Yes, rice is "gluten-free." But I have a few reasons why our family doesn't eat it. First off, it will still cause inflammation and weight gain. The initial indicator of almost every illness is inflammation of our cells. Therefore it is critical for us to get a better understanding of what causes inflammation and choose the right foods prevent it from happening!
Inflammation is usually associated with pain, swelling, and heat. BUT it doesn't always show externally; "silent inflammation” is more dangerous because we usually dont' know we have it until an illness falls upon us. Everyday issues like headaches, sinus problems, allergies, skin disorders, acne, heart disease, stroke, aching joints and back, arthritis, and cough are nothing more than a physical manifestation of silent inflammation. By the time we notice and address the symptoms, our cells have already been inflamed for a long time.
One of the reasons so many people are dealing with inflammation is because a rapid rise in blood sugar, which causes biochemical changes in the cell. Choosing low carbohydrate foods is one of the best ways to decrease inflammation. When blood sugar rises, sugar attaches to collagen in a process called “glycosylation,” increasing inflammation (and increases wrinkles!) Athletes also mistakenly eat too many carbohydrates that hinder their healing and recovery time because they are constantly inflaming their joints.
So, when I tell clients to eat “gluten free” they often grab all the “gluten-free” pre-packaged foods on the shelf…but that most likely will cause weight gain and slow the healing process in your gut. Rice flour, the common flour substitute in gluten-free products, is higher in calories, higher in carbohydrates, and lower in nutrients than regular flour. It can cause more inflammation in our body. So my recommendation is to use make your own healthier options by using almond flour and coconut flour, which are very easy to digest. The healthy fats in nuts actually are nourishing to our brain.
Using high quality fats is also essential to reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-6 fats, found in margarine, soybean, corn and safflower oils, are inflammation-causing fats; these are found in salad dressings, most pre-made pesto sauces, Jiff peanut butter, ALL pre-packaged cookies and cracker, frozen dinners... In contrast omega-3 fats, found in fish (sardines, anchovies, salmon), vegetables, grass-fed butter, and free range eggs, have an inflammation-suppressing effect.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a healthy omega-6 fat that enhances the anti- inflammatory effect of omega-3 fats. Both GLA and omega-3 fish oils are helpful in healing arthritis, eczema, and other inflammatory issues. GLA is found in leafy green vegetables, olive oil, walnut oil, macadamia oil, avocados, and nut butters.
I also get a lot of questions about brown rice or quinoa. Well, check out this chart, which you can find more charts like this in my cookbook: Nutritious and Delicious.
So let's try this recipe with Omega 3 filled eggs and devoid of inflammatory starchy rice!
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic
2 TBS butter or coconut oil
4 cups cauliflower, into rice
3 TBS Tamari sauce (soy sauce)
2 TBS minced fresh parsley
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
Place cauliflower flowerettes in a food processor. Pulse until small pieces of "rice." In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the cauliflower rice, Tamari sauce, parsley and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the egg; cook and stir until egg is completely set, about 3 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Fried Rice = 301 calories, 7g fat, 6g protein, 41.7 carbs, 1g fiber
"Healthified" Fried Rice = 106 calories, 7g fat, 5.1g protein, 7.3 carbs, 3g fiber
CLICK HERE TO FIND THE FOOD PROCESSOR I USE TO MAKE "CAULIFLOWER RICE"