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Is Rice Gluten-Free?

02 May 2024 - Written by  Jenna Hope

Is Rice Gluten-Free?

There’s a common misconception that rice contains gluten.

Is Rice Gluten-Free?

There’s a common misconception that rice contains gluten and as a Nutritionist, I’m regularly asked whether rice is safe for those with Coeliac Disease or those following a gluten-free diet. It’s true, rice is in fact naturally gluten free. However, issues around rice and gluten can arise when the rice is manufactured in an environment contaminated with gluten-containing products or ingredients such as thickeners containing wheat, seasonings or flavourings.

Why is Rice Gluten- Free

Rice is a great source of carbohydrates which are essential for supporting energy production, hormone production, promoting a healthy gut and supporting mood too. You may be pleased to know that rice is a naturally gluten free wholefood and as a result, is often used as a staple source of carbohydrates for those following a gluten-free diet. Additionally, ingredients such as rice flour and rice noodles are commonly used too. Rice milk such as Tilda’s Classic Rice Mlk is a great gluten and dairy free alternative to milk and can be used in curries, soups, porridge, tea, coffee and baked goods.

What Types Of Rice Are Gluten Free?

Fortunately for those with Coeliac Disease or individuals following a gluten free diet all types of rice are gluten free. This includes: basmati rice, brown rice, white rice, wild rice, risotto rice, jasmine rice, sushi rice and sticky rice. Sticky rice is often thought to contain gluten due to its glutenous texture however, rest assured it is gluten free. It is important to note that sushi rice is often served alongside or dressed with soy sauce which does contain gluten. If you’re following a gluten free diet you can use tamari as a gluten free alternative to soy sauce. Moreover, sushi rice can sometimes also be seasoned with vinegars which may be derived from gluten containing ingredients, so it’s always worth checking.

Is Rice Gluten-Free?

Is It Safe To Eat Rice From Restaurants or Takeaways?

For those following a gluten free diet, ordering takeaways or in a restaurant can be rather anxiety-inducing, yet being equipped to know which questions to ask can help you to feel more at ease when ordering rice from external food establishments. If you’re confident that what you’re eating is gluten free you’ll also be able to enjoy it much more too! 

Do be aware that rice may often be cooked or dressed with ingredients or products which have been contaminated with gluten. As mentioned above, soy sauce is one of the most common. Additionally, you want to ensure that the rice hasn’t been cooked in a dish or an oil which has previously been used to cook gluten-containing foods. If you’re particularly sensitive you may also want to check that the pots and utensils used to cook your rice have not been used for dishes containing gluten too. For those with Coeliac Disease, this kind of cross-contamination is enough to induce symptoms. 

Is Steamed / Microwave Rice Gluten Free?

Microwaveable rice are often more nuanced as whilst the rice itself is gluten free, they can often contain flavourings or seasonings which contain gluten. Always ensure that you’re reading the ingredients list and looking for allergens. If you have Coeliac Disease it’s important you look for those products labelled as gluten free. For parents it can be comforting to know that all the products in the Tilda Rice range are gluten free and suitable for those with Coeliac Disease, therefore if you’re sending your child off to a friends house informing the caregiver that Tilda Rice is a suitable food can help to put your mind at ease.


Is Rice Gluten-Free?

If you’re following a gluten free diet for medical reasons or out of choice you may be excited to hear that all rice is naturally gluten free. However, it is important to be aware that some flavourings or added ingredients may contain gluten and therefore you’re always safest to check the packet or ask in the food outlet you’re ordering from.