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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