"Does Rice Have Gluten" is one of the most common question people would ask me as a dietitian about gluten. Check out this list of the 7 Most Popular Gluten-Related Questions (with answers!) If you think you might be gluten-sensitive, you gotta know these answers!
1. Does rice have gluten?
No, rice does not have gluten. Rice is naturally gluten-free. Gluten is found in anything made with wheat and related grains like barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale.
Major sources of gluten in a "typical" North American diet include:
- Oats (unless labeled "gluten-free"; regular oats can contain wheat from cross contamination in the field they’re grown in)
2. Does basmati rice have gluten?
No, basmati rice does not contain gluten. All kinds of rice (and there are a lot of them!) are naturally gluten-free. This makes rice an obvious choice for people with gluten intolerance. But you have to be careful: although the rice itself is gluten-free, rice dishes, made with other ingredients might not be.
3. Do oats have gluten?
Yes and no. Oats themselves are technically gluten-free naturally. However, oats can be "contaminated" with gluten through the farming practices or when they're processed because they often come into contact with gluten-containing grains, like wheat. To be sure, you have to buy oats that specify that they are gluten-free. My favourite brand for gluten-free oats is Only Oats.
4. Does quinoa have gluten?
No, quinoa does not contain gluten. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. Technically, quinoa is a seed, not a grain, and the protein in quinoa is not gluten. If you have gluten sensitivity, you can safely eat quinoa. However remember, like rice, even though quinoa is gluten-free, salads or other dishes made with quinoa may in fact not be gluten-free so make sure you know all the ingredients in a mixed dish before assuming it's okay to eat.
Looking for a list of what NOT to eat? Grab my Cheat Sheet of Foods to Avoid with Gluten Intolerance:
5. What is gluten intolerance?
Gluten intolerance, also referred to as gluten sensitivity, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition that involves intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms.
People who are gluten sensitive experience symptoms when they eat gluten-containing foods.
The "extra" just means that someone with gluten intolerance has symptoms that happen outside their digestive tract and within their gut (or digestive tract). These "outside" symptoms can vary, depending on the individual and how sensitive they are to gluten.
For some people with gluten intolerance, they'll get terrible sinus infections; for others, their skin will break out into an itchy rash; for others, it's the "head fog" symptom where they just can't think very clearly.
Here's a list of symptoms that may happen if you're gluten sensitive:
- GERD (Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease) or reflux
- Abdominal pain
- Extra-intestinal manifestations such as canker sores and chronic skin conditions like, dermatitis herpetiformis
- Inability to concentrate on work
- Inability to memorize various things
- Non-specific symptoms including “brain fog”
Signs and symptoms of gluten sensitivity overlap with both celiac disease and other digestive issues, including irritable bowel syndrome. If you're unsure, talk to your doctor or other trusted healthcare professional.
6. Can gluten intolerance go away?
Here's how gluten intolerance can "go away": with a gluten-free diet for life. I know, it sounds so strict and restricting, really. But my friend, you can DO THIS. When I first started going gluten-free because of my horrible bloating and debilitating nausea from gluten, I didn't do it very well. When I first suspected that gluten was my problem, I was waaaaay too wishy-washy.
For example, if I went to a party and no gluten-free options were available, well, then I’m eating whatever is on offer! (I didn't bring my own food.) Or if we went out to eat and there weren't any gluten-free dishes, I would totally bail on my gluten-free diet and went for my favourites (often the shrimp tacos, wheat flour tortillas all all.)
In the moment of choosing the food, I really didn't want to be restricted and held prisoner by my gluten sensitivity. So I'd just end up eating what I wanted to and then I'd promise myself I'd do better next time. I also downplayed any consequences that were coming as a result of what I was eating. That strategy back-fired greatly, as one would imagine????
I would pay the ultimate price, usually the next day, but sometimes up to a few days later with really painful bloating from the gluten.
As I was laid up in bed with no relief in sight from my gluten bloating, I would swear that I would never eat gluten again.
7. Can you "cure" gluten intolerance with diet?
You can avoid all the nasty symptoms of gluten intolerance by eating a gluten-free diet. Whether or not you consider that a "cure" is up to you.
But here's the thing: most of the time, when gluten sensitivity develops, it's here to stay. So if you're like me and want to side-step any and all of those side-effects from eating gluten, going gluten-free for life is the closest thing to a cure we're gonna get (right now) and that's fine with me. Getting started with gluten-free eating is easier than it's ever been!
And even if you're not 100% sure you're gluten sensitive, why not try going gluten-free and see if the symptoms you're experiencing go away!
You can get started by grabbing my Gluten-Free PDF Meal plan here.
Check out these other articles if you're interested in reading more about gluten in general and gluten intolerance: