If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you might want to know if brown rice is gluten-free. In this post, we’re giving you all the details, so you can safely stick to your gluten-free diet!
Brown rice is a staple grain that offers many health benefits and goes well with a wide range of foods. It’s a good source of fiber and magnesium, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Many people love the nutty flavor and chewy texture of brown rice, and embrace the grain for its higher nutritional value in comparison to white rice.
Quick answer: YES, BROWN RICE IS GLUTEN-FREE!
Is Brown Rice Gluten-Free?
Whole-grain brown rice can be served with fish, chicken, or other proteins, or as the base for a nutritious rice bowl. But is it gluten-free?
Yes! All natural forms of rice—including plain brown rice—are naturally gluten-free. Wheat, rye, and barley are gluten-containing grains. But this protein is not found in white rice, brown rice, or wild rice.
Even Asian/Thai rice (also called sticky rice) is gluten-free, even though some people refer to it as “glutinous rice,” due to the sticky nature of the rice.
Which Brands of Rice Are Gluten-Free?
All varieties of rice are naturally free of gluten, meaning that most rice brands found in the United States are safe for those with gluten-related disorders.
Here are some of the most popular brands of gluten-free rice you can find at your local grocery store:
- Lundberg Family Farms
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Planet Rice
- Ben’s Original
- Seeds of Change
White Types of Rice Are Gluten-Free?
All types of rice are gluten-free in their natural form, including white, brown, and wild rice. However, some rice mixes or processed forms of rice may contain gluten, so be sure to read the label before consuming.
Which Rice Is Not Gluten-Free?
Rice is one of those gluten-free foods you can safely eat, even if you have Celiac’s disease.
However, some instant rice mixes, rice pilaf, or types of boiled rice aren’t certified gluten free, and are not safe for those with a wheat allergy.
Unlike plain brown rice, these types of rice may cross-contaminate with gluten products during the manufacturing process or milling process. They might also contain additives that have gluten in them.
It’s best to read shop in the gluten-free section, or read the nutrition label to be sure you’re buying gluten-free brown rice!
Is Brown Rice Healthier than White Rice?
Brown rice is gluten-free—but is it healthier than white rice? Overall, the answer is yes.
Brown rice naturally has more B vitamins, vitamin E, and iron than white rice. (Though B vitamins and iron are sometimes added to white rice after it is milled.)
If you’re trying to reduce your blood sugar levels or prevent wait gain, brown rice is the better choice. In fact, brown rice has been shown to reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
But keep in mind, white rice has nutritional benefits too. If you have digestive issues and can’t handle a lot of dietary fiber, white rice may be the best option.
Gluten-Free Alternatives to Brown Rice
Though brown rice is naturally gluten-free, there may be occasions when you want to substitute this ingredient for other gluten-free grains.
Whether you’re making rice bowls, one-pot meals, or a side dish, here are some great gluten-free alternatives to brown rice.
- Quinoa: This high-protein seed has gained popularity of the past decade, and for good reason! I like to cook mine with chicken or vegetable stock for added flavor.
- Lentils: Lentils are another high-protein grain that can be ideal for vegetarian meals. Serve yours in soups or as a side dish to chicken or fish.
- Millet: This grain is often overlooked, but can be a great alternative to rice in your favorite stir-fry.
Yes, basmati rice is gluten-free, along with brown whole grain rice and all other natural forms of rice, such as jasmine, long-grain, and arborio.
Yes, most of Uncle Ben’s rice products are naturally gluten-free. However, if you’re buying a rice mix, be sure to read the nutrition label to ensure there are not any flavor enhancers or additional ingredients that contain gluten.
All types of plain minute rice are gluten-free, including Ben’s Original, Zatarain’s, and Minute brand rice.
The Bottom Line
Is brown rice gluten-free? The answer is: Yes!
In it’s natural state, brown rice is free of gluten. In fact, all types of natural rice are gluten-free grains. So, good news! If you have an autoimmune disease like Celiac’s disease, you can confidently enjoy brown rice dishes as part of your gluten-free lifestyle.
For more questions about gluten-free products, check out these articles: is raisin bran gluten-free, are Doritos gluten-free, are french fries gluten-free, is oat milk gluten-free and are marshmallows gluten-free?