Is Rice Flour Paleo?

rice-flour-e1426012582125.jpgSince white rice is often one of a few frequent Paleo “cheats,” is rice flour an acceptable addition to a Paleo diet? Should Paleo eaters avoid rice flour?

Nutritional Value of Rice Flour

Serving size: 1 cup (158 grams)

  • Calories: 578
  • Total Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Carbohydrate: 127 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 4 g

Health Benefits of Rice Flour

While rice flour is gluten-free, and does contain a small amount of fiber and protein, the primary benefit offered by rice flour is that it’s a starch. It isn’t Paleo, since it’s a grain, but for some Paleo athletes who need more starch in their diets, it is a gut-friendly alternative to other whole grains that are harder to digest.

Rice flour contains very few nutrients and shouldn’t be a staple for anyone’s diet, especially if you’re eating Paleo, but it won’t do harm in the way that other grain products could.bobs-rice-flour1-137x300.jpg

Where To Buy Rice Flour

Rice flour can be purchased at most grocery stores or online markets.

Should I Eat Rice Flour? Is Rice Flour Paleo?

Rice flour, as mentioned above, is not Paleo. The question of whether you should eat it or not may not be as simple as that, however. If you’re a low-active Paleo person, then it’s highly unlikely that you would need additional starches or carbs beyond what you can get from fruits and vegetables in a standard Paleo diet.

If you’re a competitive athlete, however, or a highly active Crossfitter, there may be a place for some extra carbs and starch in your diet. It comes down to knowing your individualized nutritional needs and what feels good to you. Some will do well on rice starch, but others would do better to incorporate some tapioca starch (which is Paleo).

If you aren’t sure whether rice flour would be a good complement to your Paleo diet, skip it and find a truly Paleo form of starch to meet the same needs.

Aimee McNew

Aimee McNew, MNT, CNTP, is a certified nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, thyroid disorders, autoimmunity, and fertility. She is the author of The Everything Guide to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: A Healing Plan for Managing Symptoms Naturally (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.