an immune reaction.

 

Rice Products Generally Approved for Gluten Free Diets

 

Rice is the primary source of carbohydrate in Asian countries like Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, China and etc. It is a starchy grain that provides the carbohydrate component in a gluten free diet. People with Celiac disease are generally told they can enjoy it whether it is served in a steamed rice dish, mixed with other dishes, or made into flour and used for baking.

 

That said rice does contain anti-nutrient properties (mostly in the bran) such as haemagglutinin lectin and phytates so it is important to evaluate the merits of rice consumption for yourself particularly if you suffer from Celiac disease. For most people eating white rice (bran removed) is fairly harmless provided their tolerance for starch is good (i.e. no insulin resistance). If you’d like to read more about the nutrition profile of rice check out this information.

 

Rice is a very versatile grain and used in many forms around the world. According to the Gluten Intolerance Group site, rice, rice starch, rice bran, rice flour can be used in cooking. Around 66% of the world’s population relies on rice as the main source of carbohydrate. Brown rice also contains other nutrients such as iron, vitamin D, calcium, niacin, thiamin, and fiber however the phytates in rice can act to bind these nutrients making the unavailable and thus useless to the body . Overall rice is considered as a low-allergen food and is often regarded as one of the ‘safety eats’ in many food sensitivity and allergy lists.

 

Types of Rice

 

  • Long grain white rice. This is perhaps the most popular kind of rice all over the world. Countries like Thailand and the Philippines produce enormous quantities of rice, but most of it is locally consumed. Quality may vary from one country to another. There is also a rice variety grown in the United States. White rice is simply brown rice without the husk therefore it has fewer nutrients and lacks roughage (probably a good thing since excess fiber isn’t always beneficial).

 

  • Long grain brown rice has more nutrients compared to white rice and has a delicious nutty taste. It’s usually regarded as a source of iron, folate and dietary fiber however as noted above the phytin in rice works to make these nutrients unavailable to the body and it does contain potentially gut damaging lectins.

 

Rice Flour in Gluten Free Diets

 

Rice and rice flour are potential additions to your gluten free diet. Many gluten free cereals and baked products contain rice flour as a substitute for wheat. The main thing to keep in mind if you do decide to make rice a regular part of your diet is that white rice is significantly better tolerated in general and especially for individuals with Celiac or allergies.

 

If you are trying to follow a gluten free diet and find it challenging you aren’t alone. Gluten is hidden in many different foods today and it can be hard to avoid while still eating foods you enjoy. The good news is that you can eat plenty of absolutely delicious foods while still avoiding all the problems that come with eating gluten.

 

You can check out the resources page right here or take a look at this guide to preparing great gluten-free meals which can help you avoid bland food so each meal is something to look forward to.

 

To find out more about how to make delicious, gluten-free meals, snacks and more click here!

 

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Gluten Free Resources: The Big List

Even though the number of people who are interested in gluten free eating is increasing those of us who have been following a gluten free diet for some time -or are just looking into it- know that it’s far from mainstream.

 

Scroll Down to Skip the Intro and See the Resource List!

 

The good news is that even if it is a little bit of an uncommon approach to eating there are quite a few resources out there in the way of cookbooks, guides to help you go gluten free and interviews you can use to help back up your decision to eliminate gluten to skeptical friends and family members.

 

Here you’ll find a bunch of resources for all things gluten free. Some of them are free resources and some cost a few bucks. Some of the links for the paid products are affiliate links so many thanks if you find a helpful product and decide to make a purchase through one of my links here.

 

If you are on a tight budget there is plenty of free information out there so don’t sweat it. At the same time it can be easier and faster to get going with some of the ebooks and how-to guides so they do have their place.

 

Enjoy…I hope you find something super-helpful!

 

Gluten Free Resources

 

How-To Guides:

 

Gluten Free Made Easy! – A free PDF guide to finding hidden sources of gluten everywhere.

 

Surviving to Thriving – A step-by-step guide on getting relief and freedom from Celiac Disease, IBS, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.

 

Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Total Transformation – A guide to get you started on a gluten-free paleo style diet for improvement in symptoms of Celiac, IBS, blood lipids and weight loss.

 

Books & Cookbooks:

 

Note: Some of these books go beyond basic gluten free eating for better results. If you aren’t familiar with it the terms paleo/primal indicate a gluten free emphasis.

 

The Paleo Solution:  The Original Human Diet

 

The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy

 

Wheat Belly – Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

 

Cookbooks:

 

The Easy Way to Gluten Free Baking

 

Easy Paleo Recipe Book – Easy-to-make gluten and grain free recipes.

 

Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen

 

Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion

 

Everyday Paleo – Gluten Free Living for Families

 

The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Primal, Low Carb, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free

 

Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes

 

Interviews, Articles and Video Clips:

 

Wheat Belly: Paleo Solution Interview – Features Dr. William Davis on the Paleo Solution podcast. Learn some surprising “secrets” about wheat, gluten and their negative impacts on your health (even if you don’t have Celiac disease).

 

Excerpt from The Paleo Solution – An article on the 4HWW blog by Robb Wolf explaining how grains cause your body to attack itself and damage your gut and overall health.

 

Wheat Belly: Underground Wellness Interview – Sean Croxton of UndergroundWellness interviews Dr. William Davis about the effects of wheat on your bodies.

 

How Wheat Can Make You Fat – Underground Wellness

 

 

Gluten Free Recipes

So you’re looking for gluten free recipes right? If you are like a lot of people you’ve discovered through tough personal experience or perhaps through friends and family that eliminating gluten from your diet is THE way to go.

 

Gluten is everywhere these days which is odd because it doesn’t need to be and it wasn’t as widespread back in the day either. Some folks believe that modern hybridization and genetic modification of grains has led to higher gluten content in modern grains as well as more potent gluten proteins.

 

Of course that’s the last thing we want since consuming gluten can be an absolute killer for some people. If you are super sensitive to gluten even trace amounts, like what you’d get from a few measly breadcrumbs, can set off painful reactions, cramps and digestive discomfort.

 

For those of us who are a bit more tolerant we might experience stomach pain after eating a meal loaded with gluten (you know pizza, cake all that good stuff). Gluten can also lead to an amazing number of other complications you totally wouldn’t suspect it off unless you knew better. Rheumatoid arthritis (even if you’re a pretty young person), PCOS, gall stones…all kinds of fun stuff.

 

OK, so you know about all that already which is why you’re interested in finding some sweet (literally and figuratively) gluten free recipes. The great news is that there are a ton of them to be found. We’ll hand over a couple great breakfast ideas here plus links to more.

 

Oh, and there’s a treasure trove of gluten free recipes for every meal of the day behind the link at the bottom so be sure to check that out. Cool, cool stuff. (Yeah, I know I just linked to the link I said would be at the bottom. Don’t worry it’s still down there!)

 

Gluten Free Recipes for Breakfast

 

So, breakfast is often a super gluten-ized (made that up right there) meal of the day. There’s like, a whole aisle, at the grocery store devoted to gluten-filled goodness for breakfast all with claims of ‘heart health’ and ‘filled with vitamins and minerals’.

 

Okay, okay maybe there are a load of vitamins and minerals in some of that breakfast cereal junk (see I’m not mincing words here) but you know what? It probably won’t do you any good.

 

Gluten damages the gut lining (kind of gross) and you know what that does?! Yeah, it makes it hard for your innards to absorb the nutrients you need. Vitamins, minerals, whatever. Plus many grains are high in phytates, or at least one form of phytates, which are great at binding up the minerals and making them unusable by your body. So those breakfast cereals aren’t so great after all, huh?

 

So what about toast, pancakes, waffles, donuts…? Boy, I feel a little sick just talking about it. A lot of that stuff TASTES great but what it’s doing to you on the inside (which will show on the outside sooner or later) is TERRIBLE.

 

So what do you eat for breakfast? Alright here’s a novel idea: Eat meat, vegetables and fruit for breakfast. That’s it people. Okay, it is a little more complicated than that but not much.

 

To make it easy here are some great gluten free breakfast ideas plus links to loads more for lunch and dinner towards the bottom:

 

Gluten Free Breakfast #1

 

Cinnamon-Applesauce Topped Gluten Free Pancakes

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Cranberry-Sausage Crumble (made that name up just now)

gluten free recipes - sausage cranberry crumble

Sausage Cranberry Crumble (with fried plantains)

OK, for the gluten free pancakes you’ll need:

1 banana

1 cup almond meal/flour (or just get raw almonds and blend them fine)

3 eggs

Mash the banana and beat into the egg and almond flour mixture. Using a hand blender is best. Heat up a griddle and cook those things up. It helps to have some coconut oil or lard to slick up the griddle or pan and keep your pancakes from sticking.

And no you don’t need to worry about the saturated fat in coconut oil and lard. You’ll have to read up on that another day but for now just believe it.

To make the Cranberry-Sausage Crumble you’ll need:

½ lb ground sausage

2-3 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ cup dried cranberries

All you need to do for this is brown up the sausage, chopping it as it cooks and add in the cinnamon and cranberries. Cook it until it’s nice and brown. Maybe a little crispy.

Depending on your appetite this might be two meals for you. Load up the pancakes with warmed, cinnamon spiced apple sauce and throw the sausage crumble on the plate beside it then dig in.

 

Gluten Free Breakfast #2

 

Hearty, Fruity Breakfast Plate

2 eggs (poached, fried or scrambled)

1-2 sausage patties

1 banana

1 sliced apple

Some raisins and cinnamon

Slice the banana, dice the apple, mix in some raisins and cinnamon…Instructions: Devour. It’s good stuff.

 

Where to Find More Gluten Free Recipes

 

If you like making stuff up on the fly then then I’m sure you can think of loads of other variations and numerous potential gluten free recipes.

 

But then some of us like to do things by the book…or at least by the website. We’ll get to both of those.

 

If you like looking up gluten free recipes and working from website based recipes then you want to check out the recipes archive right here…and another super one right here. These are excellent, excellent places to find gluten free recipes.

 

They aren’t all dairy-free but usually they’ll have options for using coconut milk or whatever. Of course that only matters if you are sensitive to dairy as well as gluten and other grains.

 

Other folks like a bit more structure to their recipe and kitchen adventures. You want stuff organized into specific categories for different meals of the day.

 

You want gluten free snacks, gluten free dessert recipes, guides to what spices to use…etc. etc. etc.

 

If that’s you then go look at this gluten free recipes resource. Yeah, maybe it has a funny name…Paleo. What’s that supposed to have to do with gluten free eating?

 

Actually it has a lot to do with it and guess what?…all the recipes in the cook book are gluten free.

 

Using a cookbook made specifically for people who are avoiding gluten like the plague it is will be SO much easier than constantly trying to modify lousy ‘normal’ recipes into gluten free concoctions of delight.

 

Click here to find out how to make awesome gluten free meals you can enjoy everyday, for every meal.

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Is Quinoa Gluten Free?

The number of people realizing they have a problem with traditionally eaten, gluten-containing foods is increasing and many of these folks are looking for alternatives since the consumption of grain products is such a integral part of many societies.

 

Perhaps you’re one of these folks looking for gluten free options and wondering, ‘Is quinoa gluten free?’. As you probably guessed from the URL we do cover the role of rice in a gluten free diet a bit in a few of the other posts. Today though let’s look at a commonly recommended alternative to wheat for people with Celiac and why it isn’t such a smart choice after all.

 

As many of us are aware of the top reason for avoiding wheat is because of the anti-nutrient properties it has. Basically since each kernel or grain of wheat is a seed and the life of a new wheat plant it doesn’t really want to be eaten. That would make it harder for wheat as a species of plant to thrive and maintain it’s existence. So it tries to kill you. Or at least give you stomach ache. Yep, wheat has some nasty ways of doing it too.

 

In wheat the lectin Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) is the primary culprit but other grains have similar lectins in varying amounts and levels of potency. These lectins can damage your gastro-intestintal tract potentially penetrating it and causing auto-immune and inflammatory reactions that can lead to long term health problems.

 

Since quinoa isn’t exactly the in the cereal grain family on a botanical level it usually seems to get a free pass from the gluten free community when it doesn’t really deserve one. While quinoa does not contain gluten it does have natural chemical defense systems like other types of grains do and this is bad news for your GI tract and your health in general.

 

Ever hear of saponins? If not think of the word soap and you’ll be headed in the right direction since saponins are molecules that make a soap-like foaming reaction when shaken in a water-based solution. While they are said not to attach themselves to carriers as the gluten proteins do, saponins can poke holes in the cell membranes of the microvilli (this is all in your gut mind you). This, of course, is profoundly irritating. In short quinoa might as well be a grain and in some ways it might as well have gluten too. At least if it did people who probably should not be eating it now, would not be eating it.

 

So to answer the question: Is quinoa gluten free? Yes. But don’t eat it.

 

What do you eat besides quinoa, wheat and all these other problematic grains? We’ve talked a bit here before about how white rice is a fairly reasonable option for most people. Since white rice has had the bran removed it is primarily a starch and the potentially irritating anti-nutrients in the bran are eliminated. If you are trying to lose weight it may not be the first thing you should turn to depending on your situation and particular health status but it is probably the best option out there in terms of grains and grain-like products.

 

Beyond that the best way to avoid the problems faced by Celiac sufferers is to make your diet primarily one of meats, fruits, vegetables and some tubers like sweet potatoes. This will have the dual benefit of eliminating gluten and similar lectins from your diet as well as clearing out the processed food content so your body can thrive on whole, clean foods that help spark all the right hormonal signals for health and vitality.

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What’s a Rice Flour Substitute?

Maintaining rice free diet can be a challenge for many but is definitely doable. There are plenty of rice and rice flour substitutes available in the market today.

 

The incidence of rice allergy is relatively low in the United States. It is most prevalent in Asian countries where rice is used as a staple food. The body’s immune system tends to develop hypersensitivity reactions when rice is consumed or when rice pollen is inhaled. Symptoms of rice allergy can appear immediately within two hours after exposure. These can include a sudden drop in blood pressure, abdominal cramping, hives, dizziness and breathing difficulties.

 

Here are a few rice substitutes:

 

Coconut Flour

 

  • Coconut flour is a great alternative to rice flours and is also considered a gluten free flour for people suffering from Celiac disease. Coconut is low in digestible carbohydrates, rich in fiber, tastes good and is cheaper compared to other nut flours. Coconut flour is made from finely ground coconut meat with most of the fat and moisture removed.

 

  • The flour can be used like wheat flour to bake a multitude of excellent recipes for cookies, breads, cakes, desserts and even for main dishes. The flour contains fewer carbohydrates than soy flour and nut flours. Coconut flour is also a good protein source; it contains more protein than rye flour, enriched white flour, cornmeal and just as much as whole wheat flour without the gut damaging gluten present in wheat flour.

 

Almond Flour

 

  • Almond flour (sometimes called almond meal) is made by grinding almonds and can be used as a substitute for rice flour and what flour in baking. It is a popular ingredient in dessert recipes because of its sweet and nutty flavor. Almond flour is high in nutrients, fats and proteins. Foods that are made using almond flour and almond meal tend to be rich and high in calories.

 

  • The subtle and nutty flavor of almond goes pretty well with most foods. It can be used to replace wheat flour in a variety of recipes such as biscuits, pizza dough and pancakes. The fatty content of almond flour blends perfectly with butter and eggs, making it a good choice for making elegant dough and pie crust. Many gourmet pastries of French origin are usually made with almond flour.

 

Buckwheat Flour

 

  • Buckwheat flour is among the most popular rice flour alternatives in the market today. It features a rich and nutty flavor that is perfect for baking everyday pastries. Buckwheat flour is also gluten free, which is very beneficial for people who are suffering from Celiac disease.

 

  • Buckwheat plants are initially mowed and then dried before removing its inedible husk. The buckwheat is dried completely to keep it from getting rancid. The buckwheat is ground with the outer bran component which is rich in nutrients and fiber. The buckwheat flour can be used on its own or blended with other flour varieties.

 

Amaranth Flour

 

  • Amaranth flour is a powder derived from grinding the seeds of the amaranth plant. It is also a common ingredient in many gluten free foods and a good alternative to rice flour. Amaranth is more expensive compared to other varieties of cereal grains but has more dietary and nutritional benefits. This has made the amaranth a valuable cultivated grain for years. This protein dense flour can also be used as an ingredient in many foods such as pizzas, cakes and breads. The amaranth grains contain more oil and are also high in nutritive fatty acids.

 

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Is White Rice Gluten Free?

A gluten free diet is a special type of diet that doesn’t include the protein gluten.

 

Gluten can be found in grains like barley, wheat and rye. People who are suffering from gluten intolerance are advised to avoid wheat and other wheat containing products like cereals, cookies, crackers, cakes, pastas, oats, soups, salad dressings, processed meats and so on (more about gluten free cooking here).

 

White Rice & Gluten Free Eating

 

Gluten refers to a protein component that forms in grains as they grown in fields. Barley produces hordein, wheat forms gliadin, rye produces secalin and rice produces a form of gluten known as oryzenin. A person who has been diagnosed with Celiac disease or CD produces an immune response to the gluten components that can be found in rye, wheat and barley.

 

However, the protein from rice doesn’t generally cause the same hypersensitivity reaction as wheat or other gluten exposure would. There can still be problems arising from rice consumption related the the anti-nutrient content however white rice is largely free of these problems since the bran has been removed.

 

Is White Rice Healthy for Individuals With Celiac Disease?

 

When a person is diagnosed to have Celiac disease, the intestinal tract reacts to gluten as a harmful substance in the body. This form of autoimmune disorder damages the lining in the small intestines which are responsible for nutrient absorption from the foods that you eat. Today, the only way to prevent this intestinal damage is to follow a gluten free diet. Foods with rice and rice flour are generally known as ‘safe’ for gluten free diets. However, gluten free products that are made from rice flour may be contaminated with gluten if manufactured in the same factory with other wheat based food items.

 

White Rice & a Gluten Free Diet

 

Is white rice gluten free? Yes, it does not contain the agglutinin protein like wheat although it does contain haemagglutinin lectin. White rice flour can be substituted for wheat in many pastry products. A good way for you to eliminate the gluten contact among foods is to make baked products at home using white rice flour or brown rice flour. Try to substitute a cup of brown rice to one cup of wheat flour in the baked recipes. Also known as glutinous flour, sweet rice flour contains more starch compared to the white rice or brown varieties. Glutinous flour is also made to thicken the consistency of soups and gravies.

 

White Rice Nutritional Value

 

White rice is a staple food in most Asian countries and serves as the main food source for over 50% of the world’s population. White rice is a grain that has been refined; the bran, husk and germ layers are already removed, leaving the inner kernel. Removing the outer layer reduces much of its nutritional value but also eliminates the anti-nutrient properties that go along with the bran. Today, there are enriched rice products with nutrients to “make up for” its original nutritional value.

 

A cup of cooked white rice contains about 165 calories while enriched parboiled rice has about 205 calories with the same serving.

 

Things to Consider When Buying White Rice

 

White rice flour is made by finely grinding white rice and is an excellent gluten free substitute for wheat flour among people with CD. The Celiac Sprue Association has categorized white rice as ‘gluten free’ along with other rice products like precooked rice, long grain rice, risotto, japonica rice and instant rice.

 

When you are shopping for gluten free grains, make sure you do your homework. Even though white rice is gluten free, it can still be contaminated during the manufacturing stage. The NFCA also features an extensive online listing of gluten free brands, markets and vendors to make your search easier.

 

Many people with gluten intolerance or Celiac actually find that they do better avoiding all grain products and not just wheat. Of course this can make cooking a bit tougher. The good news is there are a lot of gluten free cooking resources.

 

If you’re having a hard time avoiding gluten in the kitchen you can get started with grain and gluten free cooking by clicking right here (our gluten free recipes post).

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Is Brown Rice Gluten Free?

A gluten free diet excludes all the food items that contain barley, wheat and rye.

 

Gluten is a protein compound that can be found in the said grains and can cause serious health problems in individuals who are suffering Celiac Disease. This autoimmune disorder affects the villi of the small intestines compromising nutrient absorption in the body. Some people avoid gluten because of their intolerance to this protein, which in turn results in digestive symptoms like diarrhea, gas and abdominal bloating.

 

Anything made from barley, wheat or rye should be avoided; from the most obvious pastas and breads to the not so apparent items like lotions and lip balms. Gluten in any form, when ingested, can trigger Celiac disease in the human body. Even something as little as 1/8 teaspoon of wheat flour is enough to produce potentially fatal hypersensitivity response in vulnerable individuals.

 

Brown Rice & Celiac Disease

 

Today, adherence to a strict gluten diet remains the only treatment for Celiac disease. While options are increasing in the market these days, finding gluten free prepared food products is still quite a challenging task for many. When struggling to determine which product is gluten free or not, always remember that around five out of six fresh foods are gluten free! It can help a lot to find simple gluten free recipes that you can use on a daily basis.

 

So, is brown rice gluten free? Rest assured, brown rice is not a gluten containing food so you can take advantage of it in many preparations on your gluten free diet. However it does contain the haemagglutinin lectin which can cause problems for some individuals. Because of this white rice, which has had the bran removed, may actually be a better form of rice to consume provided you aren’t insulin resistant and can tolerate the starch.

 

Brown Rice Nutritional Data

 

Also known as hulled rice, brown rice is a type of whole, natural grain. It features a mild nutty flavor, chewier and is more nutrient dense compared to white rice although the phytin in the bran can render the nutrients unavailable for absorbtion. Brown rice goes rancid faster compared to white rice because of its fat-containing germ layer. The milling process removes the inedible husk of the grain’s kernel.

 

The caloric content of brown rice will depend upon the kind of rice grain (short, long, sticky & etc.) and the method it is cooked and consumed. A cup of brown rice is equivalent to 195 grams of cooked long grain brown rice and has 216 calories.

 

100 grams of brown rice contains:

 

  • 10 milligrams calcium
  • 43 milligrams magnesium
  • 83 milligrams phosphorus
  • 5 milligrams sodium
  • 43 mg potassium
  • 0.9 grams fat
  • 23 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.8 grams dietary fiber
  • 2.6 grams protein
  • 0.9 milligrams manganese

 

Cooking Brown Rice

 

Regular brown rice usually takes about 30 minutes to cook. There are manufacturers who offer dehydrated and partially cooked brown rice as quick cooking rice grains. There are also bags of brown rice that can be found in the freezer section in grocery stores. If you are on a gluten free diet, brown rice can potentially serve as a substitute for whole grains with gluten such as cereals, whole wheat bread, faro and barley.

 

When finely grounded and turned into flour, brown rice can be used in gluten free baking mixes. The combination of brown rice flour with tapioca starch and potato starch can be used as a substitute for white flour in many baking recipes. Instead of going for regular wheat pasta, people who are under a gluten free diet can also used brown rice pasta made from gluten free rice flour.

 

Purchasing brown rice flour should be done with extreme caution. There are plenty of mills that process gluten free and wheat products in the same area. This could lead to a possible contamination. Look for rice flours that are clearly labeled ‘gluten free’. If you are really serious about gluten free eating you are probably collecting a list of your favorite recipes that are gluten free. Click here to get ideas for a few more gluten free meals.

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Rice Allergy Symptoms

Rice is the staple food for billions of people all over the world. Rice is also considered to be one of the least likely grains to cause hypersensitivity symptoms.

 

Rice allergy in the United States is low but around 10% of atopic subjects in Japan have been found with this hypersensitivity. Unlike most food allergies, rice allergy is usually seen more often in children than in adults. Rice pollen can also cause hay fever symptoms in areas rice is grown commercially. Because rice is a member of the grass species, its pollen becomes airborne and inhaled easily.

 

A rice allergy is an adverse reaction initiated by the body’s immune system in response to rice and other rice containing products. The immune system produces immunoglobulin E and histamine as soon as it gets in contact with the allergen. Rice allergy symptoms can be mildly discomforting to life threatening and knowing the signs of the allergy can save your life.

 

Rice Allergy Signs & Symptoms

 

Outward signs

  • Typical rice allergy signs include abdominal bloating, diarrhea, vomiting and skin rash. Ingested rice can cause gases to build up and cause loose stools if you have a deficiency in the enzymes that break down rice. Vomiting usually happens when the body identifies rice as an invalid nutrient source and as a toxin. Rashes usually occur if a shampoo, lotion or any topical product contains rice and rice derivatives and also after rice ingestion.

 

Mild signs

  • Mild signs can include itchy soft tissues (like tissues inside the mouth) and stomach aches. These are mild allergic reactions that will likely progress with your next rice exposure. Mild reactions can appear simultaneously at any age but more likely in children.

 

Severe reactions

  • Severe and life threatening reactions may also occur anytime without warning. Severe rice allergy symptoms include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, swelling of tongue and larynx, rapid pulse and a sudden drop in blood pressure. This condition is also known as anaphylactic shock and can be life threatening if medical help is not immediately provided.

 

 

Emergency Precautions

 

In cases of severe allergic reaction in the past, like an anaphylactic shock episode, some individuals may need to carry with them an epinephrine syringe, also called as an Epie pen. This Epie pen should be carried at all times, especially when dining out. Epinephrine interrupts the progress of severe reactions, allowing you more time for an ambulance or to reach the emergency room. Epinephrine is prescribed by physicians.

 

Lifestyle Tips

 

A crucial part of implementing a rice allergy diet is learning how to read and analyze food labels. Make sure you review the label before consuming any food item. Some of the ingredients that you need to watch out for include rice, rice flour, wild rice and cream of rice. Although rice is easy to identify in food items, foods that are made with rice flour can be hard to detect. Spring rolls, sweetmeats and noodles are usually made of rice flour and can still trigger reaction. You can always substitute rice with things like coconut or almond flour. This may be especially beneficial if you have autoimmune problems like Celiac or issues related to intestinal permeability.

 

People who have rice allergy should also avoid food items that belong to the same botanical family. These include foods that contain maize, oats, rye, barley and wheat. It may be helpful to consult with a dietitian or allergy specialist regarding food items on your diet.

 

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Brown Rice vs White Rice

When it comes to rice, looks can be very deceiving. Chefs and food stylists like the photogenic attractiveness of the fluffy white rice. However by some measures brown rice, when compared to white rice, wins as the superior choice for nutritional reasons.

 

In the United States, rice is perhaps the most popular food eaten in grain form. It is usually served as a side dish in most American households but in other parts of the world it is the basis for meals. Half of the world’s population eats rice as their staple food. In general, rice can be a good source of the B vitamins like niacin and thiamin. It also contains phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Although rice’s protein content is lower compared to other cereal grains, it still has high protein quality because of its amino acid content.

 

That said, there are caveats to these commonly held views on rice that may cause you to rethink the role of rice in your diet. You can read more about the potential problems caused by anti nutrients found in rice here. Just keep that in mind as you read especially if you have, or suspect you may have Celiac disease.

 

White Rice Nutrition

 

When rice is harvested, it is usually processed in the mill before it is sent to the market. In the case of brown rice and white rice, the inedible hull of the rice is removed so that the grain is accessible. To produce white rice, the individual rice grains are stripped further, the germ and bran removed, and the grains are nicely polished to appear white and smooth. This process renders the rice grains mainly a starch or carbohydrate source. Because the milling process has removed vitamins and minerals from the rice, American white rice variety is usually fortified with B vitamins.

 

Brown Rice Nutrition

 

On the other hand, the brown rice variety is left with the outer layers intact. Because of this brown rice is higher in dietary fiber, thiamin, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, folacin, iron. The dietary fiber of white rice is only a quarter of the brown variety and it also contains lesser vitamins compared to the latter. Since most of the vitamins and minerals can be found in the bran layers, brown rice is usually considered better and healthier for consumers though as we mentioned above this may not actually be the case.

 

Cooking Brown Rice & White Rice

 

Brown rice may take a little longer to cook than white rice. But this issue can be solved by pre-soaking brown rice for a while before cooking it. Brown rice can be cooked using the absorption method where you add less water and keep the pot covered. This will leave little excess water by the time it is cooked. The steam generated inside will speed up the cooking process. White rice usually cooks in less than thirty minutes with more water compared to brown rice.

 

Glycemic Index

 

Glycemic index is a method of measuring how fast a food is digested and the effect on the body’s blood sugar levels. The glycemic index for white rice is 44 for fortified rice, 56 for long grain, and 72 for short grain white rice. The glycemic index for brown rice is 55.

 

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